As Newport prepares to host the only North American stop of The Ocean Race this week, the House of Representatives today passed a resolution sponsored by Aquidneck Island Representatives Lauren H. Carson and Terri Cortvriend celebrating the event, its efforts to bring attention to the importance of protecting oceans and the thousands of visitors it will attract to the City by the Sea.
Newport is once again the only North American stop on the grueling 32,000-nautical mile, round-the-world sailing race that began in Alicante, Spain, in January and will end in Genoa, Italy, in late June. Rhode Island has another connection: Bristol native Charlie Enright is the skipper of Newport-based 11th Hour Racing, the team that has been in the lead as the boats have neared Newport this week.
“Newport has hosted The Ocean Race twice before in recent years, and each one has been a huge success. Newport is a city that loves sailing, and we are ready to welcome racers and the many enthusiasts who come out to visit and enjoy this major event. Our local economy reaps the benefits, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars each time we have the honor of hosting The Ocean Race. Our city is very eagerly awaiting the arrival of the sailors, and we invite everyone to come enjoy the festivities,” said Representative Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport) in a statement.
Said Representative Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown), “What we love about The Ocean Race is that it is so much more than an elite sailing event; it is very focused on a mission of promoting and advancing protection of the ocean. The boats are collecting data on pollution and oxygen levels along the route, and are submitting it to science partners in real time. People who come to Newport will see the boats and enjoy the atmosphere, and they will also be surrounded by exhibits and activities that communicate the critical work that is necessary to be the stewards that our ocean and our earth need. The Ocean Race is doing amazing work to help our planet and to educate people worldwide about the urgency of our environmental challenges.”
The resolution passed by the House today “welcomes The Ocean Race to Newport, our City by the Sea, and whole-heartedly supports the recognition of the rights of Nature, including the Ocean’s rights to exist, flourish, evolve, regenerate, recover and be restored within Rhode Island, and recognizes the rights of the people and communities that make up Rhode Island to live in a clean and healthy environment…”.
The boats are expected to arrive in Newport tomorrow following a rough stretch of weather conditions at the end of the race’s fourth leg, which began in Itají, Brazil, on April 23.
The public event begins Saturday at Fort Adams State Park, and runs through May 21, when the racers will embark on the race’s fifth leg, a transatlantic journey to Aarhus, Denmark.
Fort Adams will become Ocean Live Park for the family-friendly event, which is cohosted by Sail Newport, the state of Rhode Island and 11th Hour racing. Admission is free, and visitors can explore sailing, celebrate the ocean and enjoy outdoor fun. More than 100,000 visitors are expected during the nine days of the event. For information including a schedule of activities, visit https://theoceanracenewport.