Volvo Ocean Race heads to Newport
The Volvo Ocean Race boats began the leg to Newport on Sunday.
The sailing competition, which began in Spain, heads to its ninth destination, and it's in Newport. Crews are sailing around the world, ready to put Rhode Island on the map.
The teams are expected to arrive at Fort Adams in a little over two weeks. Crews left South America Sunday, going straight toward New England.
"This is one of the hardest legs the teams will do because they come into the North Atlantic after they cross the Gulf Stream. It's cold. It's foggy," said Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport.
"It really showcases Rhode Island to the world," said Read.
Some local teams and other Americans are spread out across the ocean with their eyes on the prize.
"Incredible because they're out in 15-knot winds and 20-foot waves," said Read. "Boats have broken their masts, and unfortunately, this year, there's been a loss of life."
Seven teams began sailing in October from Spain with the worldwide daring journey expected through July. It became a dangerous and deadly race. Some boats sank, leaving fishermen needing to be saved.
Britain's John Fisher, who is based in Adelaide, Australia, was sailing for team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag in the Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajai, Brazil, leg of the prestigious around-the-world race when he went overboard in 35-knot winds and fierce seas.
"Someone was washed overboard. John Fisher from Adelaide in Australia unfortunately didn't make it all the way to Brazil. And we get to celebrate those boats that are coming here," said Read.
The Newport team, called Vestas 11th Hour Racing struggled a bit after losing a mast.
"We’re really excited to see Vestas 11th Hour Racing return back to Newport. They trained here. They practice here," said Alex Rudkin, Volvo Ocean Race commercial manager.