Newport prepares as Volvo Ocean Race kicks off in Spain

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) -- Newport is celebrating -- and preparing -- as the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race readies to kick off in Spain.

The first leg, from Alicante, Spain, to Lisbon, Portugal, begins Sunday. The race features seven teams and stops in 12 cities on six continents over eight months.

The only North American stopover of the 45,000-nautical-mile race is in Newport, which will host from May 8 to May 20.

Four Americans are competing. The U.S.-Danish entry Vestas 11th Hour Racing, includes Skipper Charlie Enright, of Bristol, Team Director Mark Towill, of Kaneohe, Hawaii, and Nick Dana, of Newport. Rome Kirby, of Newport, was a late addition to the Dutch entry, Team AkzoNobel.

The race is considered offshore sailing's most prestigious event.

When Newport hosted a stopover in 2015, it drew 130,000 visitors.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off