by Jake Fish
Friday evening at the Annual Meeting Awards Dinner at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, an impressive list of sailing contributors were presented with US Sailing’s highest honors.
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Dick Rose (Seattle, Wash.) received the prestigious Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy for his outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing. Joni Palmer (Annapolis, Md.) was presented the 2012 Timothea Larr Award for her outstanding contributions to the advancement of sailor education. The Corinthian Sailing Club on White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas earned the St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy for their outstanding organization and execution in race management and operations for the 2011 Championship of Champions. Pat Seidenspinner (St. Petersburg, Fla.) was awarded the Harman Hawkins Award for the major role she has played in the advancement of race administration.
President’s Awards were given to US Sailing Secretary Fred Hagedorn (Chicago, Ill.), US Sailing Treasurer Leslie Keller (Kirkland, Wash.), and US Sailing Board members Stan Honey (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Walter Chamberlain (Bay St. Louis, Miss.). Special citations were also given to US Sailing President Gary Jobson (Annapolis, Md.) and Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.). Recognition awards for service to the sport were presented to Charley Cook (Marblehead, Mass) for his representation as a U.S. Delegate to the International Sailing Federation, US Sailing Race Management Committee Chairman Tom Farquhar (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Peter Reichelsdorfer (Sheboygan, Wis.).
Dick Rose has been an advocate for fair sailing throughout his career. His efforts to simplify the racing rules and make sailing easier to learn has made a major impact on the growth of sailing at all levels. Rose has been a member of the ISAF Rules Committee since 1991, and served as the Chairman since 2009. He was also been a member of US Sailing’s Rules Committee. He was an advisor to the US Olympic Sailing Team in Pusan, Barcelona and Los Angeles. He is a US Sailing Senior Judge and has served as the Chief Judge for the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. Rose is author and contributor to the 'Rules Corner' in Sailing World magazine.
'Dick has the rare gift of speaking with anyone, and when that person walks away from the conversation, the individual feels educated, appreciated and respected,' said Fred Hagedorn. 'We are fortunate to have Dick so heavily involved in our sport, and although we are recognizing him for a lifetime of achievement, we fully expect he will continue to add to his achievements in the years ahead.'
Rose has been a competitive sailor for more than 50 years in classes such as, the International 14, Laser, Snipe, Lightning, and Penguin, to name a few. Rose is a former International 14 World Team Racing Champion. He was a runner-up at the National Collegiate Sailing Championship.
Joni Palmer has been sailing, training sailors and promoting the sport her entire life. Palmer graduated from Miami University of Ohio where she was honored as one of the first female Collegiate All American skippers. She went on to coach the sailing team at the University of California at Irvine while teaching sailing at Newport Harbor Yacht Club. She was subsequently recruited by San Diego Yacht Club to become one of the first year-round sailing program directors in the country.
After ten years in Southern California, she moved to Annapolis, Md. where she had a long term successful consulting business promoting sailing and sail training. During this time, she conducted over 80 regional sailing program management seminars around the country and contracted with over 25 individual sailing programs to start or fine-tune their operations. She conducted more than 60 US Sailing Instructor Training courses and ran dozens of on-the-water clinics for beginning youth sailors to potential Olympians. Joni developed, managed and produced 15 US Sailing National Sail Training Symposiums. She was also the Executive Director of the US Optimist Dinghy Association and is responsible for its explosion in the US. She also worked with a program that specialized in teaching sailing to youth with learning differences and another program that worked with at risk youth.
Palmer was recruited by the US Naval Academy to work for them in all aspects of organizing and conducting their sailing program, including competitive racing, administration, and basic sail training. Her current focus is developing, organizing and executing the summer basic sail training program for the 1,200 incoming freshman. This includes training and managing a staff of 120 Midshipmen.
Palmer has been extremely active in US Sailing. She was instrumental in the development stages of the small boat instructor training program, brought US Sailing’s National Sailing Program Symposium to the professional level it is today, and jump started the successful US Sailing One Design Sailing Symposium. Palmer has been an active member of every US Sailing committee that deals with training, youth sailing, or community sailing. She was a member of the US Sailing delegation to ISAF and was honored to serve as a US Sailing Vice President for three years.
She inspired me to approach the yacht club that employed me during the summer and create a full-time junior director position,' said Holland 'Cappy' Capper, Executive Director of the Wayzata Community Sailing Center. 'It was an opportunity that changed my life as I am still teaching and coaching full-time today.'
Pat Seidenspinner has been contributing to excellence in race administration for many years. As a member of US Sailing’s Race Management Committee, she was editor of its Race Management Handbook for nearly to 15 years. She has also been the Secretary of the Appeals Committee since 2000, and editor of the Appeals Book.
Seidenspinner served as Chairman of the Race Administration Committee, and as a member of both the US Sailing Board of Directors and Executive Committee. She was one of the first women to hold many of these positions; such as the Principal Race Officer for the Southern Ocean Racing Conference and many other championships hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club (Fla.); International Race Officer for the International Sailing Federation (ISAF); Principal Race Officer at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta; and Commodore of St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
In 2008, Pat received the Leadership in Women's Sailing Award from BoatUS and the National Women's Sailing Association.
The Corinthian Sailing Club played host to US Sailing’s Championship of Champions for the Jack Brown Trophy, in October of 2011. Twenty teams from around the country convened in Dallas for racing in Flying Scots on White Rock Lake.
Competitors of the race expressed their overwhelming satisfaction with the club’s outstanding display of organization in race management and operations. Positive reviews were conveyed regarding the on-water and off-water personnel that ran everything from housing, to transportation, to food and beverage, to repairs on the water, and especially the 20 round robin races over three days.
'I wanted to write to express my gratitude for being treated to one of the finest events I have ever sailed,' said PJ Patin. 'From the greeting, to hospitality, to the race management and boat management, this was a fantastic and memorable regatta.'
Notable contributors were Principal Race Officer Mark Foster, Regatta Chairman Bob Gough, and CSC Commodore Jim O’Connor. CSC members volunteered their homes, their time and their talents to run the regatta.
The Corinthian Sailing Club previously received this award in 1986 for the US Team Racing Championship. The St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy is awarded annually. It was named after the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for recognition in running the best regattas. Since 1977, US Sailing has selected the winner on the basis of race management support and evaluation by participating skippers.
In his role as the Chairman Olympic Sailing Committee from 2004 to 2012, Brenner led athletes, coaches, staff and volunteers training for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in London, England. Under Brenner’s leadership, the 2008 Olympic Sailing Team returned home from Beijing, China with gold and silver medals. Since taking on this challenge, he has led a turnaround of U.S. Olympic Sailing that includes over a 300% increase in its funded budget over the last eight years, including a significant increase in direct athlete support.
Brenner has been a US Sailing board member since 2000. He was a member of US Sailing’s Executive Committee (2003-2004), Vice-Chair of the Olympic Sailing Committee (2002-2004), and Chair of the Sailor Athlete Council (2000-2004).
Brenner is a six-time national and North American champion, was a member of the US Sailing Team for three years and finished second at the 2000 US Olympic Trials. During his six-year campaign for the Olympic Team, Brenner spearheaded a fundraising effort that netted nearly $1 million in support for his team.
He has won the U.S. Match Racing Championship four times, and led Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club’s team racing squad to five consecutive wins in the British-American Cup, the oldest team racing trophy in the world.
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