Newport reminds me of Annapolis,” says Salvé Regina University freshman and Oxford native, Bob Lippincott. “It’s 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, the goal of which is to provide high-level training to top U.S. Opti 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 the 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. As a junior, Lippincott and his team sailed their way to a ninth place finish at the national fleet racing championship, the Mallory Cup, and a seventh place finish at the national team racing championship, the Baker Cup. Christchurch was by far the smallest school to earn a berth in both events. “It was really exciting,” he says. In his senior year, his team held the two-time Virginia Interscholastic Sailing Association State Championship title.
In the summer, he sails Club 420s, and of course, Stars, with APS Racer Profile alumna Barbara Vosbury. Lippincott’s grandfather, Robert L., won the Star World Championships in 1950. It’s in the genes. “They are one of my favorite boats to sail,” says the grandson.
Now on the varsity sailing team at his dream school in Newport, RI, Lippincott already sees improvement in his game 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,” he says. “Rhode Island weather is so much different than in Virginia and Maryland. I was the firston the team to put on a dry suit. It’s freezing! There are no opportunities to just wear a T-shirt and board shorts. You wear gear all the time.”
SpinSheet: Who are your sailing mentors?
Kenneth Andreasen, John Ingalls, Juan Carlos Romero, and my dad and mom.
Who are your best sailing buddies?
Peter Zendt, Laura Beigel, Sara Morgan Watters, Matt Lawler, and Sarah Muzyka.
Do you have a favorite sailing memory from 2010?
My first college regatta at Maine Maritime Academy. I sailed really well. It was a wonderful experience traveling with my new team and reconnecting with old Opti sailing buddies.
What kind of music do you listen to?
Bob Marley, Jimmy Buffett, sometimes college music like rap, but mostly old stuff like 1960s and 70s music.
What television shows do you watch?
I’m an outdoors guy. I’d rather be out bike riding or taking a run than watching TV.
What magazines do you read?
SpinSheet, Speed and Smarts, and Sailing World.
What other sports do you enjoy besides sailing?
Lacrosse, soccer, mountain biking, and ice hockey.
Do you have a morning routine before race day?
I get up an hour early to pack my bag and read over my notebook. I keep a performance log and notes for improvement. I stretch for 15 minutes and drink two bottles of water.
Do you ever go sailing just for fun?
I like to take out friends who don’t know how to sail on an old Hobie cat to enjoy the day.
What’s in your gear bag?
A Slam RC spray top, Gill spray pants, a Gill drysuit, Zhik dinghy boots, a Lotus Designs lifejacket, Neoprene socks, Gill winter gloves, and Kaenon sunglasses.
What are your sailing goals?
To become an All-American Collegiate Sailor and sail in the America’s Cup.
If you won the lottery, what kind of boat would you buy?
A Farr 40.