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Maritime Heroes Award

11th January 2016

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In partnership with US Sailing and consumers across the USA we are delighted to announce that we have chosen the recipients of the 2015 Maritime Heroes Award.

This year’s winner, Nathan Indergaard, will receive the 2015 Old Pulteney Maritime Heroes Award, $5,000, which is to be used to support the winning finalist's activities in the sailing community. This February, Nathan will also be honored at US Sailing’s Sailing Leadership Forum in San Diego, California.

Over the past two years, Nathan has become an activist for US Sailing’s REACH Initiative, which utilizes sailing as an educational platform. REACH challenges youth to embrace education, establishing a love of learning while exploring science, technology, engineering and math.

“It was such an honor to even be nominated for the Maritime Heroes Award. Being selected as the winner is amazing!” says Indergaard. “I see the benefits of the REACH program with the students, and this award will allow us to expand the program in the district. Without the work of Jessica and Windy at US Sailing, Wayne Burdick at Groupe Benetea and the College of Charleston Sailing Team, this may never have got rolling like it has. It has been a lot of work, but I have had a great team of teachers to make it a success. This has, and will be a team effort to help the students.”

Nathan has worked closely with Wayne Burdick, President of Groupe Beneteau, to implement REACH at Creek Bridge Middle School, which is located in a landlocked area of the state. Not being on the coast has forced him to think outside the box by coordinating field trips, guest speakers and R/C land yachts to bring along concepts to life. In the first year, Nathan successfully implemented two of the ten REACH modules in 6th grade classrooms, helping students learn about wind speed and buoyancy. The students were able to tour the Beneteau Factory, and at the end of the year, 27 students participated in a field trip to Charleston, SC to go sailing with Greg Fisher and the College of Charleston Sailing Team. This year they have expanded the program to include all 11 REACH modules in 6th, 7th and 8th grades.

Nathan believes in REACH and that getting kids out on the water is one of the most valuable things he can do.

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