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"Down to the Sea…"

By Rear Admiral Robert W. McNitt, U.S. Navy (Retired)

Every summer about 1,000 midshipmen in the entering class are taught to sail at Annapolis, while more than 500 upperclass midshipmen are racing and cruising offshore under sail, as part of a program that has never been more successful.

In 1992, Ensign Kyle Weaver, who learned to sail at the Naval Academy, won the First Overall St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy in the Newport to Bermuda Race—the first time it had been done in the Academy’s 54 years of competing for this world-famous prize. The varsity intercollegiate dinghy has won the National Dinghy Championship four times. Three Naval Academy sailors have been named Intercollegiate Sailor of the Year, sailing’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, and the Academy has more than twice as many sailing All-Americans as any other college. During the 1996-97 season, the Naval Academy won the McMillan and Kennedy Cups for the intercollegiate big-boat championship, the National Women’s Dinghy Championship, and the Leonard M. Fowle Memorial Trophy for best overall team performance for the tenth time in the past twenty years.

Chessie and the Navy-44: Representing top performance in the sailing world from Chesapeake Bay!

Admiral McNitt , a distinguished naval officer, is the author of Sailing at the U.S. Naval Academy published by the Naval Institute Press.



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