Volvo Ocean Race Lands in Newport

By: Scott Cook

Email: scook@abc6.com

Twitter: @JScottCook

NEWPORT, R.I. (WLNE) — Only a few boat-lengths separated the first place finishers, Team Mapfre, from the second place team, Team Brunel, in the 8th leg of the 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race.

Not far behind them in third place was the Vestas 11th Hour Racing Team, a team that consists of 2 native Rhode Islanders.

"It’s great being back, I love sailing into Newport,” said Nick Dana, captain of Vestas 11th Hour. “You don’t get to finish many races here so it’s pretty cool."

"It feels great to finish in Newport here on a foggy, foggy morning at 6 AM,” said Charlie Enright, skipper of the Vestas 11th Hour team. “It’s amazing to see how many people came out to watch us finish. It’s great to be back on the podium."

The team overcame some adversity this leg to pick up the 3rd place finish.

"Coming around Cape Horn our mast broke so it has been a couple legs since we scored points,” said Enright. “It felt great to finish this leg and finish on the podium and get back on the right track."

After sitting in 4th place for much of the leg, Vestas 11th Hour was able to capitalize on some weak winds in the Narragansett Bay to overtake 3rd.

“It was snakes and ladders right until the finish,” said Dana. “And just a lot of place changes right at the end."

Newport is the only North American stop on the Volvo Ocean Race.

There to welcome the 7 vessels to the U.S. was Newport Mayor, Harry Winthrop.

"Where else better to have this than the sailing capital of the world, Newport Rhode Island?” said Mayor Winthrop.

“Everybody is very enthused, the excitement was far beyond what I had seen three years ago,” Winthrop continued. “To watch the finish of this last leg where they finished within seconds of each other after a 5000 mile journey was absolutely incredible."

The boats will be docked in Newport until May 20, when they head to Cardiff, Whales for the 9th leg of the race.

Until then, the local competitors will be spending time with family and friends still in the area.

"There is so much going on but not a lot of days,” said Nick Dana. “But I think we’re all going to try and get some downtime for now."

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