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Sunsail Vacations signs on as Volvo Ocean Race sponsor

Sail Newport said charter sailboat company Sunsail Vacations will sponsor the Volvo Ocean Race Newport (R.I.) Stopover.

Scheduled for May 5-17, the event is the only North American stopover during the race's nine-month circumnavigation.

"The Volvo Ocean Race is the world's leading ocean race event. People all over the world will be inspired to go sailing and there's no better way to enjoy a sail vacation then on a Sunsail charter," Sail Newport executive director and Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover director Brad Read said in a statement.

As an official stopover partner, Sunsail will have exclusive rights and designation as the official yacht charter company of the 12-day public event at Fort Adams State Park.

Sunsail also will have branding rights with the event, media content, sponsorship of in-shore racing, hospitality and sponsorship of the restart when the global marathon leaves Newport for the transatlantic leg to Lisbon, Portugal, on May 17.

Sunsail also will donate a sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands to Sail Newport as an online auction item to raise funds for the non-profit sailing center's community sailing programs.

The winning bidder also will receive two VIP tickets to the Ocean Race Club to watch the Newport Pro-am races on May 15.

The race is on its third leg of competition. The boats left Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on Jan. 3 and are expected to arrive in Sanya, China, in late January. On Feb. 8, the fleet will leave China and race to Auckland, New Zealand. After a stop in Itajai, Brazil, the race will head to Newport on April 19,

After about a two-week stay, the fleet then races to Lisbon; Lorient, France; and the Hague, Netherlands, before finishing in Gothenburg, Sweden, in July.

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