Chessie , one of the nine Whitbread Round-the-World racers, and the Navy 44 sloop Swift , one of a class of 20 at the U.S. Naval Academy, are vastly different in concept yet are much alike in two important respects. Both of these boats are superbly designed for their intended use, and their ocean-racing crews make the most of them by driving the boats and themselves to the absolute limits of performance and endurance, night and day, in long distance races. For the Whitbread sailors, this 32,000 mile race is the ultimate test of extreme sailing. For midshipmen, racing offshore and around the buoys is as close as they can come to combat experience in the environment in which they will serve.