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More West Coast Sailors Among US Sailing Award Recipients

On Monday we wrote about two California programs that were awarded at the recent US Sailing National Sailing Programs Symposium: Alameda Community Sailing Center, and Mission Bay Aquatic Center in San Diego. Today we’re sharing the news of three more West Coast award winners for their contributions to sailing.

US Sailing award winners
It was a good night for winners from across the US.
© 2024 US Sailing

Rob Overton of Alameda received the Harman Hawkins Trophy, presented by the Race Administration Committee to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the sport in the field of race administration.

Overton has raced and cruised sailboats for over 65 years, including campaigning a 470 in the 1976 Olympic Trials, and has won a variety of regional, national, and North American championships in Lasers and J/24s. He and his wife have sailed over 30,000 miles in their 50-ft sloop, including three Atlantic crossings.

In 1990, after responding to an article soliciting suggestions to simplify racing rules with 19 pages of suggestions, Overton was nominated to join the Racing Rules Committee. Thirty-four years later he has overseen the publication of eight rulebooks, and is the original author of more than a dozen rules now in the Racing Rules of Sailing.

Overton has also served on multiple World Sailing working parties and the World Sailing Team Race Rules working party, the Team Race Call Book working party, and the Rapid Response Call working party. He is a national judge and an international umpire. One friend wrote about Overton that he “always answers the phone and is never too busy to talk about the rules, do hearings, or go racing.”

The Newport Harbor Yacht Club (NHYC) has been awarded the The St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy for its efforts as a “local sailing organization with exceptional race management at a specific event.” The winner is chosen based on race management excellence, including evaluation by participating skippers.

NHYC received the award for the 14th Baldwin Cup Team Race, an annual four-on-four competition among 12 teams. The race committee ran 126 races over three days despite light and variable winds and tricky crosscurrents caused by runoff from heavy rains. Close to 200 NHYC members supported the event, from pit crew to boat procurement, housing for competitors and umpires, sponsor fulfillment, filming, live-streaming the event, and announcing from shore. NHYC worked with members and mooring owners to clear a course area close to the club to create a stadium-style racing experience.

The trophy was accepted on behalf of the club by Principal Race Officer and Staff Commodore Scott Mason and NHYC Race Director Jess Gerry.
© 2024

Farther north, the Seattle Yacht Club has received the Captain Joe Prosser Award, which was created to recognize the life achievements of the Merchant Marine Academy’s first sailing master, Captain C.A. “Joe” Prosser. Winning organizations embody all characteristics of the award’s namesake, namely honor, integrity, and a selfless dedication to the sport.

The Seattle Yacht Club is the first two-time recipient of the award, which reflects their consistency and continued excellence in sail training. They have one of the largest yacht club sailing programs in the Northwest, with over 600 junior sailing program participants, and over 70 participants in their adult sailing program. With programs for children as young as 7, they have created an effective pathway that starts sailors as kids and keeps them into adulthood.

Their programs are run by a team of 50-plus instructors who work to ensure that students are set up to succeed, regardless of whether they are a new sailor or a veteran.

seattle yacht club_US Sailig award winners
Seattle YC offers boat-handling and racing skills for intermediate and advanced sailors aboard their Olympic-class Lasers.
© 2024

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