Festivities in Newport surrounding the Volvo Ocean Race are not the only significant sailing activities in Rhode Island waters on Saturday.
Roger Williams University in Bristol will cut the ribbon on its new $3 million sailing center in conjunction with the 11th Annual Captain’s Cup, a regatta featuring current RWU sailors, alumni sailors and their parents.
That the facility on the shore of Mt. Hope Bay is not quite finished will hardly dampen the enthusiasm of the Hawks sailing family for their sport. Dave Kemmy, the athletics director, is optimistic that supporters will come up with the $66,000 needed to reach the $3-million goal at the post-regatta party.
And when will the Hawks be able to move into their new home?
“It should be completed and ready for occupancy June 15-18. We’re excited about that,” Kemmy said on Friday. “We’re doing the ribbon cutting tomorrow because the Captain’s Cup was already scheduled.”
The severe winter weather hampered construction “and made a difference in the schedule,” Kemmy said. Late in the week the upper level of the structure remained under wraps, storage containers, construction equipment and lumber were parked in the fenced approach area and boulders the size of Mini Coopers and a huge pile of dirt awaited moving.
When it is done, the Richard L. Bready Mount Hope Bay Sailing and Education Center will be a beauty. There will be locker rooms, offices, a classroom and conference room. Wet sailing gear will dry overnight in a dehumidified room. There will be space for the storage and repair of boats and for kayaks and paddleboards. All waterfront programs will operate from the new facility.
The sailing center will also enable Roger Williams to host major events, the first of which is the U.S. Youth National Championships July 6-10.
“We would never have been able to host this before,” Kemmy said. “We had sheds down there. Now we have a $3-million building.”