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A Bit of USNSA History

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Robert Mcwethy

The USNSA started as a primarily active duty organization with the Norfolk Naval Sailing Association and then the idea to link with a few other Navy sailing clubs already existing.  CAPTs Jake Vandergrift and "Cy" Rotrige ChC based their concept on the Royal Naval Sailing Association which was 25 years old by 1962.  I became involved initially as Commodore of NNSA.  CAPT Bob Steele was an author of the constitution and bylaws.  Dues were two dollars a year.  I relieved then RADM Rotrige as USNSA secretary as a retirement project.  At that time in 1972 CAPT Steele was in charge of Naval Academy sailing.  He provided office space for USNSA.  We enjoyed support at all levels of the Navy.  The organization continued to grow to include Navy marinas and sailing clubs as well as NROTC units.  Successive Chiefs of Naval Education and Training served as Commodore.  All was going quite well until "on high" decreed that active duty personnel could not serve as officers of an unofficial organization.  That made service difficult, to say the least.