Sail Newport Celebrates Oracle Team USA
The evening was billed as “a celebratory congratulations” for Oracle Team USA and a homecoming of sorts for Rome Kirby and several members of the often unsung shore team, which included Rhode Islanders Sean Healey, Amory Ross, Andrew Gaynor, Scott Ferguson, Dirk Kramers, Mark Nicora, and Kate Wilson, but turned into a wider fete of sailing in Newport.
Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport, used the evening to highlight the robust contributions of Rhode Islanders to the American victory in September.
“We’re celebrating all the Rhode Islanders who helped create this incredible piece of technology, the winning catamaran,” Read said.
As photos of a young Kirby competing at Sail Newport not too long ago scrolled across the screen, the night also evolved into a bit of a celebration of Sail Newport itself, which this year is marking its 30th anniversary.
The presence of the America’s Cup was yet another highlight of the evening.
The last time the Auld Mug was in Newport was during the America’s Cup World Series at Fort Adams in 2012.
Serving as the evening’s master of ceremonies was Andy Green, an America’s Cup veteran himself who was joined onstage by fellow commentator and Cup veteran Ken Read, whose voice could be heard on NBC’s coverage throughout the race.