Newbie Sail-Training Program Picks Up Two Prestigious Awards

After one year of operation, Spirt of Bermuda and the Bermuda Sloop Foundation have been recognized for educational excellence. "At Sea" from our November 29, 2007, CW Reckonings


Captain Chris Blake is Sail Training International's Sail Trainer of the Year, and the program he runs is the American Sail Training Foundation's Sail Training Program of the Year.Bermuda Sloop Foundation

November has been a good month for Spirit of Bermuda, as the sail-training vessel has won two major awards. The 112-foot Bermuda sloop received the American Sail Training Foundation's Sail Training Program of the Year Award, and Sail Training International named Captain Chris Blake Sail Trainer of the Year. First Officer Sarah Robinson was also nominated for that award.

A record 440 delegates from more than 30 countries attended Sail Training International's annual conference earlier this month in Liverpool, England, which is when Blake--there as a representative of the Bermuda Sloop Foundation--found out he was nominated for the STI award. "It's a great honor to be recognized by your peers," says Blake. "It's been quite a first year, with the program getting an award, too."

Spirit of Bermuda, which has just begun its second year in operation, offers two programs to young Bermudians. One caters to middle-school students and consists of a five-day voyage around the island, with students taking part in sailing the ship while undertaking a practical educational program. The other program, for young people aged 15 and older, involves voyages along the Eastern Seaboard, as well as participation in youth rallies and ambassadorial missions.

For more on Spirit of Bermuda and the Bermuda Sloop Foundation, look for Lynn Fitzpatrick's Passage Notes column in CW's January 2008 issue.