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Governor Wes Moore proclaims June Adaptive Boating Month at Don Backe Memorial Regatta

by CRAB Sailing 13 Jun 07:23 PDT
Photographed (Left to Right) CRAB Chairman Jim Nolan, Winning skipper Brian Stodd, Crew Warren Richter, William Dick, Tracy Richter and CRAB Board Member Sandy Grosvenor © Crab Sailing

June 2024 has proven to be a rewarding month for Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating. It marks the beginning of "Adaptive Boating Month" in Maryland and the 25th Annual Don Backe Memorial Regatta, held in honor of CRAB's founder.

The first Adaptive Boating Month in Maryland was declared six years ago. It serves to spotlight the importance and opportunities for people with disabilities to enjoy and access boating activities on the bay. This initiative has raised awareness and helped pave the way for CRAB to become a leader in adaptive boating on the Chesapeake Bay and beyond. Governor Wes Moore's acknowledgment of June 2024 as "Adaptive Boating Month" in a formal proclamation further solidifies CRAB's role, stating, "Maryland commends CRAB for its successful efforts and acknowledges the vital importance of the Adaptive Boating Center to Annapolis and our state."

Maryland Department of Disabilities Secretary Carol Beatty presented the framed proclamation to CRAB Chairman Jim Nolan. Secretary Beatty noted the Governor's mission to "Leave no one behind" as an example of the Administration's focus on people with disabilities and wounded warriors. Her department has increased its interest and involvement in "quality of life" programs for all disabled citizens in the state.

Saturday, June 8th, also marked the 25th Don Backe Memorial Regatta, renamed for CRAB's founder. The regatta is hosted annually at the Annapolis Yacht Club. Placing first by one-point after five competitive races, was Annapolis native Brian Stodd on Club Mac. Sailing with Brian were William Dick of DC, and Tracy and Warren Richter of Annapolis. Skipper Tim McGee (RDML ret.) led the crew on Lindy to second place with Paul Van Cleve, Jon Slabaugh, and Pam Corwin. Finishing in third place was Justin Disborough on Lainie, with Jeff West, Scott Gitchell, and Danny Rick serving as crew. The Don Backe Memorial Regatta's permanent trophy is on display in the lobby of the Annapolis Yacht Club.

Spending time on the water is a defining characteristic of living in Maryland. The Annapolis Adaptive Boating Center promotes equity in the State and the City of Annapolis. The facility offers a floating dock marina, an adapted power catamaran, six adapted sailboats, and a sip/puff-controlled sailboat for guests with quadriplegia. The center has reached its one-year milestone, and new programs like adaptive fishing, sit-down yoga, and music programs have been met with enthusiasm by guests.

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