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U.S. Naval Academy’s Sailing Squadron to Dock in Charleston
Posted on: June 11, 2014 08:00 EDT
Press Release #: #060-14
ANNAPOLIS, Md.— Thirty-four midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy will sail to the port of Charleston, S.C. on Friday, June 13, and stay through Sunday, June 15.
The Naval Academy Sailing Squadron boats will be docked at the Charleston Maritime Center and will be available for touring on Saturday, June 14, and Sunday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., dependent on weather conditions. This is a great opportunity to meet midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy.
The midshipmen are sailing from Annapolis, Md. on four 44-foot sail training vessels. These young men and women are participating in an offshore professional development program designed to provide experience in navigation, seamanship, and small unit leadership responsibilities. This experience allows them to integrate skills learned at the Academy during their first year of study. Some midshipmen return the following summers as either skippers or executive officers in the program, providing further command opportunities.
The sailing craft in which these midshipmen train are the latest of four generations of one-design offshore cruiser-racers to be authorized for the training of midshipmen. Midshipmen began sailing in a fleet of identical 44-foot wooden yawls at the end of World War II. After 25 years of service, these vessels were replaced by 12 fiberglass yawls with the same exterior lines as the original boats designed by Naval Architect Bill Luders, but with an interior auxiliary diesel engine. After another 25 years of offshore and Chesapeake Bay sailing, a sloop rigged craft designed specifically for use by midshipmen, was commissioned. McCurdy & Rhodes, Inc. of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., designed the boats, and the first was placed in service in 1988.
Midshipmen on this training exercise are on the newest model of Navy 44, designed by David Pedrick. The first boat of this series was delivered in 2007. The Navy 44 has proven to be a very successful design, and a fitting successor to the famous Luders yawls which gave generations of Midshipmen a professional appreciation for wind, waves, weather and command responsibility, and introduce them to the pleasure and excitement of going to sea under sail.
Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy today is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be professional officers in the naval service. More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects like small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, leadership, ethics and military law. Upon graduation, Midshipmen earn a tax-payer funded Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 25 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.