2013 One-Design Awards
SAN 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.
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.
Service Award for the 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.