by Jake Fish
Community Sailing Awards for this past year were announced at US Sailing’s 2012 National Sailing Symposium at the Hilton Long Beach (California) last weekend. The impressive list of worthy award winners are:
Morgan Collins, Executive Director of Sail Sand Point, received the Marty Luray Award for his contributions to public access sailing. He helped grow Sail Sand Point to become the largest community sailing center in the Pacific Northwest. His development of creative educational programming for families has invigorated the sail base in the greater Seattle area. Collins inspired a plan that allowed community sailing programs to be recognized for their outstanding programming and facilities.
This plan became known as the Community Sailing Sanctioning Program (CSSP). Collins is a member of the Small Boat National Faculty and is Community Sailing Council’s nominee for Council Chair in 2012-13.
Creative Innovations in Programming - Drayton Harbor Maritime Community Sailing School (Blaine, Wash.): This community sailing school was recognized for their notable contributions in promoting public access sailing in the development of new and different forms of teaching sailing. They did a remarkable job at building relationships in the community that made an overwhelmingly positive influence on their programming.
Local schools, yacht clubs, marinas, suppliers, media outlets and many others contributed to the school’s success. Working relationships were established with the Sea Scouts, Coast Guard Academy, and the Power/Sail Squadron for safety training. The school also developed a successful youth scholarship program.
Excellence in Instruction - John Morris, Leo Robbins Community Sailing Center (Ventura, Calif.): John Morris is a US Sailing Certified Instructor and valued member of the Community Sailing Staff. His quality instruction continues to meet and exceed the standards of US Sailing and upholds the traditions of the Leo Robbins Community Sailing Center. Morris, who is a full-time college student, has dedicated his time to providing top notch instruction. He has utilized his position as Lead Instructor to mentor new instructors, ensure classes are safe, inspire enthusiasm and foster a fun atmosphere.
Ten years of Hallmark Performance - United States Sailing Center – Long Beach (Long Beach, Calif.): This US Sailing Center has been an extremely active participant in community sailing for the past fifteen years. The USSCLB has routinely hosted events that established strong community sailing roots in the area. They held at-risk youth sailing events for the Long Beach Boys and Girls Club, the NAACP, and local schools. Their disabled sailing events averaged over 500 participants a year.
The State of California Department of Boating and Waterways funded safe boating programs. Sailing instruction was open to the community. They host a program that provides students with mental disabilities self-sufficiency through sailing activities. USSCLB also hosted high school and college sailing events.
Outstanding Contributions to the Development of Community Sailing - Rich White, Clearwater Sailing Center (Clearwater, Fla.): Rich White is one of the most experienced and decorated instructors in the US Sailing training network. He is a certified instructor in Basic Keelboat, Cruising and Powerboat, Small Boat – Level 1, 2, 3, Small Boat IT – Level 1, 2, and a US Coast Guard licensed Captain. White is the Program Director for the Clearwater Sailing Center.
He has introduced paddleboards to the organization’s curriculum and built a relationship with Sailability, a disabled sailing group, which has helped increase their community involvement. In 2013, the Clearwater Sailing Center will host US Sailing’s National Sailing Program Symposium for the second time.
Outstanding Director of a Seasonal Program - Marcin Kunicki, Community Boating – Boston (Boston, Mass.): Marcin Kunicki is the Universal Access Program Director for Community Boating in Boston, Mass. Kunicki is described as an invaluable resource for organizations looking to develop and sustain disabled sailing programs. Under Kunicki’s watch, CBI has the capability to serve people with a wide range of disabilities. CBI experienced incredible growth in 2011 in the form of new members and an increased number of overall sailing events and appointments.
Outstanding Director of a Year Round Program - Kate Neubauer, Lake Champlain Community Sailing (Burlington, Vt.): As Executive Director of the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center, Kate Neubauer has run a program that continues to flourish. Neubauer has lead the charge for her club in the development of several unique programming opportunities, including an entire slate of mission-based programs that focus on the environment, adaptive sports, leadership, women’s sailing and affordable youth sailing projects.
Outstanding Leadership - Tom O'Connell, Old Greenwich Community Sailing (Greenwich, Conn.): Tom O’Connell initiated a program that focused on creating opportunities for at-risk youth non-sailors to learn how to sail. In conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, O’Connell helped raise funds for the program, which included at least one day a week sailing in Mercury’s for program participants. O’Connell’s vision is to grow the program to big boat sailing in the future.
Outstanding New Program - DC Sail, Schooner Program (Washington, D.C.): DC Sail offers a week-long Sailing and Marine Studies program to youth, ages 12 to 18. The five-day camp, which takes place on the schooner American Spirit, aims to educate students on subjects pertaining to sailing on a schooner, seamanship, local history and marine science. Participants are responsible for all crew responsibilities and learn the skills necessary to sail a 65 foot schooner, including piloting, navigating and crew coordination. In one week, students gain the experience and skills to crew aboard the American Spirit.
Outstanding Organizational Support - Joseph Sullivan, SUNY-Maritime (Throggs Neck, N.Y.): Captain Joseph Sullivan has been instrumental in supporting and expanding SUNY-Maritime’s efforts to provide sailing, powerboating and summer camps in the Bronx area. He has recently been certified to become a Basic Keelboat and Safe Powerboat Handling Instructor. Sullivan has played a vital role in the support of affordable community sailing, summer boat camps, offshore sailing team and improved facility operation.
Outstanding Outreach and Inclusion - Rincon Sailing (Puerto Rico): Rincon Sailing, located on the west coast of Puerto Rico, has followed the US Sailing Small Boat Sailing curriculum since it started operating. After two years of trailering boats to the municipal boat ramp and setting up a tent on the beach for a shaded 'classroom,' Rincon Sailing found a home in the winter months of 2010.
The nearby Club Nautico de Rincon building reopened after being closed. Their Youth Summer Sailing Academy has grown over the years, thanks to word of mouth and numerous boat donations and acquisitions. They also hosted a US Sailing Counselor Course and offer adult sailing lessons year round.
Outstanding Program for Disabled Sailors - Lake Harriet Yacht Club Adaptive Sailing Program (Minneapolis, Minn.): Since 2007, the Lake Harriet Yacht Club’s Adaptive Sailing Program has empowered sailors with disabilities to experience the sport. On a weekly basis, volunteers at LHYC help sailors rig the vessels, embark and disembark. They also assist with on-the-water coaching and safety measures. The club has been successful in making modifications to adaptive sailing vessels, which has improved the overall experience for the sailors.
Outstanding Seasonal Program - Andy and Jaime Mack, Hood River Education (Hood River, Ore.): Although the Columbia River Gorge has a reputation for being a challenging setting to teach sailing, this has not discouraged Andy and Jaime Mack. In 2005, the Macks purchased five Optis and began a summer learn-to-sail program with Hood River Community Education, a department of the Hood River School District.
They expanded and began hosting weekly open sailing night, where members of the community could sail the boats free of charge. Jaime and Andy work together tirelessly to manage all of the tasks required to run the program. Jaimie hires instructors, coordinates work parties, recruits volunteer assistants, and performs bookkeeping, while Andy is in charge of maintenance and upkeep of the boats and facilities.
Outstanding Year Round Program - Edison Sailing Center (Fort Myers, Fla.): Led by Stephanie and Ross Webb, the Edison Sailing Center is the only program in the U.S. that is both a Sanctioned Community Sailing Center and Powerboat School. They have developed a substantial number of partnerships with area organizations including the Boys and Girls Scouts.
For 14 years, they have served as the host for one of US Sailing’s annual Junior Olympic events, and have also served as the venue for the Florida Gulf Coast University sailing team. They provide annual adventure sailing opportunities with a service focus to Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas, to local barrier islands, and to Honduras. Their classes offer instruction on marine safety, inshore fishing, shark education and traditional sailing tracks. One of their key promotional points is that no student will ever be turned away for an inability to pay.
Learn more about these US Sailing Awards.