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BWI Award Winners

Soundings magazine won a record 12 awards of excellence for marine journalism from Boating Writers International in a ceremony during the Miami International Boat Show in February.

The awards were presented for editorial features and columns published in the magazine during 2005. Winning stories covered an array of topics, from Hurricane Katrina, to navigation of the ICW, to tips for docking a boat, to the misadventure of an 80-year-old boater who survived an accident that left him in the water for 18 hours.

Although Soundings has won many BWI awards over the past 13 years the awards have been presented, 12 in one year is a record for the 44-year-old magazine. It was also a record for BWI awards in 2005. No other boating magazine won as many awards this year as Soundings.

“It’s a great honor,” said Soundings editor William Sisson. “A lot of hard work went into those stories, and all the others we did, but a lot of fun went into them too. We try to take our readers’ view of each story topic … putting the reader into the action and the adventure of this great sport of boating. We like to write what boating is really about for real boaters.”

Soundings also won more first-place awards than any other magazine, with four firsts, two seconds, two thirds and four certificates of merit.

Click below to read the award-winning Soundings stories:

Gulf Stream gales by Douglas Campbell
First place -
Seamanship, Rescue & Safety

  80-year-old survives 18 hours in the water by Jim Flannery
Second place - 
Seamanship, Rescue & Safety

Surviving a dance with Hurricane Ethel by Charles Fuss
Certificate of merit -
Seamanship, Rescue & Safety

How to be a hero at the docks  by Tom Neale
First place - 
Technical Writing

Understanding the science behind tsunamis  by Douglas Campbell
First place --
Ethics and Environment

Hurricane Katrina  by Jim Flannery
First place --
Consumer Issues, News and Analysis

Under Way

Water is as thick as blood

Grace under pressure Rebuilding lives, boat by boat by William Sisson
Second place - 
Boating Columns

A century of sailing by Douglas Campbell
Third place -
Boating Lifestyles

Catboat moments  by Steve Knauth
Certificate of Merit -
 Boating Lifestyles

Making your way down the ICW by Tom Neale
Certificate of Merit -
Boating Travel or Destinations

Electronics for the Great Loop by George Sass, Sr.
Certificate of Merit -

Tips from a Boater’s Bag of Tricks by Tom Neale
Third place -
Boat/Engine Care and Maintenance

About Boating Writers International
BWI is a non-profit professional organization consisting of writers, broadcasters, editors, photographers, public relations specialists and others in the communications profession associated with the boating industry. Members include active marine journalists across the United States, in Canada and Europe, supporting marine manufacturers and service entities, and associates in communication roles.
The BWI contest covers 14 categories: Boating Columns; Boating Lifestyles; Boating Profiles; Boating Destination; Engine Care; Electronics; Ethics & Environment; Fishing; Consumer Issues, News & Analysis; The Business of Boating; Seamanship, Rescue & Safety; Technical Writing; Boat Tests; and Gear/Electronics.
Presentations in the 14 contest categories represent $14,000 in awards for first ($500), second ($300) and third ($200) place scorers. Each recipient also gets a recognition plaque noting their "Excellence in creating compelling stories about the boating lifestyle through entertaining, educational and inspiring journalism."
In its 13th year, the BWI contest attracted record participation, with 212 individuals entering 636 stories. A total of 93 prizes were awarded, including 42 major awards (first, second, and third place), and 51 certificates of merit. Soundings’ sister publication, Soundings Trade Only, the leading trade magazine covering the boating industry, also won four awards in the ceremony, more than any other business magazine.