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Outdoors in RI: Sailing with Sail Newport as The Ocean Race begins Sunday

Did you know? Newport Public Schools enrolls every 4th grader into a 16-week fall/spring Sail Newport Pell School Science and Sailing Program? Added to that is a marine-oriented STEAM curriculum taught at Sail Newport by Pell teachers, the ongoing program takes advantage of the on-the-water classroom of Narragansett Bay—which some students have never had the opportunity to experience in a boat.

“The program naturally teaches students to learn to work together, to learn the science of the wind and the math in the sails,” says Colleen Burns Jermain, superintendent of schools in Newport. “Teaching them to sail creates conditions in which our children realize they can do anything. They are experiencing things they never thought they would do.”

Based on the success of the 4th-grade program, an after-school “Marine Exploration Program” has been added this year for Thompson Middle School students. 

High school sailors also actively use the facility for practice and scrimmages, with sailing teams from Newport’s Rogers High School as well as Portsmouth, Middletown, and the Prout School.

During the summer months, Sail Newport provides free sailing programs to many community groups and local nonprofits.  Particularly important to Sail Newport’s is their financial aid program which awards partial or full scholarships to participating families.

Sail Newport serves as the home port for The Ocean Race

The Global Ocean Marathon Starts this Sunday, January 15th. Considered the most demanding sailing race on the planet, crews onboard high-performance racing vessels in The Ocean Race will circumnavigate the globe in six months, making stops in eight cities worldwide including Newport, RI. The race starts this Sunday, January 15 at 10 a.m. (EST) and is viewable on theoceanrace.com. To follow the race online, go here: https://www.theoceanrace.com/en/how-to-follow

The epic Sailing event will make its only North American stopover in Newport, RI, May 13-21, 2023

The Ocean Race is an epic test of sailing skill, tactical decisions, navigation, boat handling, and extreme mental and physical challenges. Before reaching the shores of the U.S., in May, the sailors will have to conquer 24,800 nautical miles (approximately 89% of the route) of open ocean racing between Alicante, Spain to, Cabo Verde, Cape Town, and through the icy depths of the ferocious Southern Ocean up to Brazil.  

Rhode Island-based U.S.A. 11th Hour Racing Team will participate onboard the high-tech IMOCA 60. Charlie Enright (Bristol, RI, USA) is the skipper of Malama. Also, Newporter Amory Ross will serve as the onboard reporter among other crew members. 

A nine-day festival between May 11 and 21 begins at Fort Adams State Park and is hosted by Sail Newport, The State of Rhode Island, and 11th Hour Racing. The boats are expected to arrive in Newport from Itajai, Brazil, on or close to May 10, 2023. 

The “Ocean Live Park” is accessible to the public every day. Visitors will be able to see the race boats up close at the dock, learn about the global race, and see the oceans of the world through the eyes of the crews.

The Ocean Live Park includes activities for all ages.

Guests will be able to tour team bases; Try Sailing! onboard a Sail Newport J/22, participate in an immersive interactive ocean exhibit on ocean stewardship, and enjoy music, food, children’s activities, special events, entertainment, and cocktail cafes.

The In-port racing is a thrilling spectator opportunity off the shore of Fort Adams State Park. Racing takes place Thursday, Friday and Saturday. May 18, 19 and 20. On Sunday, May 21, a send-off ceremony includes a dock-out show, a sailor parade, and entertainment. At 2:00 p.m., the fleet will take a “goodbye” sail in the bay as they jostle their positions for the trans-Atlantic race leg start to Aarhus, Denmark.  

The May event will be the third consecutive stopover of the global race in Rhode Island after visits in 2015 and 2018. An average of over 100,000 spectators came to see the racing and the village during the two stopovers. After the first stopover in 2015, an economic Impact study by Performance Research found $47.7 million was added to the Rhode Island economy benefitting restaurants, hotels and motels, retail, real estate rentals, catering, transportation, transportation, wholesale trade, and other sectors.

The Ocean Race aims to be the first climate-positive international sporting event. Organizers aim to support this goal by being a zero-waste event with a minimal carbon footprint. Educational opportunities will highlight climate solutions, restoration, and blue technology, with learning activities for all ages. The Newport Stopover will showcase the intersection of sailing and sustainability as led by its co-host and partner, 11th Hour Racing. 

Visit the websites for information on the team,, the live race tracker, event schedules, music, and entertainment line-ups, receive updates, watch the news, and a full resource guide to Newport, RI: The Ocean Race Newport Stopover: https://theoceanracenewport.com.

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