IYRS graduation set for May 31

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Students graduating from the boatbuilding restoration program at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, R.I., will launch their boats on May 31.

International yachtsman Robert McNeil, who owns and is funding the restoration of Coronet on the IYRS campus, will speak at the ceremonies.

McNeil, a biotech venture capitalist from San Mateo, Calif., and a managing director of Sanderling Ventures, has a long history in yachting, including funding the Zephyrus maxi racing campaign.

Prior to taking on the $15 million Coronet restoration, he funded the restoration of Cangarda, a 126-foot steel hull steam yacht, at the Rutherford Boatyard in Richmond, Calif. Cangarda has been a regular visitor to Newport and the IYRS marina.

McNeil has documented both restorations with major cable network partners and filmmakers. He will share some stories and his own thoughts about the IYRS and the school’s graduates, as well as the importance of saving America’s on-the-water treasures for future generations.

The public is welcome to join the ceremony and launching festivities and see the fine craftsmanship the students produced. Graduation ceremonies begin at the IYRS Newport campus (449 Thames St.) at 10 a.m. inside Restoration Hall. After the speaking and the certificate award program, the audience is invited to the school docks to watch the launch of the newly restored boats.

Graduates of the IYRS’s composites technology and marine systems programs, who matriculated from their six-month programs in September 2013 and March of this year, also will be honored May 31. Eighty-five percent of the graduates from these programs are now working.

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