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Sea Scouts ship earns award

BoatU.S. awarded its 2009 Sea Scout Flagship Award to the top performing Sea Scout unit in the nation, Ship 90, Renegade, of Newport Beach, Calif., at a ceremony in Alameda. The award, presented during the 57th annual Ancient Mariner Sea Scout Regatta, recognized the unit for excellence in program quality, youth achievement and adult commitment during 2008.

"We are particularly proud of this year's winner since Ship 90 is the third California Sea Scout unit to earn this recognition," said BoatU.S. West Coast Representative Bryan Dove, who presented the award to Matthew Zimmermann, the ship's boatswain or youth leader. Skipper Tim Martin, the adult leader and an alumnus of Sea Scout Ship 711, Del Mar, which won the Flagship Award in 2006, joined Zimmermann in accepting the trophy.

Like all Sea Scout units, Ship 90 uses boats, seamanship and nautical skills to develop character and leadership qualities in young people, both male and female. With more than 20 youth active in the program, Ship 90 has enough crew to campaign a Beckman 60 sloop, Dare, in the Southern California sailboat racing circuit as well as the smaller boats it has available in its home port at Boy Scouts of America's Newport Sea Base in Orange County, Calif.

Dove made the official Flagship presentation during the Ancient Mariner awards ceremony that culminated a Memorial Day weekend of competition among two dozen Sea Scout Ships from around the region. They tested their skills in 25 venues including seamanship, whaleboat races, sailing, piloting and knot tying during the event held at the USS Hornet Museum moored at former Naval Air Station Alameda, California.

To earn the Flagship recognition, the Ship and its crew of Sea Scouts compiled an impressive record of accomplishments last year, logging 32 days of on-water activities, including sailing in the famous Newport-Ensenada International Yacht Race that BoatU.S. helps to sponsor. The team placed sixth in class for 2008, but in this year's race won the class and finished fourth overall.