This year we continued our successful crew grant program which, combined with Sail Training International’s Youth Council and their own bursary fund, meant that there was a strong contingent of young minds running around and contributing to our sessions. For the more experienced crew members, it meant that they were able to attend at a nominal cost, furthering their professional development. For our U.S. attendees, grants were generously funded by USMMA Foundation, United States Maritime Resource Center and the Liz Strojny Memorial Fund.
During the closing ceremony, Tall Ships America presented the annual Sail Training Awards (descriptions for these awards are on our website). All of the winners were nominated by their peers. During some the presentations, it was hard to keep your composure as the accolades of the recipients were read out loud. Hearing how these people and programs have changed lives is incredibly inspiring and renews our passion for sail training and tall ships. It is always the highlight of the conference.
Volunteer of the Year: Marc Jensen for all of his work with L’Hermione
Sail Trainer of the Year: Captain John Eginton, Mystic Whaler
Sail Training Program of the Year: U.S. Brig Niagara
Sea Education Program of the Year: Young Men and Women at the Helm aboard Sloop Clearwater
Part 3 of the award series tomorrow will cover the final evening, our annual Prom Night, where we recognized two people for their extraordinary contributions to the sail training industry.