Sunday, February 17, 2013

J/24 Sailors Bring Volvo Race to Newport!

Volvo 70s sailing Volvo Ocean Race- Newport, RI(Newport, RI)- What do past J/24 World Champions do when they're not sailing?  Simple, bring the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015 to Newport.  That's exactly what Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport did this past week (his brother Kenny is now President of North Sails). Actually, it took months of hard labor and a bit of luck, e.g. "third time's a charm", so to speak.  On Tuesday, February 5th, Governor Lincoln Chafee (himself a J/100 owner and passionate J/Sailor) and Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad announced that Newport, Rhode Island will host its first Volvo Ocean Race after winning a stop on the route of the 12th edition of sailing's premier round-the-world challenge in 2014-15.

"We have made significant strategic land and marine infrastructure improvements at Fort Adams State Park, paving the way for a new era of racing in Rhode Island and setting the stage for the world-class events we continue to host," said Governor Lincoln Chafee. "We had a positive experience with the America's Cup World Series last summer, and I look forward to welcoming the Volvo Ocean Race to Rhode Island. These large-scale sailing events draw impressive numbers of visitors to our state - visitors who make valuable contributions to our economy."

The Race will reach Newport, one of the world's sailing capitals, in around May 2015 after a stop in Itajai, Brazil. Newport is the last stop before teams will sail across the Atlantic for the final legs around Europe. The Volvo Ocean Race has visited the U.S. in every edition since 1997-98, but despite Newport's great sailing heritage, it has never before had "Host Port" status.

"The Volvo Ocean Race is one of the premiere sailing events in the world. We look forward to welcoming the sailors, the sponsors and particularly the fans of this great race to our magnificent port," said Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport. "With the race working its way around the world, it will build to a crescendo as it arrives in Newport, R.I. We can't wait."  The Race will finish in Gothenburg, Sweden in summer 2015.