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Maritime Heroes

Old Pulteney and US Sailing are partnering for the fourth consecutive year to honor men and women in sailing communities around the country for their humanitarian achievements. The Maritime Heroes Award recognizes those who are making significant contributions to volunteer, educate, advocate or simply encourage others to explore the sport.

Nominate an Unsung Hero in the Sailing Community: 

Nominations will be accepted from November 5th, 2015 till November 20, 2015. There is no feat too small to qualify for nomination. Finalists will be selected by Old Pulteney and US Sailing and announced shortly afterwards using the information provided in the nomination form.  To enter download the nomination form below and email it to the address stipulated on the form. Please note  terms and conditions apply. 


The Grand Prize

  • The winner will receive a $5,000 grant to continue their efforts within the sailing community.
  • The winner will also be honored at US Sailing's Leadership Forum in San Diego, California.
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November 5–20, 2015

Nomination Period

November 24, 2015

Finalists selected

December 7–22, 2015

Public Voting Period

December 29, 2015

Winner is selected

February 4–6, 2016

Award Ceremony

Previous Winners

2014 - Richard Ramos and Aleef Mahmud

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Richard Ramos, a former sailor who suffers from a disabling spinal cord injury following a diving incident, thought he would never be able to sail again. After meeting Aleef Mahmud, an engineer from RIT through Community Boating, INC., the two created an apparatus that would allow Richard and others with similar injuries to pursue their marine passions.

2013 - Rorke Miller

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Rorke Miller was nominated by a member of his sailing community for his involvement in the SAIL Champion Program, which aims to help at-risk youth through the therapeutic activity of sailing. As director of the program and co-founder of the RED8 Boatworks, Miller created a positive environment where young adults could seek guidance and training for a better future.

2012 - Donald Backe

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Donald Backe of Annapolis, Maryland was nominated by a member of his sailing community for creating the Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (C.R.A.B) organization, whose mission is to inspire and teach the disabled to sail. Don founded C.R.A.B. in 1991 so that sailing could be experienced by physically and mentally challenged individuals, as well as those who aren’t able to participate in the sport for financial reasons. Because of Don’s tenacity and will, C.R.A.B. has evolved into a four-sailboat fleet.