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U.S. Sailing honors Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating Sailing
Capital - 2/9/2020
Don Backe had a dream to make the Chesapeake Bay more accessible to people with disabilities.
Backe, who had been paralyzed in an auto accident, founded Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) in 1991 and began making an immediate impact. For three decades now, the non-profit organization and has providing sailing opportunities for physically and developmentally challenged individuals, along with those who could not afford it.
Backe, who died of cancer in 2013 at the age of 77, was succeeded as CRAB executive director by Paul Bollinger. Displaying passion, determination and ingenuity, Bollinger has built on Backe's legacy and transformed Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating into a nationaly recognized powerhouse.
US Sailing honored Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) with the 2019 Robie Pierce Award for its efforts over 30 years to promote public access sailing for thousands of people with disabilities.
Annapolis resident and worldwide sailing ambassador Gary Jobson formally presented the Pierce Award to Bollinger this past week during US Sailing'sLeadership Conference awards ceremony on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Midway in San Diego, California.
"This year we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and what better way for US Sailing to recognize our dedicated volunteers and adaptive sailing programs during this historic year," Bollinger said.
The Para Sailing Committee chose CRAB from nominations across the country. The award recognizes the outstanding program for sailors with disabilities that has made notable contributions to promote public access sailing for people with disabilities.
"We are honored to have earned US Sailing'sRobie Pierce Award as a testament to our efforts," CRAB President Brad LaTour said. "This year we are embarking on building the country's premier adaptive boating center in Annapolis, and we will be greatly expanding CRAB's sailing programs and fleet for greater numbers of people with disabilities in the region."
The late Robie Pierce, who suffered with multiple sclerosis, won several national and world disabled sailing regattas. Pierce served as chair for the US Sailing Sailors with Special Needs Committee, now called the Para Sailing Committee. Dedicated to improving access to community-based sailing venues, Pierce played a major role in helping to develop and promote disabled sailing.
Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating was honored during an awards ceremony that also recognized the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year.
"It was an incredible honor to share the same stage as the Rolex recipients and many very deserving and highly respected leaders in US sailing," Bollinger added. "I only wish CRAB's volunteer skippers and crew who are the very best could have been on stage with me."
Bollinger has worked methodically and tirelessly to bring to fruition Backe's dream of a CRAB Adaptive Boating Center in Annapolis. Since its inception, CRAB has operated from docks at Sandy Point State Park.
"When the CRAB Adaptive Boating Center opens in Annapolis we will be able to double or triple the number of guests with disabilities, wounded warriors and children from at-risk communities who will be able to learn to sail on Chesapeake Bay," Bollinger said.
EYC BOOMERANG RACE: Eastport Yacht Club has announced that Weather Routing Incorporated (WRI) will serve as the "Official Weather Provider" for the club's annual Boomerang Race.
WRI will be providing forecasts from July 9 through 12 in advance of the popular overnight distance race that starts and finishes on the Severn River. These forecasts will be available by visiting the link on the event's webpage, or by visiting this link.
Weather maps and products specifically created for this event are also available at that link. In addition, skippers and navigators can create their own complimentary trial account for SeaWeather.net, Weather Routing Incorporated's supplemental online service.
A SeaWeather.net account connect sailors with additional forecasting products and charts specific to the EYC Boomerang Race.
WRI is the world leader in marine weather forecasting, providing forecasts and routing to a wide variety of clients, including races, regattas, rallies, fishing tournaments, yachts, cargo ships, cruise lines, and marinas.
All products are customized to each client and are produced by degreed and certified meteorologists with over a century of combined experience. For more information on WRI's products, or if you have any questions about its services for the Boomerang Race, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call +1-518-798-1110 or visit www.wriwx.com.
AYC PROMOTING ORC: Three years after integrating the internationally recognized rating rule into many of its signature events, AYC is giving ORC more prominent recognition.
At the recommendation of the Sailing Committee and with the support of the Commodore, Annapolis Yacht Club has unveiled several new initiatives that recognize the increased interest and success of the Offshore Racing Congress rule.
Commodore Jonathan Bartlett is pleased to announce that ORC will now be offered as part of Annapolis Yacht Club's popular Wednesday Night Racing series beginning with the 2020 season. This action was taken at the request of Bobby Frey, longtime Event Chairman and Principal Race officer for WNR. Frey intends to provide ORC and PHRF divisions and will allow the market to determine the number of classes for each.
"AYC has been using ORC for other events over the last few years with positive feedback from owners," Frey said. "Considering the growing satisfaction with ORC, we feel it is important to provide that opportunity as part of Wednesday Night Racing. I hope this move will further increase our handicap class participation."
ORC has also been adopted for the Annapolis Labor Day Regatta, which will be celebrating its seventh season in 2020. ORC will replace PHRF as the handicap rating rule for the ALDR, although organizers do anticipate including a PHRF Non-Spinnaker class.
Ben Capuco, AYC's member liaison for the ORC Class and the owner of Zuul, an Aerodyne 38, fully supports the move to ORC.
"I am really happy that AYC is embracing the rule. It's going to generate racing that is more fair and as the fleet of competitors gets used to the rule, participation is going to increase. As light, high performance boats with asymmetric spinnakers have become more popular, the ability for other rules to fairly rate those boats against more traditional designs is almost impossible"
Annapolis Yacht Club is also pleased to announce that an overall ORC season champion will be recognized and presented with a prestigious trophy. AYC is rededicating the America Trophy for this special purpose and it will henceforth be awarded to the top scoring boat competing in ORC at the Club's four annually run signature regattas: Spring Race to Oxford, Annual Regatta, Race to Solomons, and Fall Series.
The America Trophy was donated to the club by renowned yachtsman Al Van Metre, who campaigned a series of grand prix racing boats including Running Tide.
"This is one of our finest trophies currently not in use," Commodore Bartlett said. "We felt creating a season-long ORC champion would return the America Trophy to its proper significance."
ORC uses the International Measurement System as a platform for measurements of the hull, mast, and sails along with the ORC Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) to rate boats of different characteristics that affect their rated speed.