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US Sailing Association Awards Honor Contributions to the Sport

The annual US Sailing Association Awards were celebrated Thursday evening at St. Francis Yacht Club. Award winners were honored for their contributions to the sport of sailing, from racing to race management.

Congratulations to the following US Sailing award winners:

  • Gary Bodie (Hampton, VA) received the Nathanael G. Herreshoff (2021) for his extraordinary contributions to the sport of sailing.
  • Martine Zurinskas (Alpharetta, GA) was awarded the President’s Award for her contributions to US Sailing’s Board of Directors.
  • Leo Boucher (Annapolis, MD) was awarded the inaugural Kevin Burnham Memorial Award for his embodiment of Burnham’s Olympic spirit.
  • Dora McGee (Cumming, GA) was awarded the John D. Gardiner One Design Service Award for her commitment to the Catalina 22 class.
  • Orcas Island Yacht Club (Eastsound, WA) received the One Design Club Award for their support of the local J/70 fleet.
  • Bob Naylor (Tempe, Arizona) was awarded the One Design Leadership Award for his efforts to build the local Sunfish fleet.
  • Clear Lake Yacht Club (Clear Lake, Iowa) received the One Design Regatta Award for the superb hosting of the 50th anniversary MC Scow Nationals regatta.
  • Jim Tichenor (Houston, TX) was awarded the Harman Hawkins Trophy for contributions to race administration.
  • Cleveland Yachting Club (Rocky River, OH) received the St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy for their excellent planning and execution of the 75th Thistle National Championships.
  • Chuck Hawley (Santa Cruz, CA) was recognized as the 2020 winner of the Nathanael G. Herreshoff award.

The 2021 Nathaniel G. Herreshoff Award
Gary Bodie (Hampton, VA)

Gary Bodie has been an inspiration in the sailing realm, from his prolific racing career to his time as a successful coach and team director. Brodie has made an impact on nearly every aspect of dinghy sailing, from college sailing to the Olympics to race management.

Brodie was a standout racer during his college years and after in the 505 class. Post-college, he was recruited as a coach, serving several colleges during his career. During his eight-year tenure as a coach at the US Naval Academy, his team won many championships, and a number of his sailors were named to the All-American Sailing Team.

In 1996, after a tough Olympic Games in Savannah, Georgia, the US Olympic Sailing Committee recruited Bodie to be the High-Performance Director of the US Team. His sailors won eight medals including a Gold Medal in each of the three Olympics he coached in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

After retiring from leading the US Sailing Team he took on being the chair of the Miami Sailing World Cup regatta in tandem with serving on World Sailing’s Events Committee and then Council as a volunteer. He became the ‘go to’ person to make Miami one of the top elite sailing destinations in the country, if not in the world. He became a highly respected leader and has represented North America on the Council of World Sailing.

In 2012 Brodie was selected to be on the World Sailing Council representing the USA with Cory Sertl. He also served on the Events Committee and the Ranking Committee during his eight years at World Sailing.

US Sailing President’s Award
Martine Zurinskas (Alpharetta, GA)

Martine Zurinskas has been a long serving volunteer to the sailing community across all levels – local, regional, and national. Zurinskas has been the voice of local clubs and regional associations in the Southeast, keeping the US Sailing board informed of their needs.

Zurinskas served US Sailing at one of the most tentative times in the organization’s history. She oversaw total revision of bylaws and regulations, replacement of the leadership staff over two years, and an unprecedented number of Board Action Requests as the entire organization was reinvented. According to Cory Sertl, President of the Board for Zurinskas’ tenure, “Martine was the glue that held the Board together for her 6 years. Her commitment to being on top of all US Sailing programs and committees is a special quality of super volunteers!”

The Kevin Burnham Memorial Award
Leo Boucher (Annapolis, MD)

Leo Boucher is a familiar face to many in the American singlehanded sailing scene. In 2021, Boucher was the ILCA North American Champion and ICSA Singlehanded National Champion and competed in numerous other regattas. But it was not his sailing prowess that earned him this award – it was Boucher’s attitude as a competitor and overall positive impact on the sport that impressed the committee.

The John D. Gardiner One Design Service Award
Dora McGee (Cumming, GA)

For nearly half of its 50-year existence, the Catalina 22 National Association has subsisted on the service of Dora McGee. Fondly called the “mother hen” of the class by many of its 525 members, McGee has served in many roles, most recently as secretary and treasurer. Beyond the Catalina 22 class, McGee is involved in organizing and working on many different events in the Southeast across and wide range of classes. McGee often serves on race committee, where her calm demeanor belies her expectation of perfection in race management and sailor support.

One Design Club Award
Orcas Island Yacht Club (Eastsound, WA)

The J/Pod at Orcas Island Yacht Club began as the brainchild of Ron Rosenberg. By kickstarting the local J/70 fleet through this initiative, Rosenberg and his group have introduced new people to one design racing, encouraged others to compete internationally and gone far to promote one design sailing in Puget Sound. Members of the J/Pod (named after the pods of Orca whales that frequent the Sound) are often seen coaching other groups, including a women’s learn to sail group and the local Laser fleet. Pod members are also instrumental in local fundraising efforts to assist local sailors to participate international events as well as raising funds for the local junior sailing program. Under Rosenberg’s leadership, the group often conducts debriefs after a day’s sailing so everyone can learn and progress.

One Design Leadership Award
Bob Naylor (Tempe, AZ)

Bob Naylor, of the Arizona Yacht Club, has been the spark behind building Sunfish fleet 749. The fleet sails primarily in a canal in downtown Tempe, Arizona proving that large facilities and lot of space are not always necessary to go sailing and have fun together. To build his fleet, Naylor and his sidekick Jeff Bryant have been known to travel as far as Alabama to purchase used Sunfish for Fleet 749.

“For me personally, I love the beauty of our sport, and I especially enjoy introducing our sport to new people, and teaching others to sail,” said Naylor. “Establishing our Sunfish Fleet has provided a wonderful on-ramp to the sport for many budding Arizona sailors, and created a fresh, new, buzz within our yacht club.”

One Design Regatta Award
MC Scow Nationals Hosted by Clear Lake Yacht Club (Clear Lake, IA)

The 50th Anniversary MC Scow Nationals hosted by Clear Lake Yacht Club drew 119 MC Scows to the event, surpassing a previous event record of 109 boats. By all accounts, the hospitality and generosity shown by the club and its members was outstanding, with all event details handled by club members. For the regatta’s auction, five different sailmakers donated MC sails that were auctioned off to raise funds for the club’s junior program.

The Harman Hawkins Trophy
Jim Tichenor (Houston, TX)

Jim Tichenor’s exceptional service to sailing spans multiple disciplines over more than 35 years. He was one of one of the first certified judge and race officer instructors, remaining active as an instructor until his retirement. Since 1999, Tichenor has been the Principal Race Office or Chief Judge at over 180 sailing events, many of them championships. He also has an illustrious record as a volunteer for US Sailing and beyond. He was a member of the US Sailing Board of Directors, and the Audit, Championships, Nominating, Olympic Sailing, PHRF and Offshore Championship Committees.

The St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy
Cleveland Yacht Club (Rocky River, OH) for the 75th Thistle National Championships

Cleveland Yacht Club is the winner of this year’s St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy, awarded for exceptional race management at a regatta for their running of the 75th Thistle National Championships. According to the selection Committee chair, Cleveland Yacht Club “ran a phenomenal event with challenging weather, course configurations, and logistics to rave reviews from their participants.” Many sailors wrote in to compliment the management of the event, saying it was “one of the best regattas [they’ve] ever attended,” and to say they were impressed by the professional and timely nature of staff and volunteers.

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