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International Champion race boat donated to US Naval Academy

by Lieutenant Eric K Rolfs on 30 Apr 2010
Invictus April 2010 United States Naval Academy
Commander Chris Thomassy, Director, U.S. Naval Academy Sailing, announced today that Mr. and Mrs. John Kilroy Jr. of Malibu and San Francisco, California USA have donated their modified TransPac IRC 52 high performance racing sailboat Samba PA TI to the Varsity Offshore Sailing Team (VOST) program at the United States Naval Academy.

'On behalf of Naval Academy Sailing, I would like to thank Mr. Kilroy for his generous contribution to our varsity offshore sailing program,' said Commander Thomassy. 'Navy Sailing competes to win! The addition of a TransPac-52 to our fleet ensures our program remains world-class, and provides us a significant platform for character and leadership development of future American naval officers.”

The TransPac 52, renamed Invictus (Latin for 'unconquered”) by the graduating class of 2010 VOST members as it is their class motto, was designed by Spain’s Botin Carkeek Yacht Design and built by the world renowned Cookson Boats of New Zealand in 2006-07.

The boat was featured in the 2007 movie “Morning Light” about the Transpacific Yacht Race, in which she won her division. Among her other notable achievements,SAMBA PA TI was the Overall Winner of the 2007 Waikiki Offshore Series, the 2007 and 2008 Rolex Big Boat Series IRC Division Regattas and the St. Francis Perpetual Trophy for both years in San Francisco, CA.

In her first regatta in Annapolis, the 2008 IRC East Coast Championship, she was the overall winner and made a clean sweep in the 2009 TransPac Race by being the first to finish in her division, winning the coveted Barn Door award (fastest elapsed time of all of human powered traditionally designed sailboats), the King Kalakaua Trophy (best corrected time in the race), the Governor of Hawaii Trophy; the W.H. Steward Memorial Trophy; the Harry Uhler Memorial Trophy; and the trophy for the Shortest Elapsed Time for a sailboat under 73 Feet. The boat comes with an amazing pedigree!


In considering the future of the yacht, Mr. Kilroy realized that he wouldn’t be sailing his 52’ much in 2010 and possibly into 2011. Asked about his reasoning behind donating the boat to the U. S. Naval Academy, he commented “What better way to give something back to the sport and to the people of the military than to donate a world class racer at the top of its game to the Naval Academy,” he explained.

Currently the boat is out on the water Monday thought Friday as the midshipmen of the Naval Academy learn to sail this very fast and complicated racing machine.

Invictus won her inaugural regatta on the Chesapeake Bay 24 April 2010 and has a full schedule in the coming months with plans to do an offshore circumnavigation of the Delmarva Peninsula in May and spend the month of June participating in the Onion Patch Regattas and the 2010 Newport Bermuda Race.

Invictus’ crew is led by 2/C Peter Gibbons-Neff of Radnor, PA, followed by 2/C Chris Burke Missoula, MT, 2/C Alaina DiBiasie Saugus, MA, 2/C James Allsopp Annapolis, MD, 2/C Clark Hayes East Haddam, CT, 3/C Colin Nevins Bridgeport, CT, 3/C Chris Paulson Kodiak, AK, 4/C Stephen Jaenke Annapolis, MD, 4/C Sam Ross Riverside, IL, 4/C Andrew Shea Barrington, RI, 4/C Mary Cox Columbus, MS, 4/C Pat Duffett Grosse Ile, MI, and 4/C Dan Diaz Woodland, CA.

The yacht will be formally christened with the new name in a ceremony on Saturday 1 May 2010 at the United States Naval Academy.

For more information about the Naval Academy visit: www.usna.edu
And for further information on VOST, visit: www.usna.edu/sailingteam

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