One-Design leaders recognized at Bay Head YC

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This past Saturday evening at the 2011 US Sailing One-Design Sailing Symposium which was presented by Gowrie Group and hosted by the Bay Head Yacht Club, there were five awards presented which recognized outstanding individual and organizational achievements in One-Design sailing.

These annual award categories are for Service, Leadership, Club, Regatta, and Creativity. These awards highlight role models of creative leadership in one-design sailing. Receiving John H. Gardiner, Jr. Trophy for Service award was Gene Ferguson (Lake Worth, Texas) of the Catalina 22 class. Justin Scott (Greenwich, Conn.) of the Viper 640 class won the Leadership Award.

The North Cape Yacht Club (Lasalle, Mich.) received the Club Award. The Heineken High Performance Dinghy Open, hosted by the American Yacht Club (Rye, N.Y.), won the Regatta Award. SailX, an interactive sailing website, received this year’s Creativity Award.

Gene Ferguson of the Catalina 22 class won the 2011 Service award for the distinguished service and leadership in the promotion of one-design sailing and class organization.

Ferguson has been a member or the Catalina 22 class since 1978 after purchasing his boat, Princess Ann. Ferguson will tell you that membership in the Association, 'has helped me to form some long lasting friendships from all over the country that I would not have experienced had I not joined the Association.' For over 30 years, Gene’s hard work and dedication to promoting the class has been extremely beneficial. Ferguson’s promotion of the Catalina 22 Class has helped make it one of the largest and most active one-design fleets in the U.S.

He served as the National Commodore of the Catalina 22 National Sailing Association (C22NSA) for three years, from 1994 through 1997. In 1998 he became the editor of the class magazine, Mainbrace, and in 2006 Ferguson assisted in preparing and creating the Catalina 22 Technical Manual, which features over 300 pages of technical resources regarding the class. Most recently in 2011, Ferguson, in partnership with the current C22NSA Commodore Ted McGee, redesigned the Catalina 22 website to include feeds to social media, a blog, and information to promote class activities. Visit the website.

'In additional to being a great racer and always demonstrating exceptional sportsmanship, Gene has a long history of distinguished service and leadership in the class,' explains Rich Fox, former National Commodore of the C22NSA (2005-2008).

Justin Scott of the Viper 640 Class won the 2011 Leadership award which recognizes individual initiative, enthusiasm, organizing ability and leadership in creating an outstanding one-design fleet building program.

Scott had served as Founding Class President of the Viper 640 Association for eight years until last March. He took on this role when the class was being reformed in January of 2003. Justin’s leadership revitalized the class and provided a new foundation. Eight years later, the Viper 640 class is among the fastest growing three-person sport classes in North America, with hundreds of teams participating locally and nationally. In 2011, the Viper fleet has grown by 45 boats, and increased by nearly a third.

The great strides the class has made can be attributed to Scott’s enthusiastic and determined leadership. 'Quite simply, the Viper 640 Class would not exist today without the vision and leadership of Justin Scott,' says Dan Tucker, Marblehead Viper Fleet Captain.

Learn more about the Viper 640 class

Located on the shores of Western Lake Erie, the North Cape Yacht Club (NCYC) won the 2011 Club Award for the administrative excellence, fleet growth, creative programming, regatta support, and member contribution they provided to a number of regional, national and international one-design events. In 2011 the club hosted a number of major championships.

These events included the International Lightning Class Association (ILYA) Great Lakes Championship and Ohio District Championship from July 9-10 with 37 boats, Snipe Nationals on July 23-29 with 38 boats, ILYA Junior Women’s’ and Masters North American Championship from August 3-5 with 34 boats, ILYA North American Championship from August 7-11 with 57 boats, and the J/35 North American Championship from August 23-25 with seven boats participating.

Commodore Duane Burgoyne and the NCYC board and members welcomed these major championships. At any one of these events, the volunteer based club had significant member support with 75 to 100 volunteers.

'The amount of time that the members spent organizing and running six National events this summer was extraordinary. North Cape Yacht Club is certainly a club promoting the sport of sailing,' explains Laura Jeffers, International Lightning Class Executive Secretary.

Learn more about the North Cape Yacht Club

American Yacht Club has won the 2011 Regatta Award for the excellence in development, promotion, and management performed by organizers and sponsors of the 2011 Heineken High Performance Dingy Open.

The two co-chairpersons and the founders of the regatta, John Wyles and Carina McCabe, have run the event seamlessly since 2008. The regatta has contributed to the resurgence of one-design sailing in the western corner of Long Island Sound. This year the regatta saw two new fleets in attendance, the 20 boat K6 fleet and the 28-boat Viper fleet. This year, against declining regatta attendance around the country, the Heineken High Performance Dingy Open set a new record with 125 boats.

'The regatta is fun and is adored by its participants,' stated Justin Scott, a Viper 640 competitor.

Learn more about the 2011 Heineken High Performance Dingy Open on the event website.

SailX has won the 2011 Creativity Award for their outstanding individual creativity and contribution to the year’s most innovative one-design events of national or international significance.

SailX is an online sailing simulator. It was originally created by active sailors and racers as a training tool. Over the last five years it has turned into an online sailing community where members can race virtual online races against fellow sailors. It has grown to be one of the largest one-design sailboat racing communities in the world. Sailors from around the world race every day online. In a typical week, SailX will have over 90,000 visits from 98 countries.

The online racing user experience is primarily tactical and very realistic. Racing takes place on a choice of online sailing 'fields' based on locations. Players are not racing against a computer, they are racing against each other, messaging and communicating as they race. SailX hosts special large regattas at various venues.