Betsy Alison among 2013 YachtWorld Heroes Finalists

Published on January 1st, 2014

(January 1, 2014) – Dominion Marine Media, the division of Dominion Enterprises that operates YachtWorld, Boat Trader and, has announced the five finalists for its 2013 YachtWorld Heroes award.

Now in its third year, the YachtWorld Heroes initiative from Dominion Marine Media recognizes individuals and their organizations that have leveraged their love and respect for boating in our oceans, rivers, lakes and streams into a higher consciousness.

The five 2013 YachtWorld Heroes finalists are:

Joel Aberbach, volunteer, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary District Seven Assistant Staff Officer, Sea Partners and America’s Waterway Watch,, of Miami, Fla., has volunteered 25,000 hours over 40 years to educate the public about protecting and preserving our marine environment.

Betsy Alison, Paralympic coach for the U.S. Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider,, of Newport, R.I., was a 2011 U.S. Sailing Hall of Fame inductee and has been the recipient of numerous honors. She has dedicated her life to disabled sailing to build more understanding, inspiration and tolerance of the disabled in general. Her current focus is the development of national team athletes in three Paralympic sailing events in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Dieter Paulmann, founder of Okeanos Foundation of the Sea and Pacific Voyagers,, of Germany, and his crew sailed 20,000 miles across the Pacific with their fleet of seven vaka moanas (oceangoing sailing canoes) to raise awareness of contemporary threats to the sea.

David Rockefeller, Jr., founder,, of Newport, R.I., educates and encourages the boating community in the worldwide protection of the oceans. With offices in Newport, R.I., San Francisco, Calif., Japan and Portugal, their programs directly motivate boaters to fulfill their visions and offer steps boaters can take to reduce their environmental impact.

Jeanne Socrates, sailor,, of the U.K., completed a singlehanded, nonstop circumnavigation mid-2013 at the age of 70, following two other near solo circumnavigations that involved beaching, loss of a boat, a knockdown off Cape Horn, and major repairs that interrupted her first two attempts.

The winner will be announced at the Miami Boat Show on February 13, 2014.

“It is an honor to recognize these remarkable people for their endeavors and share information about their organizations with boaters everywhere,” said Jessica Muffett, founder of YachtWorld and YachtWorld Heroes. “They are addressing important issues for our blue planet, proving one person can make a difference.”

For more information on all the nominees and their endeavors, please visit and click on 2013 Nominees.

The five distinguished judges were:

Wendy Mitman Clarke – An award-winning columnist for Cruising World, the executive editor of Chesapeake Bay Magazine, Mid-Atlantic bureau chief of Soundings, a staff writer for Associated Press, and a freelance writer for Smithsonian, Preservation and National Parks among other publications.

Dieter Loibner – An award-winning bilingual writer (English, German) and columnist. He is the sailing editor for Soundings magazine, a consulting editor for, and the U.S. correspondent for Yacht, Europe’s largest sailing publication. His work has also appeared in numerous other magazines. A sailboat racer and author of multiple books, he holds a Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Vienna, Austria
Jessica Muffett – Founder and publisher emeritus of YachtWorld and creator of the YachtWorld Heroes program. She is the former owner of a yacht brokerage, dealership and leasing company in Seattle, and current board member of Benaroya Research Institute.

Stanton Murray, CPYB – Owner of Murray Yacht Sales, a yacht brokerage and dealership in New Orleans, La. and in Fla. He is president of Sail America and is also on the board of the Yacht Brokers Association of America where he is a past president.

John Page Williams – Has worked for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation since 1973, currently supporting the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint as a senior naturalist. He also partners with the Chesapeake Conservancy and the National Park Service to develop the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic (Water) Trail. For more information about the judges, go to and click on Our Judges.


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