Historically known for its long maritime tradition, Newport, also known as “the city by the sea”, is located in the State of Rhode Island, in the US. Many of the world’s most renowned luxury sailboats and yachts have docked on its centuries-old harbors. And to stress the importance of the sea, one of the main avenues in town is called America’s Cup, its most famous regatta.
Newport is home to the most anticipated nautical events on the international calendar. One of them, the Newport Race Week, will take place, from July 12th to the 19th, 2014. Organized by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC), this sailing competition is presented by Rolex.
This grand event combines two races. It made its debut in 1998 from the union of two very popular contests of the time, also organized by the NYYC and Rolex: the IMS National Championships and the One-Design Championship Regatta. The new version of Newport Race Week was created to include two competition types in the same event: one devoted to same length vessels but with different classic designs, and the other focused on craft design, all with a single handicap and the same length.
During the weekend of Saturday July 12th and Sunday July 13th the race will feature classic yachts categorized by length (Classics and Meter-boat racing), and from Wednesday 16th to Saturday 19th, vessels with the same design and handicap will have their time to compete (Handicap and One-Design classes). The last race will serve as the inaugural event of the HPR International Championship, the Swan 42 National Championship and the J/109 North American Championship.
This week of intense maritime sports activity is the second event of the year sponsored by the Swiss watchmaker firm Rolex together with the NYYC. The New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta in its 160th edition was held earlier in the month of June. It remains the longest race in America, and of course, the oldest. In fact, the first edition dates from 1845, which confirms the long tradition and admiration Rhode Island— and especially the city of Newport— have always shown for this noble sport.
For those who enjoy sailing in a unique atmosphere of elegance and distinction, Newport Race Week is an inescapable summer event. The city offers interesting options and places to stay, but the most luxurious hotels distinguish themselves for being open towards the sea, offering guests spectacular ocean views.
If what you are looking for is classic luxury, with historical undertones, the best options are Hotel Castle Hill and The Chanler at Cliff Walk, but if your preference is something contemporary opt for Vanderbilt Hall or Forty 1° North. Some of them offer the possibility of choosing between classic suites or the enchantment of a beachfront house.
A visit to Newport also means enjoying its varied gastronomy. Like it is customary in typical coastal towns, good menus must include extraordinary seafood and fish, like you would find at Scales and Shells or 22 Bowen’s. Many of the restaurants are located in colonial houses, including the White Horse Tavern, one of the oldest restaurants in the United States. Another attractive option is taking the breeze at sunset by the sea at the Cook House Clark. And if you are looking for a more modern experience, you are invited to Bouchard Restaurant Inn, The Muse or the Mexican Perro Salado. ■