Offshore Sailing

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by alexlocnj, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. alexlocnj

    alexlocnj Member

    Apr 2, 2018
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    So I recently met with the coach of the offshore sailing team during a visit this past week, and have a few questions. I have his email, so I might contact him with these questions, but I thought id test my luck here first.

    First question: Does the team workout? I am oddly stressed about this, as I work out a lot for my school lacrosse team, and am paranoid about not lifting. I was wondering if the team has team workouts, or if not there are still times to lift 3-4 times a week. Random, I know, but I know how big weightlifting is for many Mids, and dont want to miss out on that.

    Second, do the summer blocks with the team replace the cruises, or can I do both. One of the main things I look forward to if I get into the academy is the ability to go on a cruise on a destroyer. I noticed that much of the activity the team does is in the summer, so I was wondering if this would overlap with summer break or other training sessions. Thanks, AL
  2. THParent

    THParent Member

    Oct 15, 2017
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    I know absolutely zero about the offshore sailing team. It sounds neat.

    Plebe Summer is very restrictive, of course. The Summer is centered around getting you ready to join the Brigade at Reform, when the other 3,300 Mids come back to The Yard for the Academic (AC) Year.
    A good deal of that is physical training, culminating with a Physical Readiness Test (PRT) the day before Plebe Parent's Weekend - to measure your progress over those last 45 days - and to act as a baseline for your physical fitness before your next PRT (you must pass the PRT each year). After the AC year begins, your restrictions will gradually relax, and you'll be able to go to the weight room nearly as much as you want (time permitting). You may still get up at 0500 on the weekends and run and lift. My DS likes to take a break from studying to go lift sometimes to clear his head, then get back at it. All that is almost entirely up to you.

    "Summer Break" can be as short as you want to make it. I would imagine that if you were extremely motivated, you could fill up your entire summer with training. Several of these blocks last only three (3) weeks.
    I don't know how much leeway you'll have to choose where you go for training during your Youngster Summer, but I would imagine that getting on a DDG isn't terribly difficult if you keep your Order of Merit (OOM) high enough to make choices possible. That's just conjecture, though. I'm sure that there will be others who will chime in and give you much better information than I have. I'm just a Dad of a Plebe, after all. ;)

    The grind is difficult at USNA, on purpose. You may really be looking forward to a "Summer Break", so your thinking may change drastically.

    MIHOSER 5-Year Member

    Dec 23, 2009
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    My S was a member of VOST for 4 years. In the summer you will do a lot of racing but you will still do your cruises, etc. You will not do a YP cruise. You will miss most formal parades as you will be sailing up and down the Severn flying spinnakers as a colorful backdrop. He missed Herndon, having just returned from an extensive sailing exercise (Delmarva - see below).

    You will practice daily when weather allows and you will be on the water constantly. In 4 years my son raced, among others, Annapolis to Newport, Marion to Bermuda, Newport to Bermuda, Around Long Island, Marblehead to Halifax, Around Martha's Vineyard and NYYC Race Week in Newport. Great times!
    Each racing season starts with the cruise/race around the Delmarva Peninsula.
    Detroit2023 and THParent like this.
  4. Temple17

    Temple17 Member

    Jan 30, 2017
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    A couple guys in my company are on the offshore sailing team. They lift weights during lunch period daily and occasionally have workouts in the morning. Plus, you can always lift on your own during a off period. The sailing team is usually on the water during sports period.
    As far as summer blocks go, you might have to give up one of your blocks to compete in a race but there are still 2 other blocks where you could do a cruise or other summer training.
  5. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

    Mar 4, 2007
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    DD had some Blue Water experience in High School. Did Summer Annapolis to Newport Plebe Summer. Not a bad way to avoid Herndon.
  6. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

    Aug 27, 2010
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    I was a sailing coach at USNA after I graduated. VOST team members do take a "regular" cruise in addition to their sailing. Whether you get a destroyer or not is much more random and usually not a matter of grades or other merit type factor. As for lifting, you might be able to get into a small group with some teammates but you're more likely to do it with company/roommates early in the morning or during other free time. A few years back, the Intercollegiate (Dinghy) Team had a strength and conditioning coach that I think was shared with VOST but I don't think that they did frequent group workouts as so much of their time is spent on the water.
  7. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

    Sep 27, 2008
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    If it’s important to you, you will find time to do it. Instead of crawling into the rack for a nap or hitting your social media during a free period, you’ll run over to a weight room and knock out an efficient work out. You’ll figure it out. Time management skills get honed to a professional degree at the SAs.
    helmsdown likes this.
  8. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

    Jan 5, 2012
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    I did Offshore Sailing for a year (looong ago)., so some of my info is dated. I started with my youngster cruise on one of the yawls...That was 3-4 weeks on a grey ship, followed by 3 weeks on what were then the 44 Foot Luder's yawls (since replaced by the fleet of Navy 44's ). We had a few months or preparatory training sailing in the Bay before cruise. The cruise itself was great. We sailed from Charleston to Fort Lauderdale, stayed in Lauderdale for about a week, then sailed back to Annapolis non-stop.

    With that experience, I sailed on the offshore sailing team my Youngster year and the summer following. It is time consuming... practices out in the Bay or Boat maintenance during the afternoon athletic period, and often coming in late (excused) for evening meal formation. ( I believe evening meal formation is no longer, so that's one less restriction on how much time you can stay out on the water). Participation during the summer was voluntary, and largely dependent upon availability in between cruise and other obligations.

    Overall,it is a great experience. There is no better feeling than sailing offshore at night under a full moon, and the comradery of the off shore sailing team is great (although I suspect that is a little different now with a 21 year old drinking age and demonization of alcohol).
  9. TexMex2022

    TexMex2022 Member

    Nov 2, 2017
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    A bit outdated. The few changes are the races that are done and the availability of different types of vessels. We have the fleet of Navy 44s, along with various donated boats. All with a unique skill set such as buoy racing, day races, or overnight offshore races. The summer obligation is mandatory to remain part of the team and this year we got a bit shafted on the timing of the summer blocks. They replace your “professional development” training block with the Navy. As Old Navy BGO said, no more Evening Meal Formation, but that means they keep us until 1900. It’s a crazy time starting out, but if you have sufficient experience you may be moved up to the bigger boats your first semester plebe year. Though I would caution that the first semester you get to bond with your classmate is valuable. My experience is limited, but they give you all the knowledge you need.
  10. MABlue

    MABlue Member

    Jan 1, 2016
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    I can give you some present day info as it pertains to Offshore Sailing.
    1. Workouts: In the Fall, we do workouts during noon meal, where we have organized lifts, etc. During 2nd semester, before Spring Break, workouts happen during sports period, as it is too cold to be out on the water. After spring break they shift to the mornings. Plebes are separated from the upperclass for the fall season.
    2. Summer Training: A block of Training with the team replaces your PRODEV training(YP's, OSTS, STEM/NASS detail, etc.) You still do the mandatory warfare/fleet trainings(Surface Cruise, Protramid, 1/C Cruise). Sometimes summer blocks don't align with normal USNA training blocks, so there is a possibility of being restricted to a certain PROTRAMID/Cruise block(I was "restricted" to West Coast PROTRAMID).
    It's a very significant time commitment, but also a very cool opportunity that isn't feasible outside of a select few colleges.
    GreenGate1 likes this.