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It’s good to be back!

Posted by Tall Ships America on January 5, 2010

It’s a bright new year here at the American Sail Training Association.  After a brief hiatus off to recharge and refocus, we are ready to plunge headlong into all of the exciting new projects we have planned for 2010.

But first, a brief look at the accomplishments of 2009.  It was a pretty banner year so read on for some of the highlights and see what’s coming in 2010… 

We were honored by with a Special Recognition Award from Rhode Island Tourism.  Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri recognized ASTA’s efforts and contributions towards tourism promotion in the state of Rhode Island.  ASTA was nominated for the award by the Newport County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for their outstanding contribution to regional tourism promotion and helping to make “Tourism work for Rhode Island”.

Pictured from left to right: Mark G. Brodeur, Director of Tourism; Lori Aguiar, ASTA Director of Operations; Honorable Governor Donald L. Carcieri (RI); Mike Rauworth, ASTA Chairman; Evan Smith, President Newport County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Scholarships and Grants:
Many people don’t realize that a primary way that we ensure the tradition of tall ship sailing is passed along to future generations is through our scholarship and grant programs. The scholarships are a way to get kids out on the water and make the sail training experience available to more people. The crew develpment grants provide financial assistance to professional crewmembers in order to meet credential requirements. More information about both of these programs is available here.  This year, we were able to award $6,000 from four different scholarship funds, and over $13,000 was awarded for crew development, bursaries, and intern sail training.

One of the most exciting parts of 2009 was the the success of the TALL SHIPS ATLANTIC CHALLENGE® . This was a unique collaboration between ASTA and Sail Training International. More than five million people visited 68 tall ships which were in turn hosted by seven ports in Europe and North America. Five races (two trans-Atlantics) ensured that crews were suitably challenged. To follow along with the Race Team (and to read all about my first tall ship sailing experience ever) Click here. To follow one man across the ocean from Bermuda to Charleston, Boston, Halifax and Belfast, read Matt Maples’  blog, A Young Man and the Sea. And see his awesome photos here.

 Back on land, this fall we had a successful annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio (more information here) and published the 18th edition of the Sail Tall Ships!® , a new “best-ever” directory of ASTA ships and programs (be sure to thank Lori). To order your copy, click here.

As you can see, our vacation was well deserved. 2009 was a busy year.  However, not ones to just stand around, we are super excited for this year. We have some new projects that we are eager to get started on. One of the coolest projects is the filming of a documentary about the Great Lakes United TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® throughout the summer. Produced by Gary Jobson, the documentary will air on national TV and will feature the races and tall ships from the 2010 events.  Get your camera hair ready.

Most thrilling for this year is our partnership with Great Lakes United. It seems like a match made in heaven:  While ASTA’s member vessels train sailors in the traditions of tall ships and  strive to maintain our maritime history through these programs, Great Lakes United is committed to ensuring that the  Great Lakes will be around for future generations to create their own history on by working to preserve this fragile ecosystem.  It’s just perfect. Go here to read more.

 To stay in the know, follow me on Twitter, join our Facebook TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® group, or subscribe to this blog. 

Happy New Year and Fair Winds!

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2 Responses to “It’s good to be back!”

  1. Paul said

    Congrats on the awards and keep up the great work. Sailing is such an important part of Newport’s history.

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