KINGSTON, R.I. – May 11, 2018 – University of Rhode Island sailor Kate Nota and her teammates got a taste of the Volvo Ocean Race earlier this spring when the University hosted a live video broadcast of the event on campus.
It made perfect sense to have members of the sailing team serve as ambassadors for The Volvo Ocean Race, one of the most prestigious sailing events in the world that tests the endurance of the world’s best sailors and the durability of their boats. While the Volvo event attracts the greatest racers in the world, URI annually has among the best collegiate sailors in the nation.
And now, Nota, a Jamestown resident and member of URI’s prestigious sailing squad, is working with Sail Newport as the City-by-The Sea hosts the only North American stop for the race through May 20. Nota assists Kate Cooper, marketing director of the media center, with tasks during the event.
Nota talked about the excitement among visitors to Race Village
“The race village is the perfect place to explore if you are a sailor or non-sailor,” Nota said. “From learning about how to protect our oceans to getting to see the boat workshops, it is an incredible to see. It is exciting to see Sail Newport, Volvo and other organizations work together to make this event successful. The One Ocean Exploration Zone gives children a hands-on learning experience on the environment. This event brings amazing sailors to our state and also educates our youth on important issues.”
Established in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race, the Volvo race requires competitors to travel 45,000 miles across the oceans. They race across the four oceans in 12 race legs over 8 months, concluding in The Hague, Netherlands, in June. Teams experience life at the extreme as they race day and night around the world for more than 20 days at a time.
URI hosted the live video event a few months ago to call attention to Rhode Island’s and URI’s prominence in sailing, most notably acknowledging the race’s stop in Newport. URI sailing head coach Skip Whyte an Olympic gold-medal winning sailor himself knows plenty about bigtime sailing and wanted his team to be a part of the Volvo event.
During its 80-year history, the URI sailing team has won every major New England championship, as well as district and national championships. The 1990 keelboat team, for instance, became the only American team to win the Collegiate Keelboat World Championships, making it the only URI athletic team to win a world title.
North Kingstown, R.I. native and junior kinesiology major Ian Nanning was recently named a URI sailing captain. He says there is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a member of the team.
“Being a part of our team means mastering discipline. It’s our responsibility to maintain excellent academic performance while constantly improving our athletic performance as well,” he says. “The team is truly a family. We sail together, we study together, and overall support each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Nota was also named a team captain. The junior double major in business and environmental economics was born in Narragansett where she began sailing at an early age. She knew she would pursue URI sailing.
“Our team is a club sport that competes at a varsity level, is nationally ranked, and is the only team at URI that has won a world championship,” she says. “It’s an honor to be a part of URI sailing. Our sailors come from different backgrounds and eventually will pursue different paths in life. But we all come together and connect through sailing. There’s no better feeling.”
Joshua Reyes, an intern in the University’s Department of Marketing and Communication and a public relations major, wrote this release.