The Landing School to graduate 73 students; Rives Potts to deliver keynote

On June 20, The Landing School will celebrate its 36th annual commencement, graduating 73 diploma and eight associate degree students. Graduates in the Marine Systems, Yacht Design, Composite Boat Building and Wooden Boat Building programs will hear from speaker Rives Potts, president of Brewer Yacht Yards.

Graduates from this year’s class hail from five countries and 15 states. Seventeen diploma recipients will be returning to The Landing School in the fall to complete their Associate’s Degree in Marine Industry Technology. Several Yacht Design students will carry on their studies, working toward a Bachelor of Engineering in Yacht Design and Production (Hons.) through a partnership with Southampton Solent University in the United Kingdom. Other graduates are headed towards positions at Brewer Yacht Yards (ME) and crewing the historic schooner Eleanor (ME), to name a few.

This year’s keynote speaker, Rives Potts, is experienced in every dimension of boating. A graduate engineer of the Virginia Military Institute with an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School, Rives serves on the Board of Trustees of The Landing School and is Commodore of the New York Yacht Club.

In addition, Potts is an international sailing star. A Richmond, Va., native, Potts first got hooked on sailing at Fishing Bay where the waters of the Piankatank River meet the Chesapeake Bay in Deltaville. The passion he developed for open water sailing has led Potts to success in the world’s most prestigious races, including five America’s Cup campaigns, multiple regattas in the U.S. on both coasts, and most of the world’s biggest long-distance ocean races including the 635-mile Newport Bermuda Race (23 times) and the venerable Rolex Fastnet Race and the Sydney – Hobart Race. In 2010 he was named Yachtsman of the Year by the New York Yacht Club and last year was elected Commodore of the 168-year-old club.

Today, Potts is a boat builder and president of Brewer Yacht Yard Group. Mostly sailing with his close friends and their sons and daughters, 2011 saw Potts’ CARINA, an aluminum workhorse designed by McCurdy & Rhodes and built in 1969, sail a year-long 40,000-mile trip around the globe, including three Atlantic crossings, one Pacific crossing and one Indian Ocean crossing, and over 5,000 miles of racing in the United States, Bermuda, Europe and Australia. Carina’s trip was skippered by Potts’ son Walker, 26, and nephew, Rives Sutherland, 26, who with his other son, Allen, have been sailing on Carina since they were small children. Potts will be leaving with his crew aboard Carina next week on the Transatlantic Race from Newport, R.I. to Cowes, England.

In addition to the commencement festivities, students, families and the community will enjoy a launch party on June 19 at Chicks Marina in Kennebunkport, Maine. The Wooden Boat Building program students will christen and launch four LS-17 Sports Utility Runabouts while Composite Boat Building students will christen and launch eight composite kayaks. The event is free and open to the public and will feature community exhibits, raffles and refreshments in addition to the boat christening and launching. More information about this event can be found at


About The Landing School

Headquartered in Arundel, Maine, The Landing School is a full-time post-secondary school that blends education in modern yacht design, boat building and marine systems technology under one roof. Founded in 1978, The School’s inaugural program focused on Wooden Boat Building. Today, the school has grown to incorporate diploma and Associate’s degree curriculums with concentrations in four programs: Wooden Boat Building, Composite Boat Building, Marine Systems and Yacht Design. The Landing School’s driving force is to bridge the gap between theory and practice, providing graduates with the skills and understanding necessary for current employment opportunities and future career growth. The Landing School is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). The Landing School is also approved as an institution of higher education by the Maine State Approving Agency for Veterans Education Programs. For more information about The School and their programs, please visit

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