They Sail Big Boats, Too

For obvious reasons, including the cost, facilities, and number of crew required, big-boat sailing has remained on the fringe of college sailing.

But that said, opportunities do exit to sail large keelboats in college. Most of these are based around the fall McMillan Cup, the NEISA/MAISA big-boat championship, the Corinthians Regatta on Long Island Sound, and the spring Kennedy Cup, the closest thing to a national championship. The Naval Academy hosts both the McMillan and Kennedy cups in its Navy 44s. The winner of the Kennedy Cup earns the right the sail in the World Championship in France the following year.Because of this sparse schedule, many collegiate big-boat teams are hastily thrown together. For anyone committed to sailing big boats full-time in college, the Naval Academy in Annapolis, with its fleet of Navy 44s, is the obvious answer. The maritime academies in Maine, Massachusetts, and New York, along with the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., and St. Mary's College of Maryland, also have big boats in their fleets. Most also run summer programs.Other schools are welcome to put together a big-boat team. Boston College, Dartmouth, URI, Cornell, the University of Michigan, and the College of Charleston usually put together teams for the McMillan and Kennedy regattas. NEISA selects its McMillan representatives based on résumé, while MAISA runs eliminations. Without any real competition, schools from outside those two districts may be able to get a berth in the Kennedy Cup regatta just by applying.