Category: News and Updates

Thank you for Participating at Sailing Leadership Forum 2016

Picture by Eder Photo.

Picture by Eder Photo.

Over 530 leaders throughout the country participated in Sailing Leadership Forum 2016 earlier this month at the Hilton San Diego Resort. These enthusiastic participants came to Southern California with a wealth of positive energy that was inspiring for everyone.

US Sailing thanks all of the Sailing Leadership Forum 2016 attendees, presenters and contributors for creating an atmosphere conducive to learning, sharing and having fun. The attendees’ motivation to connect, discover and grow made this special event a reality. It is you, the sailors, who drive these important discussions that shape the future of sailing.

It was really encouraging to see so many of the attendees returning from the inaugural Sailing Leadership Forum in 2014. Two years later many returned to report back on the progress they experienced in implementing the new strategies and tactics learned. It was equally as encouraging to see so many new faces at this year’s forum. Many of the 2014 attendees made it a priority to invite friends, co-workers, volunteers and fellow sailors.

We also want to thank the many presenters and keynote speakers who volunteered their time to share their knowledge. Many of these presenters returned from the 2014 event and built off that momentum by advancing the topics. Our new presenters offered a fresh perspective with new and interesting ideas. We have archived the presentations online at sailingleadership.org for the general audience to learn from and share.

US Sailing would also like to thank all the volunteers who helped develop the topics and programming; our sponsors and exhibitors whose financial support was essential and who created a top-notch environment in the Exhibitor Pavilion; and the sailing industry whose engagement was welcome, and will be critical to the future of sailing.

We hope to see you at the many US Sailing events around the country in 2016 and beyond that foster this type of critical dialogue, including our Regional Symposiums, NSPS and the National Conference.

Take a tour of the Sailing Leadership Forum 2016 – Watch the Video

Check out these photos from the Sailing Leadership Forum 2016  and the 2015 US Sailing Awards Dinner.

Mission Blue Founder Sylvia Earle to Present at Sailing Leadership Forum in San Diego

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Dr. Sylvia Earle – Photo by Kip Evans

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (October 19, 2015) – World renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle will be a keynote speaker at Sailing Leadership Forum 2016, hosted by US Sailing at the Hilton San Diego Resort on February 4-6. The Mission Blue founder and National Geographic Explorer in Residence has dedicated her career to uniting a global coalition of partners to inspire advanced public awareness, access and support for a worldwide network of marine protected areas.

Dr. Earle’s powerful message of ocean conservation is portrayed in the Netflix original documentary Mission Blue. The film was honored with the 2015 News & Documentary Emmy® Award for Outstanding Editing – Documentary and Long Form.

The author and lecturer has vast experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for corporate and non-profit organizations including the Kerr McGee Corporation, Dresser Industries, Oryx Energy, the Aspen Institute, the Conservation Fund, American Rivers, Mote Marine Laboratory, Duke University Marine Laboratory, Rutgers Institute for Marine Science, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and Ocean Futures.

A former Chief Scientist of NOAA, Dr. Earle is the Founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc. (DOER), Founder of the Sylvia Earle Alliance (S.E.A.)/Mission Blue, Chair of the Advisory Council of the Harte Research Institute, inspiration for the Ocean in Google Earth, and leader of the NGS Sustainable Seas Expeditions.

Dr. Earle has led more than 100 expeditions and logged more than 7,000 hours underwater including leading the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project in 1970, participating in ten saturation dives, most recently in July 2012, and setting a record for solo diving in 1,000 meters depth. Her research concerns marine ecosystems with special reference to exploration, conservation and the development and use of new technologies for access and effective operations in the deep sea and other remote environments.

What is the Sailing Leadership Forum?

sailing-leadership-forum-logo-2016-w-locationSailing Leadership Forum 2016 offers a unique experience for leaders representing all areas of sailing to connect on important issues facing our sport. The Forum features a line-up of insightful presentations that address the many relevant topics in sailing.

Individuals from sail training and education, yacht club and sailing organization leaders, race officials, and industry professionals will meet and learn from one-another in the surroundings of this spectacular Southern California venue.

The Sailing Leadership Forum will feature lively and fun social events, hands-on activities, exhibitor displays and demonstrations, pre- and post- forum clinics and seminars for instructor certification, race management, and much more.

All sailors have something in common – the importance of keeping sailing vibrant and strong for future generations of sailors.

Register and learn more about Sailing Leadership Forum 2016.

US Sailing Media Contact: Jake Fish, jakefish@ussailing.org

About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.

Enright and Towill to Share Story of USA Volvo Ocean Race Entry at Sailing Leadership Forum 2016

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Charlie Enright (left) and Mark Towill (right). Photo by Amory Ross/Team Alvimedica.

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (September 17, 2015) – Charlie Enright and Mark Towill, the youngest contestants and leaders of the American entry in the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race, will share the inside story of their first around-the-world campaign as featured presenters at the Sailing Leadership Forum 2016, hosted by US Sailing at the Hilton San Diego on February 4-6.

Enright and Towill, co-founders of Team Alvimedica, will deliver a keynote presentation on the genesis of their fascinating Volvo Ocean Race team. The pair will discuss the partnerships they made, resources they utilized, how they built the team, and the many lessons learned throughout their journey. They will also reveal their plans for the 2017-18 edition of sailing’s ocean marathon.

“Our first Volvo Ocean Race provided a steep learning curve on all aspects of performance,” said Enright, 31, the youngest skipper in the race. “Before even thinking about succeeding in the race, we first had to identify and develop the crew, manage the team, the resources, timeline, and sponsor commitments. This management exercise relates directly to performance and we achieved some significant milestones on the water such as first to Cape Horn. The team building process and seeing the team come together as a unit was probably the most rewarding aspect of the last race. We plan to build on that for the next time.”

“The Volvo Ocean Race is a race within a race – the first one is to the start line,” said Towill, 26, general manager and watch captain. “In many ways, the challenge to find a commercial partner is the toughest part of this global competition – well, except for the Southern Ocean.”

What is the Sailing Leadership Forum?

Sailing Leadership Forum 2016 offers a unique experience for leaders representing all areas of sailing to connect on important issues facing our sport. The Forum features a new line-up of insightful presentations that address the many relevant topics in sailing.

Individuals from sail training and education, yacht club and sailing organization leaders, race officials, and industry professionals will meet and learn from one-another in the surroundings of this spectacular Southern California venue.

The Sailing Leadership Forum will feature lively and fun social events, hands-on activities, exhibitor displays and demonstrations, pre- and post- forum clinics and seminars for instructor certification, race management, and much more.

All sailors have something in common – the importance of keeping sailing vibrant and strong for future generations of sailors.

Register and learn more about Sailing Leadership Forum 2016.

US Sailing Media Contact: Jake Fish, jakefish@ussailing.org

*Photo by Amory Ross/Team Alvimedica.

About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.

Early Registration Opens for Sailing Leaderships Forum 2016

Portsmouth, R.I. (June 15, 2015) – Join us for Sailing Leadership Forum 2016, a US Sailing signature event, at the Hilton San Diego Resort, February 4-6, 2016. The Early Registration Sale ends August 15, 2015.

Sailing Leadership Forum 2016 offers a unique experience for leaders representing all areas of sailing to connect on important issues facing our sport. The Forum features a new line-up of insightful presentations that address the many relevant topics in sailing.

Individuals from sail training and education, yacht club and sailing organization leaders, race officials, and industry professionals will meet and learn from one-another in the surroundings of this spectacular Southern California venue.

The Sailing Leadership Forum will feature lively and fun social events, hands-on activities, exhibitor displays and demonstrations, pre- and post- forum clinics and seminars for instructor certification, race management, and much more.

“The Forum is a great example of what can happen when we all align around common objectives, and how we can bring disparate interests and groups together in a collaborative environment to focus on better serving sailors, improving their overall experience, and increasing opportunities for newcomers,” said Jack Gierhart, Executive Director of US Sailing.

All sailors have something in common – the importance of keeping sailing vibrant and strong for future generations of sailors.

If you missed out on the inaugural Sailing Leadership Forum in 2014 or inspired to keep the momentum going strong and advance these conversations, please meet us in San Diego. Register today!

Contact: Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications Manager, jakefish@ussailing.org

Keeping Regattas Fun

Un-RegattaMany attendees of the Sailing Leadership Forum expressed the desire for more variety in our race courses with fewer windward/leeward courses and more non-traditional regattas. Attendees emphasized the importance of growth in participation and sportsmanship, especially for youth. Regatta organizers were challenged to create more alternative courses, games and activities for different age groups.

The presentation “Running Fun Races: Non-Traditional Regatta” by Nevin Sayre (BIC Sport), Summer Green (San Diego YC), John Broderick (Lakewood YC) and Jim Quanci (Northern California Ocean Yacht Racing Association), highlighted several reasons why these types of events have value and provided many examples of these types of events and how they work.

Learn more about Large Fun Regattas and Un-Regattas.

Sayre went in-depth with US Sailing on this trending concept for creative, non-traditional sailing events.

US Sailing: What benefits are associated with unconventional courses and rules?

Sayre: Since much of racing is now homogenized into windward/leewards with little deviation, there is a whole group of sailors, including kids, seeking fun alternatives. There are also those more comfortable in a more relaxed atmosphere without so many rules and regulations.

US Sailing: Why is it so important to have more variety in our regattas?

Sayre: Variety is the spice of life. It’s fun to be challenged by different courses and different situations, particularly if it stirs up the standard pecking order. Putting sailors into different situations in a controlled manner makes better, well-rounded sailors.

US Sailing: Why is it important to run regattas that put a low emphasis on results?

Sayre: Recognizing the same podium sailors again and again, is not necessarily encouraging to other sailors, particularly kids. For instance, at the O’Pen BIC Un-Regattas, less emphasis is put on race results than fun, sportsmanship, and improvement. Kids get plenty of focus on results, structure, rules and regulations in school. No one is saying these elements should be eliminated from sailing, but it’s nice to offer alternatives that are looser and arguably more fun. And kids LOVE it!

Your Takeaways from the Sailing Leadership Forum

Dear Sailors,

On behalf of the US Sailing staff, board of directors, and our volunteers we extend a great deal of gratitude to the over 600 sailors who attended the first-ever Sailing Leadership Forum last month at the Hilton San Diego Resort. It was truly a remarkable experience to witness many sailors from all over the country, representing different interests, in one place to address the issues that matter most to sailors in the U.S. We all have so much in common in terms of the passion we have for sailing and the challenges we encounter.

 

The inaugural Sailing Leadership Forum left an indelible impact on the attendees who attended this original US Sailing event. I want to express how important it is for us all to continue this momentum. Keep the learning, sharing and networking alive as we apply these new ideas, strategies and procedures to our own sailing activities or at your home club.

 

We have archived the presentations and videos on the Sailing Leadership Forum website for your reference. In addition, we requested that attendees focus on their five most important takeaways from the event and share their experiences with US Sailing. It is part of our responsibility to study these prioritized takeaways in more depth and use them to help chart our course.

 

One of the more common attendee forum reviews we received was the variety of topics presented and the wealth of knowledgeable individuals participating in a wide range of subjects. Here is a summary of the most popular takeaways from the forum.

 

Networking was the most popular takeaway. Although the social component of the forum was a big hit, the networking referred to by attendees was centered around their ability to have meaningful discussions with sailors representing other interests in the sport, types of sailing, and industries. Attendees were able to observe and reflect on the common issues they share, and how they can work together to achieve better results.

 

Collaboration was a popular theme for the attendees. How can community sailing centers or yacht clubs collaborate with each other on key initiatives to grow the sport and support sailors? How can these organizations and other sailing industries integrate with their local communities to provide more awareness for prospective new sailors and waterfront access for current sailors? Ideas ranged from developing more creative ways to get people on the water to growing recreational sailing. Many attendees expressed a need to de-emphasize racing and results, while others urged more engagement of college and high school sailing teams.

 

In regards to regattas and racing, many attendees expressed the desire for more variety in our race courses with fewer windward/leeward courses and more non-traditional regattas. Attendees emphasized the importance of growth in participation and sportsmanship over more racing events, especially for youth. Attendees were challenged to create more alternative courses, games and activities for different age groups.

 

Diversity was another topic that attendees discussed and debated. Accessibility and affordability of the sport was a key element of the issue. Growing opportunities for women’s sailing and supporting women’s programs was also presented.

 

Investing in beginners, both youth and adult, was another trending theme. There was ample discussion on the consideration of utilizing the more experienced instructors and coaches with beginner and junior sailing programs.

 

Safety remains a hot button topic in the sailing community. Training and consultation for comprehensive emergency action and crisis communication plans is in high demand. Attendees learned more about emergency procedures including rules and responsibilities for staff and volunteers, potential dangers, safety equipment policies, crisis checklist timelines, and more.

 

The value of strategic marketing and communications continues to grow. Attendees focused heavily on the need to evolve with best practices in website marketing and social media. The power of engagement and interaction through these communications platforms is essential. Attendees learned more about the value of analytics in determining the success rate of their interaction with club members or other sailors. They also gained a better understanding on how to build the sponsor-client relationship and how to identify prospective sponsors that fit your brand. They were excited to practice their sponsorship pitch and received keen feedback on their approach.

 

We hope you use the archived presentations and videos for reference. Feel free to contact the Sailing Leadership Forum presenters, who are subject experts in their respective fields, with any questions. In most cases, you can access contact information in the archived presentation. Here is a list of speakers and presenters. Don’t hesitate to reach out to US Sailing if you need assistance contacting a presenter.

 

There were a number of important presentations and discussions that focused on nationwide issues regarding training and education. These conversations are continuing at the Regional Sailing Program Symposiums. These events are your chance to learn more about what’s happening both regionally and nationally in sail training and education.

 

The learning has just begun. We plan to organize more resourceful opportunities through other platforms in the near future, including webinars and an online forum. We hope you will participate!

 

Again, we thank you for your participation in this great exchange of ideas. We hope you stay engaged with US Sailing!

 

Cheers,

Jack Gierhart
Executive Director of US Sailing

Sailing Leadership Awards Ceremony Recap

Awards Dinner_rlsSAN DIEGO, Calif. (February 12, 2014) – Last Thursday night at the Sailing Leadership Forum Awards Dinner, sponsored by Old Pulteney and hosted by the San Diego Sports Hall of Fame, US Sailing, along with Leadership Forum attendees recognized the outstanding individual and organizational achievements in training, community and one-design sailing, including the presentation of the Old Pulteney Maritime Heroes Award.

Old Pulteney Maritime Heroes Award – Rorke Miller (Traverse City, Mich.)
This award recognizes individuals who make significant contributions to the sailing community. Miller was nominated by a member of his sailing community for his involvement in the SAIL Champion program. One of three deserving finalists, he won the top honor after receiving the most online votes.

SAIL Champion aims to help at-risk youth through the therapeutic activity of sailing. As director of the program and co-founder of RED8 Boatworks, Miller creates a positive environment where young adults can seek guidance and training for a better future. He has helped young adults achieve higher education scholarships and paved the road to making better life choices.

Training Awards

Captain Joe Prosser Award for Excellence in Sailing Instruction – Annapolis Yacht Club (Md.)
This year’s award winner fields one of the most complete and experiential junior sailing and racing programs in the country and conducts learn-to-sail, learn-to-race and advanced skills development programs for adults. Leveraging US Sailing training materials and methods, the Junior Program routinely trains over 375 sailors in the Club’s Learn-To-Sail, Adventure Sailing and Racing Programs.

The junior program introduces youth, ages five and older, to sailing using the Optimist and has created six separate levels for Optimist training that addresses all ages and skill levels from Sea Squirts to the highest level of Opti competition. Sailors continue into the Intermediate Club 420 program and train with spinnakers and trapeze. They compete locally as members of the Club 420 Chesapeake Race Team or regionally and nationally as members of the Club 420 Travel Team. During the summer of 2013, the club added a Laser program in order to afford additional training and racing options.

The club has had incredible success on the youth racing circuit last year and several sailors competing under the AYC burgee have been awarded Sportsmanship Awards.

The Club’s leadership has also worked hard to ensure they have the balance right between learn-to-sail programs, recreational activities and racing programs. The club developed and implemented an Adventure Sailing Program that will employ US Sailing’s Basic Keelboat curriculum to teach teens to sail keelboats. In parallel, the Club is working with the Annapolis School of Seamanship to design and develop a program to teach teens the requisite big boat skills.

The club also sponsors several adult learn-to-sail and learn-to-race programs with specific emphasis on women’s sailing. In the past year, new programs include a US Powerboating Certification Course, a Women’s Learn to Sail program, and a Women’s Group skills class.

The club also sponsors several activities that seek to increase the visibility of sailing in the local area, including the Junior Safety at Sea Seminar.

In order to ensure that safety remains front and center, an Instructor Training Period is held at the start of each sailing season, and all coaches/instructors are taught how to actively manage risk when working with the club’s youngest sailors and how to help older sailors understand appropriate risk management strategies to ensure the training and/or competitive environment is safe.

The club has worked to standardize on-the-water instruction. US Sailing training materials and procedures are used exclusively, and all coaches and instructors are required to be US Sailing certified.

Virginia Long Sail Training Service & Support Award – Lynn Lynch (Chicago, Ill.)
This year’s recipient of the Ginny has spent many years contributing to the art and science of sailing instruction as well as unparalleled support of her local program.

Lynn Lynch has done an excellent job as the On-the-Water Director for Chicago Yacht Club in leadership of the junior sailing program”s activities and training, management of personnel, and operations of the race committee”s responsibilities for both one-design and offshore events.

She has conducted and been the trainer in several local powerboat courses with outstanding success and appreciation. She has also been a great contributor at the National Faculty meetings building curriculum, protocols and standards for Keelboat, Small Boat and Powerboat.

She recently has become a Keelboat Program Instructor Trainer.

Community Sailing Awards

Excellence in Instruction – Matt Schultz (Van Nuys, Calif.)
Schultz”s program, Life Sail, provides sailing education to kids through boat-building programs and also through utilizing science and mathematics as core focuses of their education.

Teaching sailing is more than just instruction to him – it”s about providing opportunity and education to kids that might not otherwise have the chance to participate. His energy is infectious and he”s always willing to share ideas, suggestions or volunteer. Schultz has attended multiple US Sailing events and is a tireless supporter of US Sailing and the Reach program. He embodies the heart of what it means to be a community sailing instructor.

Outstanding Community Sailing Program Director – Margie Graham (Conway, Mich.)
Margie Graham, Director of Crooked Lake Sailors in Oden, Mich. has grown sailing in her area by nearly 200% in just one year. In the winter, Graham heads south to volunteer in Florida by working with directors and coaches, as well as teaching US Sailing Instructor courses.

Her summer program not only offers youth sailing, but incorporates adult sailing and open sailing. She supports the Crooked Lake Sailors’ philosophy of safe boating and building life-long sailing skills, along with general seamanship & stewardship while protecting our natural environment.

Outstanding Volunteer – Stephanie Webb (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.)
Webb has been a tireless supporter of community sailing as a member of the Edison Sailing Center. Even before she joined the Community Sailing Committee, she was instrumental in helping to launch the Regional Sailing Programs Symposium in the Southeast, and also provided substantial guidance for the development of the program nationally.

She”s been at the heart of US Sailing’s Reach program (for STEM education using sailing as a platform) which has provided a huge opportunity for Community Sailing Programs nationwide. She organized the second largest Junior Olympics event last year. She is described as selfless, compassionate and has dedicated an exorbitant amount of time to helping people of all ages.

Outstanding Adaptive Community Sailing Program – Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation (Chicago, Ill.)
Nominated by the Committee for Sailors with Disabilities, The Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation served the largest and most diverse number of people with disabilities of all Adaptive Programs.

Additionally, they partner with the Chicago Parks & Recreation Department to provide programming through the Park district. The JGASF teaches many people how to sail and they offer multiple types of racing opportunities.

Outstanding Outreach & Inclusion – Caitlyn Ridgely (East Boston, Mass.)
Ridgely successfully combined the current US Sailing little red book (used for small boat education) with a custom designed tracking system that includes both Reach and also keelboat training for kids.

She runs one of the strongest adaptive programs in the country at Piers Park Sailing, providing opportunity to sailors who otherwise would not be able to sail. Ridgely has effectively managed to create new and innovative programs, engaged new sailors and grown existing programs.

Outstanding Community Sailing Program – New England Science and Sailing (Stonington, Conn.)
New England Science and Sailing is at the forefront of integrating science and sailing by utilizing their outstanding campus and the Reach program. They are integrated with the Connecticut school system (Stonington) and have been able to receive test scores to show how impactful their programming has been.

They were also the first approved US Sailing Community Sailing Center and employ an outstanding staff, including a former college coach and several experts in the areas of science and education.

Creative Innovations in Programming – Kurt and Meka Taulbee, SailFit (Sand Key, Fla.)
Kurt is a veteran of four Olympic campaigns in the Laser and Meka Taulbee is a certified personal trainer. Together, this husband and wife team founded SailFit, Inc., to incorporate the value and benefit of physical fitness as a part of sailing.

Meka facilitates the nutritional and physical side of sail training, and Kurt focuses on performance sailing. The integration of the two is the reason they won this award. Additionally, they work with a variety of home school students to provide a unique addition to their education.

Marty A. Luray Award for Outstanding Support of Public Access Sailing – Stu Gilfillen (Tiverton, R.I.)
Stu Gilfillen has dedicated over 15 years of his life to the growth and development of Community Sailing in the U.S. The former Executive Director of the Sarasota Youth Sailing Program in Sarasota, Fla., Gilfillen has been involved with the development of US Sailing programs such as the Community Sailing Sanctioning Program, Adaptive Sailing Center Program, Regional Symposiums and has served as the organizer for the National Sailing Programs Symposium.

In 2013, Stu helped launched the first ever Community Sailing and Training Awards Dinner which provided a showcase to recognize those individuals who have contributed to getting people on the water. A former dinghy sailor and college coach, Stu loves the competitive aspect of the sport, but is a staunch advocate of promoting the social aspect of sailing and that being on the water, regardless of boat or sailing type, is the true barometer for the success of community sailing.

One-Design Awards

Regatta Award – Charleston Race Week (S.C.)
Perhaps the most impressive is that in the span of two decades, this event has evolved from a local competition with 29 boats, to an international regatta with nearly 300 boats from a dozen countries. Charleston Race Week (CRW) is now the largest regatta of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

The regatta is run by the Charleston Ocean Racing Association (CORA), a local nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to promoting sailing and making it accessible to more people. The CRW has cemented its reputation as a bucket list regatta for one-design sailors.

CRW is run almost entirely by volunteers. In 2013, more than 100 individuals were involved in managing the on-shore activities (registration, parking, etc.) and over 150 were engaged on the water to ensure top quality competition and safety.

The event organizers work diligently to include some of the most well regarded and experienced race officers from around North America as PROs and DROs. Due to this emphasis on the quality of competition, CRW has often been chosen by one-design classes for staging regional and national championships.

The importance of this event goes well beyond competitive sailing. In 2011, the organizers engaged the College of Charleston’s Office of Economic Analysis to assess the regatta’s local impact of $2.5 million in revenue.

John H. Gardiner, Jr. Trophy – Barney Harris (Arlington, Va.) and Peter Duncan (Severna Park, Md.)
Peter Duncan and Barney Harris have been selected for this US Sailing One-Design Service Award due to their leadership, infectious enthusiasm, ability to organize and support not only regattas, but the class itself, particularly by becoming the first domestic manufacturer of Albacore sailboats in almost 40 years.

They became concerned when the class’s sole North American manufacturer started having quality issues and focused on building larger boats. They realized that in order to keep the Albacore class alive they needed to transition their small company from a boat restoration to a boat-building entity. HAPCO became the first domestic manufacturer of Albacore sailboats in almost 40 years, ensuring the survival and revitalization of the U.S. Albacore Fleet.

Creativity Award – OptiNews, Betsy Altman, Publisher/Editor (Chicago, Ill.)
OptiNews is a printed magazine for youth sailors that promotes one-design sailing to members and volunteers, builds a stronger one-design class and encourages non-sailing children to get involved in the sport.

The magazine serves a wide range of interests. Every story is written for the broader audience. Technical articles are written as much for the sailor as for his/her coach, parent or race committee volunteer. The authors approach subjects to teach sailors how to handle unique or difficult situations.

Articles on current events are written to inspire young sailors about yacht racing. A series on the AC 72 catamarans focused on elements of interest to the Opti sailors. The article was highlighted by the San Francisco Bay Opti sailors and their use of helmets in their practices.

An editorial focus on professional sailors helps Opti sailors understand they have options as they continue their racing careers. Each issue includes a story about the marine environment to help sailors and their parents respect our waterways.

OptiNews is a 68-page, full size, four-color magazine with 28 pages of paid and regatta advertising. The rest of the pages are reserved for editorial content covering USODA (US Optimist Dinghy Association) business, and articles of interest to sailors, parents, coaches and volunteers. The magazine is published five times a year.

Leadership Award – Jon Deutsch (Richmond, Va.)
For the past nine years, Deutsch has been the mastermind of the widely popular Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship. Deutsch is known for his spectacular photography, energetic regatta reports and phenomenal website. He frequently provides on-water updates while racing via Twitter.

Deutsch documents events with his omni-present GoPro and other cameras, and promotes through social media and the club site. Sailors arrive home after the event to find a “Thanks for Coming” email from Jon with the results and photos attached.

As with everything he approaches, Deutsch made himself into an expert, both on and off the water. His knowledge and service is in demand all over the Bay. He has served as the Laser District Secretary for the past seven years.

Club Award – San Diego Yacht Club (Calif.)
The SDYC is home to 17 one-design fleets from kiteboards to Pacific Cats, and an active PHRF and ocean racing fleets. In 2013, SDYC hosted over 15 regattas at the local, regional, national and international level.

They have created several innovate programs to keep one-design racers active and integrated. Monthly One-Design Weekends are held with free entry fee for all. The California Dreamin’ Series was in its third year as a match race circuit between SDYC, St. Francis Yacht Club and Balboa Yacht Club using J22s.

Virtual competition has been trialed in 2013 allowing racers to utilize their iPhone or a GPS to record and track their event and post their results online.

The Monarch Program welcomes after school sailing for homeless children allowing them to experience a day on the water each week throughout the semester. Students with additional interest are given a scholarship to attend the SDYC Junior Summer program, sponsored by the SDYC Sailing Foundation.

The club ran 82 days of racing from the race office, many days on multiple venues. The Malin Burnham Sailing Center has hosted two world championships in its first three years (Etchells and Stars) as well as daily high school de-briefs, monthly seminars for judges and race management, as well as instructor training.

Important Yacht Club Survey for #SLF2014 Attendees

US Sailing is working with Club Benchmarking to gather key yacht club financial and operational information from hundreds of yacht clubs in conjunction with the upcoming Sailing Leadership Forum in San Diego, Calif.

Your industry experience is important to us. We invite you to join the many other participating yacht clubs by taking this detailed survey. Many clubs across the country, including some of your fellow yacht clubs, currently subscribe to the Club Benchmarking service and are confident with the integrity of the process. Your club’s information will be collected confidentially and compiled anonymously. Only you will have access to your club’s specific information.

Clubs that participate in the survey will each receive a free copy (digital) of the summary report that will be presented at the Sailing Leadership Forum in San Diego, Calif. on February 6-8. This is a US Sailing funded project, so participation in the survey is at no cost to your club. Our goal is to conduct an annual survey making the results available to survey participants.

Club Benchmarking is the private club industry”s single, centralized, data-sharing platform working closely with the Club Managers Association of America. Many yacht clubs – small and large – already use Club Benchmarking’s service. Participants in the US Sailing survey that decide to become a subscriber to Club Benchmarking will be able to complete automatic, powerful, strategic comparative analysis of their club against specific peer sets or the industry at large. Such strategic comparative analysis has become a powerful decision support tool for many clubs.

Please click here for detailed instructions on how participate in the survey.

The deadline for data entry is Friday, January 24, 2014! For questions regarding your account or data entry please contact us at support@clubbenchmarking.com.

High-Tech Entrepreneur Jim Clark to Close Sailing Leadership Forum with Keynote

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (December 11, 2013) – American entrepreneur, computer scientist pioneer, and sailing enthusiast Jim Clark will give a closing keynote address to the Sailing Leadership Forum attendees on Saturday, February 8 at the Hilton San Diego Resort (Calif.). Continue reading

Hall of Famer Gary Jobson to Participate at Sailing Leadership Forum 2014

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (November 20, 2013) – Former US Sailing President Gary Jobson will be participating at the first-ever Sailing Leadership Forum 2014 at the Hilton San Diego Resort on February 6-8. The 2011 National Sailing Hall of Fame inductee will be making opening remarks as the official MC, and participating in several of the forum’s panel discussions and breakout sessions with attendees. Continue reading

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