Small Stuff – Florida

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Nominations sought for top yachtsman/woman

US Sailing is accepting nominations for its Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards, widely acknowledged as the foremost individual sailing honors in the nation.

Through Nov. 30 every member of US Sailing can nominate the male and female sailor they think has turned in the most outstanding on-the-water performance during 2007. Nominations can be made online at www.us sailing.org/awards/rolex.

The awards are presented annually to the individual U.S. sailors who demonstrate excellence on the water at national and/or international events to earn their place in the record books. Jud Smith and Paige Railey, winners of the distinction for 2006, were the most recent additions to the list of winners that includes Betsy Alison, Kevin Burnham, Paul Cayard, Dennis Conner, Courtenay Dey, Paul Foerster, Steve Fossett, JJ Isler, John Kostecki, Ken Read, Dawn Riley, Jody Swanson and Ted Turner.

A shortlist of nominees is presented to a panel of sailing journalists who discuss the merits of each and vote by secret ballot to determine the award winners. In February each winner will be presented with a specially engraved Rolex timepiece. Originally created in 1961, the awards have been sponsored by Rolex Watch USA since 1980.

Mount Gay Rum extends sponsorship

US Sailing and Mount Gay Rum have extended their partnership through 2009.

The partnership centers on US Sailing’s Mount Gay Rum Speaker Series, but also includes other events such as the National Sailing Programs Symposium, the One-Design Sailing Symposium, and the organization’s Annual Meeting.

The partnership began in 2005 when the two teamed up to organize the speaker series, a grass roots program that has since brought sailing experts such as Olympic hopeful Sally Barkow, sailing tactics guru Dave Dellenbaugh, sailing commentator Gary Jobson, and racing rules expert Dave Perry to sailing organizations throughout the country.

“If you ask sailing organizations what they most want to add to their current programs, many of them will say that it is first-rate speakers from whom their members can learn,” said US Sailing’s Marketing Director Dan Cooney.

US Sailing, USPS sign memo of understanding

The national groups US Sailing and the United States Power Squadrons (USPS) recently signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines how the two organizations can share educational resources, including instructional programs and course materials.

The move allows each organization — each of which is a leader in a field of recreational boating education — to tap into the other organization’s particular expertise.

USPS will complement its classroom instruction with US Sailing courses in on-the-water powerboat skill instruction and demonstration. US Sailing will incorporate the extensive advanced navigational course materials developed by USPS into its training programs.

“This is a great partnership that will extend the reach of both organizations,” said Rich Jepsen, CEO of OCSC Sailing (Berkeley, Calif.) who chairs US SAILING’s Training Committee.