During a special edition of US Sailing’s Starboard Portal, individuals and organizations in the areas of Adaptive Sailing, Community Sailing, Training and Education and Coaching Excellence were honored for their contributions to the sport of sailing in the United States during 2021.
Congratulations to the following US Sailing award winners:
- Wayzata Adaptive Sailing (Wayzata, MN) received the Robie Pierce Award for Adaptive Sailing Programming.
- Ernest Brody (Wayzata, MN) received the Gay S. Lynn Memorial Trophy
- Scott Lindley (Fort Worth, TX) received the Developmental Coach of the Year Award
- Lior Lavie (Miami, FL) received the Developmental Coach of the Year Award
- Charlie McKee (Hood, OR) received the National Coach of the Year Award
- Owen Milne (Burlington, VT) received the Jim Kilroy Outstanding Outreach & Inclusion Award
- Pleasant Bay Community Boating (Harwich, MA)- Creative Innovations in Programming Award
- Dylan Guill (Norfolk, VA) received the Excellence in Instruction Award
- Monte Lewis (Chicago, IL) was recognized at the Volunteer of the Year
- Sheridan Shore Sailing School (Wilmette, IL) was honored with the More than 10 Years of Hallmark Performance Award
- Emily Zugnoni (Alameda, CA) received the Outstanding Program Director Award
- Robert Burke (New York, NY) received the Outstanding Organizational Leader Award
- John Manard (New Orleans, LA) received the Martin A. Luray Award
Training And Education
- Stephanie Webb (Fort Myers, FL) received the Virginia Long Sail Training Service & Support Award
- SeaAffinity (Baltimore, MD) received the Captain Joe Prosser Award for Excellence in Sailing Instruction
- Kim Hapgood (Newport, RI) received the Timothea Larr Trophy
Robie Pierce Award for Adaptive Sailing Programming
Wayzata Adaptive Sailing (Wayzata, MN)
The Wayzata Adaptive Sailing program at the Wayzata Community Sailing Center is led by Adaptive Sailing Director, Ernest Brody. The program has provided a safe, enjoyable environment for people of all ages with cognitive disabilities and or physical special needs and Includes access for veterans. Founded eleven years ago, the program has seen over 300 individuals participate. Their equipment has been modified to accommodate physical limitations and their accompanying sailors/staff are highly skilled at sailing and assisting challenged individuals. Their training and sailing experiences are provided either free or at low cost and ensure that anyone can experience the pleasure of feeling the wind and water interact with a sailboat. The Wayzata Yacht Club assists the program by providing discounted mooring fees for the Wayzata Adaptive Sailing boats.
Gay S. Lynn Memorial Trophy
Ernest Brody, Wayzata Adaptive Sailing (Wayzata, MN)
Ernest Brody has been sailing at the Wayzata Yacht Club for over 40 years. In 2006, his good sailing friend, Bert Foster, embarked on a campaign to qualify for the U.S. Paralympic Sailing Team. Ernest went along on the campaign, taking care of the boat, the sails, whatever was needed to get to the next regatta and turn in a good performance. Ernest not only assisted Team Captain Hook, but he also helped anyone on the campaign trail who needed assistance with boat rigging, adaptive sailing equipment, sharing his knowledge with anyone who asked.
After failing to qualify for the Paralympic Games in 2008 and 2012, Bert and Ernest returned to Wayzata Yacht Club and recognized the need for an adaptive sailing program to serve people in the Twin Cities area. Ernest networked with representatives of organizations serving the disabled in our community, including Courage Kenny Rehabilitative Institute and the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. He also reached out to educators of students with vision impairment and autism. He recruited volunteers, encouraging them to pursue U.S. Sailing Keelboat Instructor certification.
Today Ernest continues to be the driving force behind Wayzata Adaptive Sailing. He is responsible for retrofitting Sonars to accommodate all sailors, recruiting and training instructors and volunteers, and organizing adaptive sailing activities. The program, which has served countless sailors over the years, would not exist without him.
Developmental Coach of the Year Award
Scott Lindley, Fort Worth Boat Club (Fort Worth, TX)
Scott Lindley is the Junior Sailing Director of the Fort Worth Boat Club and the National Director of the USODA Development Program. Over the past 20 years Scott has helped countless optimist sailors, many of whom have gone on to success internationally, both in the optimist class and in other fleets. Some of the notable sailors Scott has coached include Charlotte Rose, Lucija Ruzevic, Leo Boucher, Wade Waddell, Erika Reineke and Ian MacDiarmid.
Since assuming his role at Fort Worth Boat Club, Scott has built the program from only a few sailors to over thirty kids who compete at events across the country and beyond. Over the past two years he has worked tirelessly to keep the program running, and growing, despite challenges related to the pandemic. One of his nominators referred to him as “the pied piper of sailing coaches,” noting that since arriving in Fort Worth he’s helped grow the program into one of the premier sailing programs in the entire state.
A US Sailing Level 3 Coach, Scott’s dedication to his craft has help provide his sailors with dedicated his coaching level of training and performance that they otherwise would not have access to.
Developmental Coach of the Year Award
Lior Lavie, Cornell University & Outfit Sailing (Miami, FL)
Lior Lavie had an incredibly busy and successful 2021, coaching a wide range of disciplines including Optimists, High School Sailing, I420s, 49ers, 49erFXs, and J70s. Lior’s quiet yet accurate eye and guidance provides confidence, speed, value, and motivation to all the athletes that he works with, and he is quickly growing into one of the most talented coaches in the US today.
Lior’s ability to read an athlete’s personality, talent level, and goals allows him to deliver the right mixture of support in any situation. His collaborative openness to always share and learn together with any sailor and coach is the model for sailing coaches and general community in the US today. His abilities, successes, and demonstration of collaborative coaching skills, deserves recognition and should be a noted model for young coaches today.
The US Sailing ODP Coach for the 49er and 49erFX, in 2021 Lior served as the US National Coach at i420 World Championship, USA Team leader at the IODA European Championship and head coach for both Immaculata La Salle High School and Westminister High School. Under his guidance, his sailors experienced incredible success, which included top podium finishes at the i420 World Championships (Open Mixed and Under 17), i420 US Nationals (Top Women), US Sailing Youth Champs, i420 North Americans, i420 Midwinters, Club 420 North Americans among others.
National Coach of the Year Award
Charlie McKee (Hood, OR)
In 2021, Charlie McKee devoted his coaching efforts to introducing and fostering the new (to the Olympics) foiling Kite class to Olympic level campaigning. His vast experience of creating a collaborative squad focused on goal setting principles vaulted the avid US Kiting community into a tight squad, raising everyone’s skill levels and work ethic.
From February to June, he helped plan and execute the formation of US Kitefoil Squad, including topics such as collaboration and technical information sharing, creation of common calendar among athletes and coach, safety procedures, and integration of group into broader US Sailing Team. He also ran seven Kite Domestic Training Camps, oversaw the 2024 Olympic Venue Training Camp/Scouting Trip for Kites and Radials in Marseilles, France (Paris 2024), coached Daniela Moroz and Markus Edegran at European Championships (with Daniela finishing 1st) and coached a squad of five at World Championships (Daniela again placed 1st).
Charlie’s ability to learn a completely new discipline showed his power of observation, patience, guiding communication skills, and forward-thinking adaptability. Charlie’s attention to safety was also a key factor in the success. Managing high speeds, competitive juices, safe launching, coach boat support, and injury support are of the utmost importance in today’s new world of high performance.
Jim Kilroy Outstanding Outreach & Inclusion Award
Owen Milne, Community Sailing Center, Burlington, VT
The Community Sailing Center (CSC) in Burlington, VT has a tag line that inspires anyone who visits it’s beautiful site on Lake Champlain. “Lake Access. Life Lessons. For All.” It truly embodies their work and more specifically the leadership of their Executive Director, Owen Milne.
Owen has worked hard to be sure to deliver on the diversity targets set by the organization. He immediately increased Board minority membership to 18%, met with local organizations to determine the best course of action to increase diversity among sailors in the area, and crafted the Diversity Access Initiative. The Diversity Access Initiative offers four weeks of sailing camp, including a lunch and transportation stipend, to 11-15-year-old campers referred by community partners. Campers are invited back for the following three summers with the same support while CSC welcomes a new cohort each year. In addition to this camper goal, Owen is hoping that participants will continue to be part of the sailing community and become Junior Instructors and Staff. Without the hard work of the staff at the Community Sailing Center the Diversity Access Initiative would not be possible.
Creative Innovations in Programming
Pleasant Bay Community Boating, (Harwich, MA)
Pleasant Bay Community Boating has approached their Sailing and Science Summer Camp with creativity and an attention to inquiry-based learning. Partnering with local organizations like MIT, the National Weather Service, Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative, and the Center for Coastal Studies has enhanced their place-based, marine science curricula. Partnerships require thoughtful outreach and staff time to integrate resources into existing camps and Pleasant Bay Community Boating has done just that.
In 2021 they added a new 37 foot long solar-powered pontoon vessel to their marine science program. Students can safely explore remote areas of the Bay because of the shallow draft and quiet electric motor of this vessel. The vessel can accommodate larger groups of 29 passengers, including 10 wheelchairs. A unique approach to sailing and science has resulted in fantastic program opportunities for the youth of the Cape Cod area.
Excellence in Instruction
Dylan Guill, Sail Nauticus (Norfolk, VA)
The Excellence in Instruction Award recognizes an individual that has consistently demonstrated excellence in instructing, training, or making presentations at local, regional, or national seminars, conferences, or workshops.
Dylan Guill has worked across the country in a variety of sailing programs from Seattle to Virginia. He has grown adult programs in his many roles and coached warrior sailing clinics for veterans who are wounded, ill or injured. These are just a few of his strengths, but what really illustrates Dylan’s dedication to teaching sailing is his inclusivity. He receives rave reviews from all his participants for being a welcoming and compassionate instructor while placing others’ needs ahead of his own. Leading a team of instructors can be difficult, Dylan does it with ease, inviting input from the group and valuing their opinions. His passion for the sport comes through in his leadership style and his attention to those he works with.
Volunteer of the Year
Monte Lewis, Sail Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Sail Chicago is an entirely volunteer-run organization on the shores of Lake Michigan. Monte Lewis has been a tireless and enthusiastic volunteer and member of Sail Chicago for many years. As Coordinator for the Basic Keelboat Instructor Initiative, with a goal to support volunteer instructors to become US Sailing Basic Keelboat Instructors, Monte has encouraged, coached, and mentored nearly 20 of the Sail Chicago volunteers to obtain this certification. He does this by leading extra seminars on and off the water to prepare candidates for the course, knowing that they have limited time and benefit from the extra support.
Monte approaches his training with a smile and infectious optimism, creating incentive for the volunteers to continue their training and involvement with US Sailing. He makes the experience fun and inviting, designing gear for the volunteers so they feel part of the team. Most recently, Monte has established a partnership with the Jackson Park Yacht Club, increasing communication and collaboration among local sailing centers and clubs.
More than 10 Years of Hallmark Performance
Sheridan Shore Sailing School (Wilmette, IL)
Sheridan Shore Sailing School in Wilmette, Illinois has been providing exceptional instruction, an extraordinary sense of community and passion for sailing for over many decades. They offer youth sailing for competitive and non-competitive sailors with opportunities for scholarships, making their program accessible to all members of their community. They host high school sailing teams, adaptive sailing, and even offer adult sailing classes.
Sheridan Shore features a low student-to-instructor ratio to ensure quality programming. In 2019 they became an accredited US Sailing Community Sailing Center, demonstrating their commitment to high quality public access sailing with top notch instructional materials and safety best practices.
Outstanding Program Director
Emily Zugnoni, Alameda Community Sailing Center (Alameda, CA)
The Alameda Community Sailing Center is located within a small island community in San Francisco Bay. Emily Zugnoni, their Program Director, is a dedicated community member who has made a significant impact on the culture at the organization and on everyone who has the pleasure of walking through their gates. She has supported new efforts to improve the quality of instruction by embracing courses and trainings such as the safe powerboat handling, STEM education activities, and social-emotional learning techniques. She has graciously hosted US Sailing courses, which requires staff time, and organizational resources.
Recently, Emily has created a single gender program for girls which sells out each year. She weaves sailing instruction, STEM and leadership into a session that fosters a camaraderie among the students. She has also volunteered her time and energy to the Community Sailing Committee, working towards improving resources for centers across the country.
Emily Zugnoni’s stewardship of sail training in her community is impressive and admirable, she empowers staff to reach their greatest potential, provides a safe environment and demonstrates excellent leadership.
Outstanding Organizational Leader
Robert Burke, Hudson River Community Sailing (New York, NY)
For nearly 10 years, Robert Burke has led Hudson River Community Sailing (HRCS) as its Executive Director, delivering on their mission to develop leadership and academic success in underserved New York City youth through sailing education and providing maritime education and recreation to the community at large. During his time at HRCS he has doubled the staff, membership, and programming, while tripling the fleet of boats at the organization. New programs with Veterans, adaptive sailors and women mentors have been added to the vast offerings at HRCS under his leadership.
Robert is a visionary leader and hands-on director, regularly taking out new members on Sunday afternoons or leading students in the Explorers group on weekend trips.
Martin A. Luray Award
John Manard, Community Sailing New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)
John Manard, President of the Board of Directors at Community Sailing New Orleans played a vital role in helping the West End and Municipal Harbor Yacht Marina rebuild, which is built on mostly city land. As he aided in restoring this public resource, he was determined to ensure access for everyone. John and his wife Mamsie raised their family sailing on Lake Pontchartrain. He witnessed for many years that only the affluent were afforded these opportunities and as John has said many times, “Well, that’s just not fair.” This led to over a decade of relentless hard work in creating Community Sailing New Orleans.
John’s determination has led to the construction of a 12,000 square foot lakefront campus with a fleet of 55 boats. His goal is to eliminate every sociological, economic, and physical barrier to sailing on Lake Pontchartrain. Many kids would not otherwise have the opportunity to sail if it wasn’t for Community Sailing New Orleans. As John oversaw the facility’s construction, he ensured every ramp and finger pier was accessible to all, customizing the docks for wheelchair accessibility and having transfer equipment installed, which now serves many participants in our adaptive sailing programs. He has helped create a place where people from all walks of life and abilities can share influential moments on the water, making connections and creating deep bonds over a shared passion.
Training And Education
Virginia Long Sail Training Service & Support Award
Stephanie Webb, Edison Sailing Center (Fort Myers, FL)
As US Sailing’s Regional Training Coordinator for Area D, Stephanie Webb has been a staunch advocate of US Sailing’s programs, encouraging Clubs across the region to send their instructors to both sailing and powerboating instructor training courses. She sends out regular emails to the region, highlighting opportunities for education and encouraging participation in both local and national events.
She is also the lynchpin behind the very successful (and US Sailing accredited) Edison Sailing Center. Under her leadership, the Edison Sailing Center has worked tireless to bring sailing to children who might otherwise not have the opportunity. Stephanie is also the driving force behind the Florida Sailing Association, helping bring together Clubs from across the region. In 2021, the Florida Sailing Association provided 13 Youth Regatta Grant Reimbursements totaling $1,190 to six member clubs and a $300 Training Grant Stipend to one member club. They also began development of a Tuesday Topics series which is a monthly, 45-minute, virtual knowledge sharing session.
In every facet of what she does, Stephanie strives to connect, educate, and empower. The way she selflessly gives her time and energy has had a huge impact on both her own program and the region she represents.
Captain Joe Prosser Award for Excellence in Sailing Instruction
SeaAffinity (Baltimore, MD)
Sea Affinity was founded in 2012 by a group of sailors who realized that a sailboat is an excellent classroom, and that sailing is a practical way to reinforce all kinds of learning. Their hands-on programs are built around water related activities. They engage students in a practical approach to learning and believe that finances, as well as physical and cognitive abilities, should never be a barrier to developing an affinity to the sea.
Their core values consist of five main pillars: Respect, Integrity, Vision, Education and Responsibility. Those pillars shape every aspect of what they do. Their outreach program runs throughout the year, in partnership with local community organizations. Many of the students that participate in their outreach programs test very poorly in the standardized testing: Published results show that typically only 36% are testing at grade level in 5th grade science. SeaAffinity’s hands-on program not only helps in developing the necessary math, science and reading skills students need, but it also helps them understand the need for these skills. They are able to open the doors of opportunity in careers in science, engineering, and technology.
Timothea Larr Trophy
Kim Hapgood, Sail Newport (Newport, RI)
Kim Hapgood has made numerous contributions to US Sailing’s Educational programs over her decades of involvement with the organization. A member of the Education Committee and National Faculty, she has worked tirelessly to bring the Small Boat Program into the 21st century while also serving as a Smallboat Master Instructor Trainer. She has certified hundreds of instructors and Instructors Trainers and presented on a multitude of topics at the National Sailing Programs Symposium, sharing her vast experience as a program director and instructor trainer.
In 2018 she was awarded the Boater of the Year by the Rhode Island Marine Trade Association and Windcheck magazine noted that she has been “part of the team that’s developed Sail Newport into one of the world’s premier public sailing centers.”
At Sail Newport she trains and manages a team of instructors, develops course curriculum, and has played a central role in creating a groundbreaking, experiential-educational program where all fourth graders in Newport public schools will learn to sail. She’s also been a member of the Narragansett Bay Yachting Association Junior Sailing Committee for decades, ensuring instructors on the Bay are certified and spending her own time planning training and youth regatta schedules.