2016 Community Sailing and Training Award Winners Recognized at NSPS

2016 Community Sailing and Training Award winners. Photo by US Sailing

AUSTIN, Texas (February 17, 2017) – The 2016 Community Sailing and Training Award winners were celebrated on Thursday night as part of the 2017 National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol in Austin, Texas.

  • Treasure Island Sailing Center (San Francisco, Calif.) received the Jim Kilroy Outstanding Outreach & Inclusion Award.
  • Don Rotzien (New York, NY) received the award for Excellence in Instruction.
  • New England Science & Sailing (Stonington, Conn.) received the award for Creative Innovations in Programming.
  • Spike Lobdell (Stonington, Conn.) received the award for Outstanding Organizational Leader.
  • Dana Bolton (Burlington, Vt.) was named Volunteer of the Year for his ongoing dedication as a volunteer at Community Sailing Center.
  • Charleston Community Sailing (Charleston, SC) received the award for More than Ten Years of Hallmark Performance for their continued commitment to community sailing.
  • Mission Bay Aquatic Center (San Diego, Calif.) received the award for Outstanding Community Sailing Program.
  • Mary Horrigan (New London, Conn.) received the award for Outstanding Community Sailing Program Director.
  • Jacob Raymond (Charleston, SC) received the Marty A. Luray Award for his contributions to public access sailing.
  • YMCA Camp Sea Gull for Boys & Camp Seafarer for Girls (Arapahoe, NC) received the President’s Award for their ongoing commitment to excellence in sailing and powerboat instruction.
  • Seattle Yacht Club (Seattle, Wash.) received the Captain Joe Prosser Award for excellence in sailing instruction.
  • Virginia Howard (Marina del Rey, Calif.) received the Virginia Long Sail Training Service & Support Award.

Jim Kilroy Outstanding Outreach and Inclusion Award – Treasure Island Sailing Center

The Treasure Island Sailing Center has reached out to nearly 60 San Francisco based organizations who work with at-risk youth to provide them with outdoor activities, role models and an opportunity to learn about and enjoy the bay.

In 2016, nearly 3,600 youth and adults sailed, paddled or kayaked on Clipper Cove in San Francisco Bay. Most of these sailors would never have had these opportunities if it wasn’t for the outreach conducted by TISC. Many of these individuals have become advocates of the area and caretakers for the bay. Their most recent outreach projects, both enabled by generous grants from the St. Francis Sailing Foundation, have involved the development of a high school racing team for Oakland’s Envision Academy. This was launched in partnership with OCSC Sailing School, and Set Sail Learn, a one-day exploration trip for San Francisco fourth graders that incorporates hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) with sailing on San Francisco Bay.

“We bring sailing to those from various socio-economic backgrounds throughout our community,” said Travis Lund, Executive Director of TISC. “We are proud to contribute to that movement.”

The Community Sailing Award for Outreach and Inclusion was renamed in honor of Mr. John B. “Jim” Kilroy, Sr. in 2016. Kilroy enjoyed sharing his passion for the sport of sailing with youth who may not otherwise have the opportunity to sail.

Kilroy’s daughter, Trice Kilroy, attended the ceremony and had this to say: “Jim loved being engaged in his passion of sailing. Whenever he committed to something, he did it wholeheartedly. He understood the significance of math and science for our youth and how important it is for us to compete in these areas in the global playing field. Sailing is an exciting way for youth to learn.”

Excellence in Instruction – Don Rotzien, Hudson River Community Sailing

Don Rotzien has been recognized for his unique ability to teach the most complex sailing topics to Hudson River Community Sailing students. As the program growth and development officer at Hudson River Community Sailing, Rotzien aims to develop programs and students by identifying their inherent potential and guiding them to achieve it. Whether he’s directing an adaptive sailing program or rigging a spinnaker simulator out of a thin plastic bag and wooden dowels to teach a group of high school students who are forced inside during a rainstorm, Rotzien has the unique and remarkable ability to teach the most complex sailing topics to any student. He acts as a mentor to both students and staff by inspiring others to reach their goals and never give up.

Creative Innovations in Programming – New England Science & Sailing

New England Science & Sailing (NESS) provides students of all ages with year-round programming that includes marine science, sailing, powerboating, and adventure sports. NESS courses support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum with a unique combination of on-the-water and in-the-classroom lessons intended to spark curiosity, enhance learning, and encourage students to step out of their comfort zones.

NESS is being recognized for their outstanding work in the NESS SEA AmeriCorps Program while creating a K-12 STEM/ sailing pathway, and their continued commitment to integrate ocean stewardship into its programming for all students.

Outstanding Organizational Leader – Spike Lobdell, New England Science & Sailing

Spike Lobdell is an outstanding organizational leader in all respects. He founded and is currently serving as president/CEO of the New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS). Under his leadership, NESS’s growth has been exponential. While he founded the organization in 2004, Lobdell has instilled a deep-seated belief and commitment to community sailing. He works selflessly and tirelessly to make sailing accessible to all who want to learn and reap the benefits of time on the water. Lobdell firmly believes that the benefits derived from sailing, like increased self-confidence, teamwork, leadership, independence, and resilience, to name a few, should be available to everyone and not just yacht club members and their family and friends.

Volunteer of the Year – Dana Bolton, Community Sailing Center

Dana Bolton has been a remarkable asset to the Community Sailing Center (CSC) on Lake Champlain. He has volunteered for the past four years and has been a summer staff member as well. He donates his time, all winter, to updating curriculum, recruiting new staff at the various boat clubs and yacht clubs so we can attract more adult instructors, and researching new programs we can implement at the CSC. His energy is infectious and he makes an effort to connect with all members of our community and seasonal staff to let them know about our organization. He also has donated his J/88 to the Junior Big Boat Program, which was the first boat involved in this program when it started three years ago.

More than 10 Years of Hallmark Performance – Charleston Community Sailing

Over the years, Charleston Community Sailing (CCS) has improved and grown substantially due to its public support and internal leadership. At the helm is Jessica Koenig, a charismatic leader, creative marketer and world class sailor. In her time at CCS, the program has grown from just a handful of sailors in the first summer to over 300. The CCS has helped expand high school sailing significantly from the ground up, and last fall, over 100 high school racers registered for the fall season. In addition, they are host to the biggest high school regattas in their region, several times per year. They also created Women on the Water (WOW), which like their other programs has spread in popularity.

From scholarships, to the underprivileged, to training the fastest young sailors in the harbor, Charleston Community Sailing has set the standard for community organizations around the country.

Outstanding Community Sailing Program Award – Mission Bay Aquatic Center

With its growing sailing program and expansive aquatics training and safety programs, the Mission Bay Aquatic Center is the epitome of community sailing. This highly sustainable program is a model of excellence for other programs to emulate in both community service and efficiency of operation.

Kevin Straw, program director, has instituted policies and operational procedures that make for efficient operations and the highest level of excellence in teaching sailing and aquatics. Through diligence of the staff, their attention to details of every aspect of this program speaks to excellence at every level and every area of teaching. Mission Bay is one of the world’s largest instructional waterfront facilities located in San Diego.

In 2015, over 30,000 participants experienced sailing, surfing, wakeboarding, wake surfing, paddleboarding, waterskiing, rowing, kayaking, and windsurfing.

Outstanding Program Director Award – Mary Horrigan

Mary Horrigan is being recognized for her leadership in sailing, STEM education, ocean stewardship, and outreach at New England Science and Sailing to students in the New London, Conn. area.

The sailing opportunities that NESS provides to the students of New London would not be possible without Mary Horrigan’s vision and determination. She has taken the initiative to provide hundreds of students in New London with access to sailing. Through her encouragement and tireless efforts, over 1,000 New London youth learned to sail, many for the first time, during the 2015-16 school year and the summer of 2016. Most of these students live just a short distance away from the ocean but have never had the opportunity to learn to sail.

Since 2012, she has spearheaded NESS’s partnership programs with numerous community organizations in New London and the New London Public Schools. The program’s goal is to allow at-risk students to participate in sailing lessons and understand waterfront safety. During the fall and spring, Mary has pioneered an after school sailing program as part of NESS’s partnership with the STEM Magnet Middle School at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School. With Mary’s vision, NESS is able to reach more students in the New London community.

Marty Luray Award – Jacob Raymond

Jacob Raymond has been described as a natural leader. To understand how he opens doors to the community through his sailing program, you need to understand his story. After returning from a tour in Iraq, while serving in the Army National Guard, he had a difficult time re-acclimating to civilian life. He struggled with PTSD and other issues common to veterans. He felt isolated and disconnected with civilians and his fellow classmates. It wasn’t until he was introduced to the sailing community, that he started his new life outside of his military service. It was a community that allowed him to learn a new skill, be in the outdoors, compete, and share a common thread with fellow citizens. The sailing community became his home and since that moment, Raymond has spent every moment trying to give the same opportunity to those from outside of the sailing community. He has dedicated his life to a profession of teaching sailing to both youth and adults.

Raymond reached out to Warrior Sailing, to make sure there is a place for wounded veterans and active military personnel to get connected to the sport that he loves. He has opened up the doors at the College of Charleston to develop adaptive equipment and sailing opportunities for these sailors.

2016 President’s Award – YMCA Camp Sea Gull for Boy & Camp Seafarer for Girls

Camp Sea Gull for boys and Camp Seafarer for girls (Arapahoe, NC) received the President’s Award for their extraordinary service to the sport of sailing. Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer began in 1948 as a character building summer camp for youth. Through innovative land and sea activities, the campers learn to build relationships, independence and confidence.

The camps collaborate and utilize US Sailing’s full complement of training curriculum and certifications. Camp Sea Gull’s and Camp Seafarer’s engagement with US Sailing and US Powerboating has allowed both camps to enhance their quality of programs while connecting to a larger boating community. By utilizing the US Sailing and US Powerboating curriculum, they can offer campers a certification that is nationally recognized when they participate in junior sailing programs, race in college and even apply for jobs in the boating industry.

Over 6,000 youth attend the camps annually. Camp Seafarer is the largest training facility of women sailors in the country. Last year these camps issued 485 Safe Powerboat Handling certifications, which represents 36% of the certifications issued nationwide. Over 150 campers completed US Sailing’s Smallboat program and 15 campers passed US Sailing’s Basic Keelboat.

Captain Joe Prosser Award for Excellence in Sailing Instruction – Seattle Yacht Club

The Seattle Yacht Club (SYC) has been organizing junior sailing programs since the 1920s. Their summer sailing school is open to the public, with 70% non-member enrollments each year. Over the past ten years, the program has more than doubled in size, with more than 620 youth sailors and more than 50 adult sailors in 2016. The program has an outstanding reputation around the community and is recognized for its focus on the three tenets of sailing education: safety, learning, and fun.

SYC programs provide youths, from ages 8 to 18, the opportunity to reach for competitive success at all levels while developing athletic skills, leadership, sportsmanship, and a lifelong love of boating. They have given rise to generations of successful Pacific Northwest sailors, including multiple Olympic champions. The SYC Race Team continues the club’s legacy of achievement, representing SYC in local, regional, national, and international competitions.

The Virginia Long Award – Virginia Howard

Virginia Howard was recognized for her leadership and dedication to youth sailing in Southern California as a volunteer director for the Del Rey Yacht Club’s junior sailing program for over 20 years.

This nationally recognized youth sailing program was twice awarded the Pacific Coast Yachting Association’s Garret Horder Memorial Trophy for most innovative junior sailing program. In recent years, DRYC junior sailors have been strong contenders on the national stage. Many of their sailors have posted top results at national championship regattas, including the U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship for the Ida Lewis Trophy, U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup, U.S. Junior Sailing Championship for the Bemis Trophy, and CFJ National Championships. This well-rounded showing of talent is a true testament to the strength and depth of the program.

Howard’s goal has always been to get as many children involved in sailing as possible. She has served on the board of the Santa Monica Bay Sailing Foundation for over 15 years, changing the lives of thousands of youth sailors through various donations and grants. She has also served as a board member for the Southern California Youth Sailing Association, where she has helped address the many issues that programs face in the Southern California region.

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

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