Bellichick’s V Rings headed here; RWU sailor honored

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It hasn’t arrived yet — snow postponed that last week — but Brad Read says he already knows a few things about the latest addition to the Sail Newport fleet.

It’s seaworthy, it is in “immaculate condition,” and Sail Newport most certainly will not change this boat’s name.

“We may augment the graphics with images of seven Super Bowl rings. Tempted,” he added, “to put a huge ‘Roger That’ on the topsides.”

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Bellichick recently donated his beloved 24-foot Grady White fishing boat V Rings to Sail Newport. He owns a newer boat now — that one was commissioned a couple years ago as VI Rings and is about to have its name changed to VII Rings (in honor, of course of the number of Super Bowl rings collected by — five with the Pats, two with the Giants).

The boat bound for Newport began as IV Rings and was updated after Belichick’s third Super Bowl win in New England to V Rings. On days off (which he announced loudly during the parade that he and the team never take), this boat often took him out in pursuit of stripers and bluefish on Nantucket Sound.

IV Rings comes with a 225 hp Yamaha engine that is also in great condition.

“We were excited for the donation for many reasons.  It is a perfect size to support a wide variety of mission related programs that we have,” Read said. “Of course it has a pedigree as a great fishing boat owned by the greatest football coach of all time and we couldn't be more thrilled and grateful for him to have chosen us as a charity.”

Jeff Lichterman, CEO of Albury Brothers Boats and a mutual friend of Bellichick and Read, facilitated the gift.

“This has been in the worksHe knew we were looking for proper, seaworthy safety boats for our programs.  The Grady White is perfect for what we need to support educational and race management programs at Sail Newport,” Read said.

“Down the road,” there’s also another possibility. Given the fact that the boat’s value is enhanced considerably by its name and former owner, Sail Newport might consider seeing what someone would be willing to pay at auction for a boat once owned by Bill Bellichick — “but we have no timetable for that.”

RWU sailing star honored

Former Roger Williams University sailing star and two time Olympic Laser sailor Cy Thompson has been named Virgin Islands Sailor of the Year Award for 2016 by the Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA).

“Cy qualified early for Rio 2016 and trained with top sailors in the class the previous 18 months,” said VISA president, Phillip Shannon. “The last nine months up to the Olympics, he gave up his personal life and business opportunities to continue to train every day on and off the water to bring his best effort, which he did.”

Thompson, 28, is a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands and grandson of one of the territory’s first Olympic sailors, Rudy Thompson.

“I am very happy that VISA has rewarded my efforts for the many years I spent training and competing with the ultimate goal to race in the 2016 Olympic Games,” Thompson said.

Thompson, who competed in the Laser class at the 2012 Olympic Games in London where he finished 25th, qualified for the 2016 Games at the 2014 ISAF World Championships in Santander, Spain.

The award caps a year of achievement for Thompson. He won the CORK Olympic Class Regatta in Kingston, Canada, for the second year in a row. He then finished 8th at the Sailing World Cup Qingdao in China. Thompson started 2016 by placing 20th at the Sailing World Cup Miami and 24th in the Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma Mallorca, Spain, making it into the extremely competitive Gold fleet in each of these events.

“It is the greatest honor to carry your country’s flag at the Olympic Games,” Thompson said . “It is also very hard to put into words the emotions I felt when our VI team stepped into a stadium filled with 80,000-plus people cheering us on. It made me so proud coming from such a small nation and realizing the sacrifices we as athletes put ourselves through to earn that privilege. Parading in Maracana Stadium amongst 205 other countries was truly an unbelievable experience.”

On what advice Thompson (who started sailing at age 4) offers to young sailors in the U.S. Virgin Islands, he says it is all about enjoyment. “Make sure you don’t lose sight of why you sail. First and foremost, you really should love it and from there on everything else should fall into place whether you continue as a recreational sailor or take it to the next level of competitive sailing. Keeping it fun is essential to be a lifelong sailor.”

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.