The exciting event taking place in Newport this week is the Volvo Ocean Race, an around-the-world yacht race that takes place every three years, covers 38,739 nautical miles, and takes nine months to complete.
The race starts in Alicante, Spain, stops at ports in Cape Town, South Africa; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Sanya, China; Auckland, New Zealand; Itajaí, Brazil; Newport, Rhode Island; Lisbon, Portugal; Lorient, France; The Hague, Netherlands, and finishes in Gothenburg, Sweden. Newport is the only North American port. See the route here.
This is a photo of Race Village, where the yachts dock and where you can see the boats up close and the crew members coming and going . There were seven teams, but only six of them are pictured here - one of them got hung up on a reef in the Indian Ocean - the following team descriptions are from the brochure we got at the event. They are listed in the order the boats appear in the photo above, from left to right.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing: Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing is the form-setter in the race, having won two of the first five legs and holding the overall lead in Brazil. Led by Briton Ian Walker, the Emirati Syndicate sailing aboard Azzam (Arabic for "determination") has the experience, talent, and drive to win the Volvo Ocean Race Trophy.
Dongfeng Race Team: The Volve Ocean Race's first Chinese team, led by French skipper Charles Caudrelier, faced their biggest challenge when the boat's mast broke west of Cape Horn. The race team retired from the leg and was forced to motor to Itajaí on an extra long journey. Don't count out this strong and spirited team to be back in the race and a fierce competitor.
Team Brunel: The race's Dutch entry is led by veteran skipper Bouwe Bekking who has six Volvo Ocean Race campaigns under his belt. He's supported by a strong and consistent crew and won Leg 2 from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi.
MAPFRE: Spanish entry MAPFRE took top position on Leg 4 from China to New Zealand and second place from New Zealand to Brazil. Skipper Iker Martinez is leading Spain's eight entry in the Volvo Ocean Race alongside Xabi Fernandez who helped him win gold in the Athens Olympics.
Team Alvimedica: Considered USA's and Newport's "hometown" team with Bristol, Rhode Island's Charlie Enright at the helm and Newport native Nick Dana on the crew. Newport's Amory Ross serves as the Onboard Reporter. The team sails under the US and Turkish flag (Home of sponsor Alvimedica) and is also the youngest crew in the Race. They've captured a pair of third-place finishes, won an In-Port race and led the fleet around Cape Horn on grueling Leg 5 from New Zealand to Brazil.
Team SCA: Team SCA is the first all-female team to compete in the race since 2001-02. Many crew members have already circumnavigated the globe but they've battled a series of equipment setbacks due to violent weather conditions and collisions with unidentified ocean debris en route to Itajaí, Brazil.
And the team that's not pictured in the photo is the one that had problems earlier in the race,
Team Vestas Wind: The Danish boat is led by experienced competitor Chris Nicholson but became grounded on a remote archipelago in the Indian Ocean during Leg 2 from South Africa to Abu Dhabi. The team's goal is to sail again starting with the Lisbon leg from Portugal to France.
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2012: Lunch At The Park
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2006: Mother Superior
2005: Great Expectations