URI to host live broadcast from world premiere off-shore sailing race, Volvo Ocean Race, March 20

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-2116 |
Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race

KINGSTON, R.I. – February 26, 2018 – The University of Rhode Island will bring the world’s premiere off-shore sailing race, the Volvo Ocean Race, to campus on March 20 through a live video broadcast with sailors as they race across the Pacific Ocean between New Zealand and South America.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium on URI’s Kingston campus.

The Volvo Ocean Race is a grueling, around-the-world sailing race that tests the endurance of the world’s best sailors. Established in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race, the competition challenges teams of sailors to navigate 45,000 nautical miles across four oceans in 12 race legs over 8 months, concluding in The Hague, Netherlands, in June. Crews experience life at the extreme as they race day and night around the world for more than 20 days at a time.

“This is an outstanding opportunity to hear firsthand from competitors in the most extreme sailing event in the world and get a preview of what to expect when the race comes to Rhode Island,” said Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport. “Anyone with an interest in competitive sailing or boating won’t want to miss this exciting event.”

The URI program will include video of earlier stages of the competition, commentary from Rhode Island sailors who have competed in the race and remarks from Read, who is coordinating activities for the race’s stop in Newport in May, the only North American port of call.

The City of Newport will host a Race Village from May 8 to 20 at Fort Adams State Park, where visitors can get close-up looks at the race boats, crawl inside a cut-away of a full-size boat and meet the crews.

URI will be featured prominently in the Race Village’s Exploration Zone. The University will showcase exhibits about marine life, ocean conservation, marine technology and related topics. The Race Village attracted 130,000 visitors to Newport when the Volvo Ocean Race stopped in the city in 2015.

URI’s involvement in the Volvo Ocean Race and the Race Village is due in part to its long tradition of excellence in intercollegiate competitive sailing. 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 ever win the Collegiate Keelboat World Championships, making it the only URI athletic team to win a world title. The URI women’s sailing team won the national championship in 2011.

Members of the URI sailing team will be on hand at the March 20 event to meet and greet those in attendance.

For additional information about the event in Kingston, contact Sharon Pavignano at spavignano@uri.edu.