Dee Caffari, Katie Miller named top British sailors
British circumnavigating sailor Dee Caffari won the title of Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year — making it a double for the ladies, following Katie Miller taking the title of Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year.
Caffari was presented with the award, Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year, for the world record she set as the first woman to sail single-handed, non-stop around the world against prevailing winds and currents. Having fulfilled her desire to be involved in round-the-world yacht racing by skippering a yacht in the Global Challenge, she set sail on a more personal voyage, the Aviva Challenge — her 178-day solo circumnavigation. Departing in November 2005, Dee returned a hero to Southampton in May 2006.
Finalists for the title included 470 World Champions Nic Asher and Elliot Willis, the first British team to win the 470 World Championship since 1988; and Steve Curtis, who has won eight Class 1 World Championships and is considered the best international powerboat racer of all time.
Miller, who is studying Yacht Manufacture and Surveying at SouthamptonSolentUniversity, won the award for her single-handed circumnavigation of the United Kingdom in her boat Elektra. Her three-month voyage raised funds for The Ellen MacArthur Trust to enable children suffering with cancer to experience the thrills and beauty of sailing.
Nancy Erley elected to advisory board
The National Women’s Sailing Association elected Nancy Erley, founder and owner of Tethys Offshore Sailing for Women, in Seattle, to its advisory board.
Erley holds a 50-ton Master of Oceans and 100-ton Master Near Coastal license and is an instructor-evaluator for the International Sail and Power Association. For the past 24 years, Erley has been teaching women to sail, either on learning cruises or individually. She frequently participates in the Women’s Sailing Convention in California and the Women’s Sailing Conference in Massachusetts. She has been a featured speaker at a variety of events.
Erley, a two-time circumnavigator, was the 2006 recipient of the Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award, co-sponsored by BoatU.S. and NWSA. The award honors an individual who has built a record of achievement in inspiring, educating and enriching the lives of women through sailing.
Junior Olympic sponsor boosts support
Gill North America, a longtime technical supplier of US Sailing’s U.S.A. Junior Olympic Sailing program, increased its sponsorship of the youth development program. Under the new two-year agreement, Gill becomes Official Sponsor and Technical Apparel Sponsor of the program.
Through the multiyear partnership, Gill will provide support to the nearly 50 JO events scheduled to take place in 2007 and 2008 combined. Gill’s support of the program consists of several aspects, including financial support and the supply of products for each event.
Since US Sailing created the USA Junior Olympic Sailing program in 1997, more than 32,000 youth sailors nationwide have participated in the program. Gill has been a supporter of the program since 2001.