And the award goes to…

Every year at the annual conference, the American Sail Training Association presents awards to current ASTA members- both individuals and organizations- recognizing their achievements within the sail training industry.  Below are photos of the winners…

Sea Education Program of the Year


West Island College International

Educational Partner-Ships


After just one year of a partnership between Acadia University and West Island College International, the Class Afloat program is fully-subscribed and they have entered into a second year of collaboration. This year alone, the program will accumulate more than 160 university course enrollments, with the student coursework for each course completed in the shipboard environments managed and provided by the nominee.

With Class Afloat, students are encouraged to stretch themselves outside their comfort zone to embrace global issues and set personal goals, all in a safe and supportive community-oriented environment which inspires both passion and compassion for others and our planet.  Class Afloat seeks students who are truly committed to academic excellence, personal integrity and global leadership. 


Class Afloat
Class Afloat


Sail Trainer of the Year

CAPT J. Christopher Sinnett, USCG


Entering into his third year as EAGLE’s Commanding Officer and with twenty-five years of active military service, CAPT Chris Sinnett exemplifies the definition of a ‘sail trainer’.  He is an accomplished seaman with high expectations for all around him, at the same time he is a superb coach and mentor.

Chris’s goal is clearly to develop qualified successors at every level of the chain of command. He uses every opportunity to encourage progress and recognize achievement. His team management and training skills allow him the satisfaction and reward that is gained from empowering others’ success. His patience, knowledge and obvious pride for the mission of the US Coast Guard is evident in his interaction with his crew, cadets, guests and students who are lucky enough to sail under his command.

CAPT Chris Sinnett and ASTA Chair, Mike Rauworth
CAPT Chris Sinnett and ASTA Chair, Mike Rauworth


Sail Training Program of the Year

LYNX Educational Foundation


This year marked the 5th annual Pacific sail training voyage to Hawaii from San Francisco. Five students, ages 15-18) were selected to participate in this fully developed educational program designed to challenge youth and bring them together as a united crew through teamwork.  During the three week voyage, the students learned Polynesian and celestial navigation, received hands on experience with sextants, sail and wind theory, charts and navigational instruments, marine sciences, and how to sail a ship through Pacific trade winds.  Ultimately, they learned leadership skills, confidence, responsibility and personal growth as they responded to unseen challenges. 

The Lynx Educational Foundation is an American history educational organization utilizing the 122-foot American Privateer Schooner LYNX.  By bringing American history back from the past and surrounding children with the details of the lessons they are learning, LYNX and her crew create a living history that combines, teamwork and sail training with modern educational requirements.

LYNX Educational Foundation-Cindy Buffa and ASTA Chair Mike Rauworth
LYNX Educational Foundation-Cindy Buffa and ASTA Chair Mike Rauworth


Perry Bowl

Privateer LYNX


This summer, during the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Series along the Pacific Coast, ASTA organized four races. LYNX was the only vessel of the fleet to race in each of the competitions. Over the course of the summer, she raced both the Canadian Navy (against HMCS Oriole-LYNX won by less than a mile) and the United States Coast Guard (Barque EAGLE-LYNX’s first loss). Of those four races, LYNX won two, and placed in two making them the most prizewinning ship in the fleet. 

Cindy Buffa (LYNX), Bert Rogers and Erin Short (ASTA)
Cindy Buffa (LYNX), Bert Rogers and Erin Short (ASTA)


Port of the Year

Tacoma, WA


Once again, this city pulled out all the stops and enthusiastically embraced all things tall ships. Within the packed schedule of events, there was a tribal welcome ceremony from the local Puyallup people, crew BBQ and welcome reception for more than 1,500 people. Showers, laundry services (650 loads in one day!) and basic marine services were provided free of charge. Live music, museum exhibits, canoe building and art shows showcased a revitalized waterfront and brought people from all over the Pacific Northwest to see more than 30 tall ships berthed along the Foss Waterway.

Tacoma Tall Ships Society also sponsored the highly successful Youth on Board (YOB) Program in which 47 teen sailed on three ships (Adventuress, Mycia, Zodiac) from Victoria, BC to Tacoma, WA in the days preceding the festival.   Half of the participating youth were on full or partial scholarships totaling $12,000.  Five teens from the YOB program were also selected to participate in ASTA’s EAGLE SEAMANSHIP Program, sailing from San Pedro to San Diego, CA on board USCG Barque EAGLE.

Overall, Tacoma, WA exemplified the mission of the American Sail Training Association and the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® by welcoming visiting ships into their hometown,  inviting the public to rediscover their waterfront and maritime history, and encouraging the crews share their knowledge and enthusiasm for tall ship sailing.

Lori Crace and ASTA Chair Mike Rauworth
Lori Crace and ASTA Chair Mike Rauworth

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