Volvo Ocean Race Newport: The Racecourses

The Pro-Am, In-Port, and Leg-Start races are the racing highlight of each Volvo Ocean Race Stopover.

The Team Vestas Wind In-Port Race is always a crowd pleaser. It’s the only time we get to see these teams in a close-quarter battle for supremacy. For the sailors, however, it’s less about the points (the final scores of the In-Port series will only apply to tie-break situations in the overall race results) and more about looking good in front of the crowds. That, and they all want to win.
The Volvo Ocean 65s are built primarily to sail straight across vast stretches of oceans, not necessarily around short racecourses with lots of turns, so when it comes to the In-Port races, success comes down to two simple things: A good start to get a jump on the fleet and flawless maneuvers to ensure the sails go up and down as the boats round set marks.
Narrangansett Bay provides an ideal race venue with its deep water and confined race area. There will be three different racecourses during the leg-start weekend: one for the Pro-Am, one for the Team Vestas Wind In-Port Race, and another for the Leg 7 start. Perfect viewing can be found along the shoreline, from Fort Adams—where spectators can enjoy live commentating and ceremonies—to Castle Hill. There’s not a bad seat in the house.

The Pro-Am and In-Port racecourses will be set just off the Race Village, and will be especially perfect for spectators saddled at the Pier Bar, especially if the current is running strong, forcing the boats to maneuver close to the shore. These one-hour races are fast-paced, and the prize giving party at the Fort should not be missed. Pro-Am Racing will take place on May 15.
Race course for the Team Vestas Wind In-Port Race, to be held on May 16.
Leg 7 Start (May 17) Those who have experienced a Volvo Ocean Race stopover before will agree the highlight is the leg start. As a party and tearful send off for the families, it’s an action-packed day that starts with the morning dock-out ceremony, continues with a few laps on an in-port racecourse, and ends as the fleet exits the bay, past Castle Hill, bound for Lisbon and beyond.