PROVIDENCE, RI – State leaders and local event organizers today promoted The Ocean Race, a prestigious around-the-world sailing competition whose high-tech, 60-foot IMOCA class sailboats will berth in Newport May 13-21 for their only North American stopover. The Department of Environmental Management's Fort Adams State Park will again provide the homebase for the race stopover, where a temporary race village, called Ocean Live Park, will be built and family-friendly activities focusing largely on ecological awareness and ocean health will be held.
The event will bring global attention to Rhode Island, showcasing the Ocean State on the international stage as a business and tourist destination and leader in environmental sustainability. Its hosts are the State of Rhode Island, Sail Newport, which is New England's largest public sailing center and located at Fort Adams, and 11th Hour Racing, a Newport-based global sustainability organization that's focused on restoring the health of the planet's oceans. 11th Hour Racing has a boat in the race, M?lama, that is skippered by Bristol native Charlie Enright. It is estimated that M?lama and the rest of the fleet will arrive in Newport on or around May 10 from Itajaí, Brazil. The stopover will last until May 21, when the boats start the race's fifth leg en route to Aarhus, Denmark, across the Atlantic Ocean.
"Rhode Island is thrilled once again to host the only North American stopover of The Ocean Race," said Governor Dan McKee. "I am looking forward to attending race activities with DEM, Sail Newport, and 11th Hour Racing next month at Ocean Live Park. This event showcases what's great about Rhode Island — and shows that we are competing and succeeding in the global economy."
"The 2015 and 2018 race stopovers drew more than 200,000 visitors to Newport and generated tens of millions of dollars in economic activity in Rhode Island, and we're hopeful that this year's will bring just as much excitement to Newport," said Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos. "I invite Rhode Islanders and out-of-state visitors alike to come see the Sailing Capital of the World this May! Take a day trip to Newport and take in the views of beautiful waters, accessible recreational spaces, and world-class sailing."
"The Rhode Island State Senate has strongly supported investments in state properties and facilities, such as Fort Adams State Park, for conservation, recreation, and as is the case with the 2023 Ocean Race, economic development," said Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio. "Rhode Island hosting this wonderful event underscores the importance of forging strong public-private partnerships and making smart blue-economy investments that all may benefit from."
"My friends at Sail Newport and 11th Hour Racing, along with DEM, deserve great credit for all they've done to ensure that Newport remains as our nation's premier sailing destination," said State Representative and House Finance Chairman Marvin L. Abney, who secured a one-time appropriation of $850,000 in the fiscal year 2023 budget to support the stopover at Fort Adams. "When the sun is shining and the breeze is up, there aren't many places prettier than Newport Harbor. We're all looking forward to this spectacular event!"
"DEM's best relationships are with organizations that have missions and goals that complement and align with our own, and that's very much the case with Sail Newport and 11th Hour Racing," said DEM Director Terry Gray. "We manage Fort Adams as a public park and a public asset and Sail Newport and 11th Hour Racing are mission-focused organizations that teach people about sustainability and the amazing value of our Rhode Island environment by engaging them through the sport and adventure of sailing."
"Rhode Island is honored to serve once again as the only North American stopover of the Ocean Race. This world-class event is a major driver of economic activity and tourism, and it presents a unique opportunity to showcase our state's commitment to sustainability on a global stage," said Commerce Secretary Liz Tanner. "I look forward to the bustling activity in Ocean Live Park!"
"This race is a showcase of human endurance and world-class sailing," said Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport. "We're so proud to offer the shoreside Ocean Live Park to the public for free due to the generosity of our partners and our shared commitment to keep sailing thriving and sustainability at the forefront in the Ocean State."
"Newport and the Ocean State always offer an enthusiastic and warm welcome to the teams, their families, and all those who come to visit and experience this exciting and fun event," said Rob MacMillan, 11th Hour Racing President and Co-Founder. "The State of Rhode Island continues to demonstrate its leadership in marine events, sustainability, and ocean stewardship. We are fortunate to have a great sailing team, and wonderful partners in Sail Newport, DEM, and the entire state."
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