The Newport stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race is in the home stretch, with just four more days of activities planned at Fort Adams. With so much going on — exhibits, performances, and a whole bunch of world-class yacht racing — at Fort Adams, it can be tough to make sure you experience all of it. Here’s a short list of how to make sure you maximize your time in Newport between now and May 17.
Take the Water Taxi to Fort Adams
While there’s parking available at the Fort ($20 per vehicle, free for Volvo cars), a quick trip across the harbor will give you a dose of life afloat and save you the hassle of traffic. Oldport Marine has water taxis departing every 15 minutes from Perotti Park in downtown Newport. The ticket ($5 each way) gives you the most inexpensive boat tour you’ll find this season! If you’re not up for a boat ride, a free shuttle will leave every hour (on the hour) from the Gateway Center in Newport.
Watch the Races Up Close
The best seat in the house for the Pro-Am races, which will be sailed May 14 and 15, and both the In-Port Race (Saturdaay, May 16) and the start of Leg 7 on May 17 will be at Fort Adams. The crew at Sail Newport has worked hard to make sure that the course is set up directly off the fort itself, so there’s basically not a bad seat to be had. If you’re exploring Narragansett Bay, do yourself a favor and head to Fort Weatherill in Jamestown for a different perspective of the racing, with Newport as the backdrop.
Take a Drive
With the yachts moored so close that you can practically touch them (ugh, please don’t), it’s easy to forget the stopover’s lead sponsor, Volvo cars and trucks. Sure, you’re in Newport to see the yacht racing, but take a minute and check out the autonomous (i.e., unmanned!) parking system that Volvo has developed, the park-assist option that is appearing in more of the company’s vehicles, and the trucks that can claim to be the only ones completely built in the USA (sure, Volvo is a Swedish company).
Meet the Crews
In yachting circles, the men and women who sail these Volvo Ocean 65s are the superstars, and the wonderful thing about the setup of the race village (and Newport in general) is that you’ve got great access to the sailors themselves. If you see Ian Walker or Charlie Enright walking down Thames Street or just passing through the race village, stop them and say hello. These are the yachtsmen and yachtswomen who you’ll be hearing about for years to come, so shaking their hand is something you’ll remember.
Learn Something New
The Newport stopover has made extra efforts to educate visitors about the impact that the ocean has on all our lives, whether we boat or not. Spend some time in the Exploration Zone, pause to chat with the folks from Sailors for the Sea, and learn how you can help improve the health of two-thirds of the Earth’s surface.
Seriously, there’s so much to see, do, and explore in Newport and at the Race Village that you could literally be going out straight from dawn to dusk. But life on the coast is about kicking back and enjoying yourself, so make sure to grab a beverage and a snack at one of the vendors set up inside Fort Adams or at a downtown Newport restaurant and just sit for a bit. You’ll probably end up making new friends, and just watching the ebb and flow of people passing through the harbor is an activity in and of itself.