Newport Shipyard Personality: Rome Kirby

Shipyard Personality Rome Kirby, 24, with a sailing cv most veteran pro sailors would kill for, is Oracle Team USA's only American onboard. Rome grew up around the America's Cup starting in 1992 when his father, Jerry Kirby, joined the winning America3team in 1992. From a very early age his sights were set on reaching the top of the sport. At age 22, Rome cut his teeth on the Volvo Race aboard Puma.... based at Newport Shipyard, before going around the world from Alicante, Spain. He was the youngest crew member in the fleet.

When close buddy Nick Dana was asked what he thought drove Rome to such achievement, Nick said without hesitation, "the desire to reach that Holy Grail of sailing.. a 'Gold Card'' at the Cooke House." Rome, our job is to make sure David issues that card!

Whether it's moths, surfboards, kite sailing, Volvo 70's or AC 72's, Rome attacks all with single-minded focus and persistence. Nick and I were just in San Francisco where Oracleskipper Jimmy Spithill was quoted in the SF Chronicle ..."(Rome) is one of the best talents out there in the racing world and a phenomenal athlete." High praise. We have your back as well. Good luck in everything you do in life; you have already inspired us.

Sept 25, 2013: Great article on today's Wall Street Journal about Rome Kirby!

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Newport Shipyard Personality: "Baby Rose" Dana

An overwhelmingly popular ‘personality' around the Shipyard, Eli and Lauren's "baby Rose" reported for duty at just a few days old! Her first birthday was just at Belle's where she wowed the crowd.

Always loves the action. She can be found religiously at the counter of Belle’s munching on Blade’s scrambled eggs, and soon awaits her first Slammin' Shipyard Sandwich. The solid food thing is on the horizon!

Not surprising... her first steps were dockside, in the cockpit of Saint Roque. Sporting a big smile to all comers Rose has perfected a sort of 'royal wave'. The wave may be royal, but Rose has no airs about her... loves all of us unconditionally!


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Newport Shipyard Personality: Susan Grindell

When Sue arrived at Newport Shipyard in '08 every boat was a "ship". Uh-oh. After rigorous training led by Steve Fig, Rich Franklin and Sandy De Loura, Sue's Navy background was re-calibrated in a yachtie direction. She has become amazingly adept with crew, captains, owners, and yacht management companies. Not only can she zero in there, but has turned into a virtual Inspector Clouseau when it comes to my restaurant receipts... who, what, where, and could a different menu item have been chosen. One time she asked Bill Hall of the renowned Hall's Chop House in Charleston if his establishment even existed!!

I'm told that Sue loves country music and gardening, provided Bud Light is involved. Makes sense. But.... how those peaceful endeavors morph into such strong political beliefs I have yet to figure out. The "thread" that connects all these attributes may be her loyalty; Sue shines in being close knit with her family, even managing to keep her "Little Biscoito", Samantha, under her wing at the Shipyard for the past few summers as Sam worked her way through Salve Regina. She is, as well, close knit with her co-workers and the Shipyard 'family' of boats. A real member of the team.

Watch out the 2nd of each month, that's the day Susan launches grenades.... bills. Once the bills are out, Sue then logs back into what she loves best.... Mario Kart.


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Newport Shipyard Personality: Brad Read

Brad Read's team at Sail Newport worked hard for a Newport Volvo Ocean Race stopover, announced yesterday. He had lots of help from the State (thank you!) and Newport for sure, but Brad stands out. All of Little Rhody is grateful for their efforts, particularly us salty dogs in Newport. The Volvo is but one in a long string of things that Brad has quietly spearheaded for all of us. We salute you, Brad!

"Newport has a hearty population of VOR veteran sailors -- maybe more than any other city in the US -- making the stopover here that much sweeter," said Nick Dana, who sailed with Team Abu Dhabi last time. "Guys like Kenny Read, Jerry Kirby, Rome Kirby, Casey Smith, Justin Clougher, Amory Ross, Justin Smith, Kimo Worthington, Kenny Nevor and many more all live in Newport and have invested years preparing and racing for this race", said Dana.

The Shipyard also has close ties. US team Puma Ocean Racing was based here prior to the 2007-08 and 2011-12 Volvo. Thousands visited during the wind-up both times to see PUMA's boats and rub shoulders with the team who called the Shipyard home. Rigger Jimmy Correia even did "house calls" to Boston during the US stopover in 2008 to help haul and launch the boats.

"Having the Volvo Ocean Race visit Newport continues to put us on the map in the sailing world. The America's Cup World Series last year, that Brad worked so tirelessly on, brought tens of thousands of people... huge success, as will the Volvo stopover. We love that so many share Brad's enthusiasm and vision", said Eli Dana.

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