|High School:||Christchurch (Va.)|
"Newport reminds me of Annapolis," says Salve Regina University sophomore and Oxford native, Bob Lippincott. "Like Annapolis on steroids, all the boats, all the sailing, and seeing the America's Cup 12-metres during our sailing practice."
Born into a sailing family, Lippincott started on a Penguin with his parents, Richard and Pucky, at the age of five. He sailed solo on an Opti for the first time at age eight, the same year he entered the Tred Avon YC junior sailing program, which was a year early in those days.
For three years, Lippincott was on the Chesapeake Bay Optimist Team and then, on the U.S. Optimist National Team (USNT), the purpose of the USNT is to improve the level of Optimist sailing in the United States, by providing high-level training to top US Optimist sailors who compete internationally. In 2006, at the age of 15, he traveled to Lake Garda, Italy, with Team U.S.A. and finished 196th of 558 in the Optimist class.
"It was an experience of a lifetime! I was very pleased with my accomplishment. It was awesome and boosted my confidence."
Lippincott went to boarding school at Christchurch School in Christchurch, Va., where his sailing success ramped up in 420s and FJs. In the spring of his junior year, Lippincott's team qualified for two ISSA National Championships. His team sailed its way to a 9th place finish at the National Fleet Racing Championship, the Mallory Cup, in St. Petersburg, Fla. In late May, the team sailed to a 7th place finish at the National Team Racing Championship, the Baker Cup, in Redwood City, Calif. Christchurch, by far, was the smallest school to earn a berth in either national competition.
"It was quite the experience for me, to be able to represent Christchurch School at a national level."
In Lippincott's senior year, he served as captain and his team held the two-time Virginia Interscholastic Sailing Association State Championship title.
Now on the varsity sailing team at his dream school in Newport, R.I., Lippincott already sees improvement in his performance in collegiate 420s and FJs.
"The big difference between high school and college sailing is that the level of competition is so much harder in college. The starting line is twice as competitive; it requires twice as much skill."