Recognizing Contributors to the Sport

Published on January 29th, 2018

Bristol, RI (January 29, 2018) – US Sailing has announced the 2017 Community Sailing and National One-Design Award winners for their contributions to the sport of sailing in the United States. The following 2017 Community Sailing and One-Design Award winners are:

• Andrew Alletag (Tewksbury, Mass.) of Community Boating, Inc. in Boston, Mass. received the Jim Kilroy Outstanding Outreach & Inclusion Award.
• Erik Skeel (Woodinville, Wash.) of Sail Sand Point in Seattle, Wash. received the award for Excellence in Instruction.
• Jamie Jones (Westerville, Ohio) of the Hoover Sailing Club received the award for Outstanding Organizational Leader.
• Joan Storkman (Gig Harbor, Wash.) was named Volunteer of the Year for her ongoing dedication as a volunteer at Gig Harbor Junior Sail Program.
• Wayzata Community Sailing Center (Wayzata, Minn.) received the award for More than Ten Years of Hallmark Performance for their continued commitment to community sailing.
• Sail Nauticus (Norfolk, Va.) received the award for Creative Innovations in Programming.
• Delavan Lake Yacht Club (Delavan, Wis.) received a the National One-Design Regatta Award for excellence in development, promotion and management of the year’s most outstanding one-design regatta.
• Jon VanderMolen (Richland, Mich.) and Don Parfet (Richland, Mich.) received the National One-Design Creativity Award for their inaugural Vintage Gold Cup.
• San Diego Yacht Club (Calif.) received the National One-Design Club Award recognizing administrative excellence, fleet growth, creative programming, regatta support and member contributions.

US Sailing provides recognition to individuals and organizations for excellence in a variety of areas. To learn more about US Sailing Awards… click here.

To celebrate the accomplishments of these individuals and organizations responsible for advancing sailing forward in their respective areas of focus and within their communities, US Sailing will recognize them on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at the Awards Celebration to be held at the Sailing Leadership Forum in St. Pete Beach, Florida, hosted by the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort.

Award Winner Description:

Andrew Alletag – Jim Kilroy Outstanding Outreach and Inclusion Award
Andrew Alletag (Tewksbury, Mass.) of Community Boating, Inc. in Boston, Mass. has worked tirelessly to promote sailing for disabled veterans. He has forged alliances with the Home Base Program and the Veterans Administration to generate valuable partnerships, resources and support. By creating more opportunities and events for disabled veterans throughout the sailing season, his leadership has helped triple the enrollment for these programs.

In addition, he has supported blind sailing participation by providing weekly practice and racing opportunities for blind sailors. Alletag guided blind sailors Duane Farrar and Amy Bower to gold medals at the 2017 Blind Sailing World Championships in Sheboygan, Wis. His energy and dedication has directly resulted in the improvement in quality of life for many veterans by exposing them to the benefits of sailing.

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

Erik Skeel – Excellence in Instruction
Erik Skeel (Woodinville, Wash.) of Sail Sand Point in Seattle, Wash. has been recognized for his superb leadership and extraordinary instruction. Providing highly technical feedback to sailors, his greatest strength is his leadership in group settings.

As a sophomore member of the University of Washington Sailing Team, Skeel’s enthusiasm and knowledge, regardless of his role on the boat, has made a positive impact on his teammates. As a summer camp instructor, he shares his love of sailing and amicable personality with everyone around him.

He is a truly remarkable instructor and valued member of Sail Sand Point.

Jamie Jones – Outstanding Organizational Leader
Jamie Jones (Westerville, Ohio) is a true leader in his support of the development and operations of sailing instruction programs, especially at his home club.

Comprised of individuals and families, the Hoover Sailing Club in Westerville, Ohio has over 200 members. Jones increased enrollment in the Club’s youth sailing programs from 160 in 2010 to 430 in 2017, while the adult program has expanded from 50 students to 156.

Jones played a major role in starting the Ohio High School Sailing program, which now boasts 16 MISSA-recognized teams. In 2017, the Hoover Sailing Club had 60 active sailors from eight schools, along with another 50 youth who came out to try the sport; these numbers reflect half of the teams in the state.

He has bestowed the gift of sailing to thousands of individuals, thus empowering them to reach their greatest potential. Jones is a great volunteer and organizational leader who has significantly increased access to sailing in the Midwest.

Joan Storkman – Volunteer of the Year
Joan Storkman (Gig Harbor, Wash.) is a tireless volunteer with the Gig Harbor Junior Sail Program in Washington. She has been there since its inception and, in less than 10 years, this program has grown from a very small all-volunteer operation, to a fully-fledged program employing seasonal staff, while operating eight months a year. This year, the Gig Harbor Yacht Club (GHYC) Junior Sail “Learn to Sail” summer program recorded its highest enrollment ever, with 160 local youth participating in their weekly sailing camps, thanks to Storkman’s hard work.

She recruited and leads the 12-member Board of Directors, and works countless hours to ensure that the GHYC Junior Sail a well-run, organized and high-morale community asset.

Storkman’s high-energy leadership, attention to detail, as well as her endless team motivation and expressions of gratitude to all the volunteers and instructors has positioned the GHYC Junior Sail to be a successful program with a fantastic future.

Wayzata Community Sailing Center – More than 10 Years of Hallmark Performance
The Wayzata Community Sailing Center (Wayzata, Minn.) provides a variety of programming for all types of sailors at all levels, including youth, adults, high school, college, adaptive, STEM education for students, group sailing and corporate adventures.

Each year they improve and expand their program offerings while continuing to grow enrollment. They have almost doubled their program participation over the past 10 years, serving 1,200 people in 2017. In addition, they have tripled their scholarship offerings to $18,000 for deserving individuals.

Once families participate in their programs, they are part of the community for generations to come. Every summer, new adult sailors are becoming involved through either after-work lessons new YMCA groups who have never been on Lake Minnetonka.

Sail Nauticus – Creative Innovations in Programming
Sail Nauticus (Norfolk, Va.) has a mission to inspire, instruct and impact kids in the Hampton Roads community using sailing and maritime sciences. This organization provides a variety of youth and adult programs, racing, clinics, social sailing, women’s sailing and community events, such as movie nights and weekend gatherings.

Sail Nauticus is the recipient of the Creative Innovations in Programming Award for their outstanding work with its Academy that partners with Norfolk schools to teach students beyond the basics of sailing, including math, science and leadership skills that will help them throughout their lives. An after-school program, the Academy recruits soon-to-be-sailors from select Title-I middle schools. The program provides sixth- through eighth grade students a unique opportunity to make new friends and learn new skills as they navigate their way to becoming exceptional young adults. They are also a Mid-Atlantic STEM center through US Sailing’s Reach Initiative.

Delavan Lake Yacht Club – National One-Design Regatta Award
Delavan Lake Yacht Club (Delavan, Wis.) received a the National One-Design Regatta Award for excellence in development, promotion and management by the organizers and sponsors of the year’s most outstanding one-design regatta. The Club hosted, back-to-back, the ILYA X Boat Championship and Optimist Dinghy Championship with an average of 500 people per day over an eight-day period.

Between regattas, participants were transported to Melges Boat Works for a tour of the boat manufacturing facility, where they were treated to on-the-water demos of the Melges 14 and an on-land presentation on Harken Blockheads.

Jon VanderMolen and Don Parfet – National One-Design Creativity Award
Jon VanderMolen (Richland, Mich.) and Don Parfet (Richland, Mich.) received the National One-Design Creativity Award for their outstanding creativity and innovation in the development of the inaugural Vintage Gold Cup on Gull Lake in Richland, Mich.

Twelve wooden, 1959-65 era Star sailboats were restored to racing condition, including the Gold Medal boat from the 1964 Olympic Games. Gold Medalists, and World Champions were invited to compete in two divisions: Classic Vintage and Performance Vintage.

As part of the social and entertainment element of the event, sailors were treated to the Classic Car Museum where they were able to drive classic cars to fit in with the vintage theme. The prize-giving ceremony was a celebration of the history of the Star Class.

San Diego Yacht Club – National One-Design Club Award
The San Diego Yacht Club (Calif.) received the National One-Design Club Award for the third time, recognizing administrative excellence, fleet growth, creative programming, regatta support, and member contribution from the one-design yacht club of the year.

The Club revitalized the struggling, but long established (100+ years), Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup. They accomplished this goal by using one-design boats, jump starting the event and renewing interest and participation, while reducing the cost of the event for participants.

Following a three-year hiatus and one week prior to the Lipton Cup Regatta, the San Diego Yacht Club relaunched the long established International Masters Regatta. They utilized the same one-design boats to sail both the International Masters Regatta and the Lipton Cup Challenge Regatta.

Source: Jake Fish, US Sailing

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