By Sail Newport/The Ocean Race Newport Stopover
Thousands of international guests and visitors from many U.S. states descended upon Newport today to bid “safe passage” to the sailors in The Ocean Race, who sailed out of the glittering Narragansett Bay on their trans-Atlantic Leg 5 to Denmark.
A loud cheer came up from the crowd promptly at 2:15 p.m. when the Newport-based crew, 11th Hour Racing Team led by skipper Charlie Enright from Bristol, R.I., crossed the starting line in the lead by a comfortable margin.
The “hometown” team and fleet started the race in very light winds. Germany’s Team Malizia – Seaexplorer, led by skipper Boris Herrmann, would eventually climb to the top of the lap on Narragansett Bay to win the In-Port Race and lead the fleet offshore. The Leg 5 start included a provision to make up the In-Port Race after yesterday’s race was postponed due to severe weather.
The entire region embraced the race for the months leading up to and including this week of the Ocean State stopover. City of Newport Mayor Xaykham “Xay” Khamsyvoravong, a sailor in his own right, led the City-by-the-Sea’s welcoming of the race.
“From 11th Hour’s stunning first place finish, to the thousands of students who visited the village to explore ocean health and the sport of sailing, to the fans and sailors who took over every corner of our City, this edition of The Ocean Race set a new bar. Newport–thanks to Sail Newport, hundreds of volunteers, 11th Hour Racing, the sailors and their sponsors and teams–delivered for The Ocean Race,” said Khamsyvoravong.
Today’s thrilling Leg 5 start capped the immensely successful nine-day event at Fort Adams State Park, which was the global race’s only stop in North America showcasing Newport on the world stage.
“Brad Read and Sail Newport do a tremendous job. They make this a world-class event,” said Scott Barrett of Portsmouth, R.I., who was visiting the park with his wife, Olivia, and children Harper, 9, and Jack, 5. “There are so many things to do, and it’s a family-friendly event. We’ve brought the kids every time the race comes through. You look out here, and there are people as far as the eye can see. It’s an amazing event to bring to Newport, certainly the sailing capital of America, but you wonder of the world, too.”
For more information, visit The Ocean Race Newport.