The annual intercollegiate sailing season came to a close last week with the end of a 10-day series at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., including the ICYRA Women's Nationals, the ICYRA Dinghy Nationals and the ICYRA Team Racing Nationals.
When the series ended, the Naval Academy's Intercollegiate Sailing Team was honored with the prestigious Fowle Trophy, awarded to the team displaying the depth, consistency and versatility to be the top overall performer through a weighted-scoring, five-regatta series, including the three events at Charleston as well as the ICYRA Single-handed and Sloop Nationals earlier in the year.
It was Navy's 13th Fowle award since 1977.
"The selection of Navy to receive the Fowle Trophy is a true sign of the excellence and commitment made by each Naval Academy Sailing Squadron member and our outstanding coaches, Gary Bodie, Doug Clark and James Theiler," said Cmdr. Chip Barber, director of Naval Academy sailing. "I am extremely proud of each and every one of our fine men and women sailors."
In addition to several individual Navy sailors selected for special recognition, such as listing on the All-American and Outstanding Women Skippers rolls, Annapolis-area sailors from the sailing team at St. Mary's College in St. Mary's City received similar high honors at Charleston.
Named to the 20-person All-American list from Navy were Willie Graves, Susie Minton, Mike O'Bryan and Brad Rodi, along with St. Mary's sailors Scott Nixon and Tim Healy.
Rodi also was designated 1992's College Sailor of the Year, while St. Mary's team captain Sean Healey of Brielle, N.J., received the Robert H. Hobbs Trophy for outstanding sportsmanship. These awards are two of the highest national honors in intercollegiate sailing.
The 1992 Outstanding Women Skippers list of 10 honorees nationally includes Navy's Minton and St. Mary's sophomore Bell Hughes.
Minton, who graduated from the Naval Academy last month, is no stranger to such honors, having distinguished herself often during her Navy sailing career.
Hughes, daughter of George and Madeline Hughes of Annapolis and an alumnus of the highly regarded Severn Sailing Association Junior Program, is a newcomer to this prestigious list and likely will have more success in collegiate sailing ahead of her.
Named to the five-person All-American Honorable Mention list were Navy's Dave Fagen and St. Mary's Bill Healy. Navy's Jennifer Jones and Reid McLaughlin, and St. Mary's Melanie Jubb and Samantha Rosemont were recognized on the 20-person Outstanding Crew list.
Minton, with crew Jennifer Jones, and Hughes, with Karen Raley of Hollywood as her crew, finished first and second, respectively, in the A Division of the Women's Nationals. The St. Mary's team finished third overall, behind winning Dartmouth and second-place Charleston, with Navy fourth overall.
In the Dinghy Nationals, widely considered to be the most important collegiate sailing event, Navy's team of Minton, Graves, O'Bryan and Rodi took a close second behind Dartmouth, while St. Mary's was third.
The tie-breaker for first in the Team Race Nationals went to defending champion Navy after some of the most exciting and competitive racing of the series. St. Mary's tied for fifth in its first year of competition in the event, for which teams must qualify in regional competition.
"Team racing is our specialty," said Coach Bodie of the event, which Navy has won six times in the past 14 years. "We put a lot of emphasis on it and take a lot of pride in team racing, and I'm pleased to say the Mids reaped the benefits of an excellent season."
Severn Sailing Association's Spring III Regatta last weekend for Thistles, Lightnings, International 505s and International 14s was a first-rate event with plenty of breeze, sunny skies and hot competition.
Race Committee chairman Rob Bonney reported that the southerly breezes for Saturday's two Olympic course races and a four-legged triangle course ranged from about 12 knots at the start of the first race to a steady 16 later in the day. Sunday's air, also from the south, was solidly in the 10- to 12-knot range for an additional two races, another triangle-windward four-legger, and a five-legged windward-leeward.
"We had good wind and beautiful weather both days," Bonney said. "It was just a great weekend to be out sailing. There was just enough breeze for the [downwind] runs without being totally ridiculous."
New Jersey sailor Brent Barbehenn nailed the Thistle series with a straight series of five aces for the best score of the regatta.
In other classes, competition for the top was intense, particularly in the 505s, where Macy Nelson and Ali Meller found themselves in an unbreakable tie for first when each had racked up two firsts, two seconds and a fourth-place finish by regatta's end.