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19 January 2005, 09:36 am
National Sailing Programs Symposium Breaks Attendance Records in Miami, Fla.
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Portsmouth, Rhode Island

An all-time record of more than 250 sailing program directors, organizers, and volunteers traveled from across the country to Miami, Fla., last weekend to attend US SAILING's National Sailing Programs Symposium, presented by Vanguard Sailboats. The record attendance at the Symposium represented an increase of 33 percent compared to last year's event.
The Symposium featured many unique seminars and workshops, including presentations by sailing experts Gary JOBSON and Dave PERRY. Organized annually by US SAILING, the Symposium is designed to encourage program organizers of any level to share ideas and learn more about running effective, fun, and safe sailing programs.

'The Symposium is such a great educational event for all types of sailing program organizers, we're happy that so many took advantage of the opportunity to expand their horizons,' said Symposium agenda coordinator Nan WALKER. 'We have already begun preparations for next year's Symposium!'

The five days at the Symposium, which ran from Jan. 12-16, were filled with educational seminars, hands-on sailing activities, and numerous networking opportunities for all participants. Sessions covered a wide range of topics, including curriculum development, building and managing travel teams, risk management, fleet maintenance, college sailing, and much more. Highlights of the Symposium were a seminar and book-signing by Dave PERRY on the racing rules as well as a seminar and multimedia presentation on championship sailing by Gary JOBSON. Participants also visited several sailing organizations in the Miami area, including Broward Community College Waterfront Facility, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Miami Yacht Club, Ransome Everglades School, and Shake-A-Leg Miami.

'The Symposium is in line with our commitment to the sport of sailing and developing high-quality sailing programs,' said Chip JOHNS, President of Vanguard Sailboats. 'The fact that this year's event saw a record attendance demonstrates that many people are dedicated to teaching sailors of all ages and helping everyone enjoy their time on the water.'

In addition to seminars and workshops, US SAILING presented several awards to volunteers and sailing organizations committed to sailing programs and education throughout the year. The Marty Luray Award, named for journalist Marty Luray who was a courageous promoter of public access sailing, was given to Thacher TIFFANY of the sailing program DC Sail in Washington, D.C., for making great strides in furthering public access to sailing programs. The Captain Joe Prosser Award for excellence in sailing instruction was awarded to OCSC - San Francisco Bay Sailing School. And the Sail Training Service and Support Award in honor of Virginia LONG was presented to Kevin KAVANAGH, Vice-Chair for Distance Learning of US SAILING's Training Committee.

Since the inception of the National Sailing Programs Symposium 22 years ago, Vanguard Sailboats has played an integral role, becoming the official presenting sponsor in 1998. In addition to Vanguard's continued support, several other sponsors supported the event as well, including Bic Sport, Gowrie Barden & Brett, Hobie Cat Company, Hoyt-Jolley Foundation, iSail, Knotboards Etc., McLaughlin Boatworks, Mercury Marine, Mount Gay Rum, Scully-Fin, and Zodiac.

Also at the Symposium, US SAILING displayed Zodiac's US SAILING RIB 520 - a new 17-foot model in its line of custom-outfitted support boats for US SAILING and the US Sailing Team. Built for top performance in open seas, Zodiac's US SAILING RIBs are designed with deep-V fiberglass hulls, two- and four-stroke engine packages, high horsepower ratings, large payload capacities and increased stability for passengers.

Marlieke de Lange Eaton
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