The Coast Guard Foundation and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association christened two brand new Leadership 44 training sailboats in New London, Conn. last week, the third and fourth boats delivered to the Academy so far in the ongoing Leadership 44 campaign.
The two boats, christened Stormy Petrel and Blue Goose, represent ongoing efforts between the Foundation, the Alumni Association, and the Coast Guard Academy Parents Association to provide eight brand new, state-of-the-art sailboats for Academy cadets.
Representing the Coast Guard Foundation at the christening was: Chairman of the Board, Robert Flynn, Directors Clay Maitland and Cherrie Felder, and President Anne B. Brengle.
Coast Guard Foundation Director Clay Maitland proudly displays the smashed champagne bottle used to christen Blue Goose Friday, July 27.
Second-class Cadet Jack Hall spoke at the christening ceremony, hailing the program as a crucial learning experience in his young military career. The coastal sail training program allows cadets their first true leadership opportunity, since they sail in small crews, developing seamanship skills and more.
"[The Academy] trusted us to plan and execute feats of navigation and seamanship required to get from port to port," Hall said. "And most importantly they trusted us with these beautiful vessels that you have so kindly provided us with."
The new sailboats will replace four aging sloops that cadets previously used for sail training. By doubling the size of the fleet, every cadet will now have a chance to take part in the coastal sailing program, where before, not every cadet had that opportunity.
Coast Guard Foundation President Anne B. Brengle spoke at the christening ceremony, and put simply how impressive the new sailboats are.
"The boats speak for themselves," Brengle said.
Designed by noted naval architect, David Pedrick, the Leadership 44 boats are high-end, sturdy vessels, made by Morris Yachts, a Maine-based shipyard.
Two additional boats are expected to come online very soon, as they're undergoing sea trials currently. The seventh and eighth boats are expected to be be finished early next year, completing the $7.5 million project.
Mr. and Mrs. Jim Tyler christening a new L-44 sailboat at the Coast Guard Academy on behalf of the CGA Alumni Association.