All on hand at christening, but some did miss the boat

June 26, 1993|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

It was a beautiful day to christen a sailboat, a perfect, breezy Annapolis day, with a Supreme Court justice and the ambassador from New Zealand in attendance at the ceremony at the Naval Academy. The only thing missing was the boat.

Nance Frank and her all-female crew of 12 had been 60 miles off the Florida Keys a week ago training for the 33,000-mile Whitbread Round the World Race, one of the most grueling in yachting circles, when part of the mast of their 64-foot craft broke.

They repaired it in Fort Lauderdale, but realized that they would not be able to sail to Annapolis in time for the christening ceremony. In a show of international goodwill, the New Zealander who built the boat offered to sail it from Florida to Annapolis. The boat, which was to be christened the U.S. Womens Challenge, was expected to arrive last night, hours too late for the christening.

With Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Ambassador Dennis McLean booked for the event, the show was held at 4 p.m. as scheduled. "It's really fun to be in Annapolis this afternoon on this glorious day," said Justice O'Connor. "Even minus the boat."

The race starts Sept. 24 in Britain. Justice O'Connor gave her best wishes to Ms. Frank and the crew, the second all-female crew to compete in the race.

"Good luck, may God be with you," she said. "And don't just sail around the world in this competition. Win it!"

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