CHARLESTON, S.C. (May 22, 2017) – The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) honored three individuals for their contributions to the sport of college sailing by inducting them into the ICSA Hall of Fame at today’s annual ICSA Meeting, which is the kick off to the Spring College Sailing National Championships, hosted by the College of Charleston at the J. Stewart Walker Center.
Jade Forsberg (Holetown, Barbados) was recognized with the James Rousmaniere Award for student leadership; George Stewart “Stovy” Brown (Leonardtown, Md.) was honored with the Lifetime Service Award; and Robert Overton (San Francisco, Calif.) awarded Outstanding Service by a volunteer.
The Hall of Fame was established in 1969 to honor individuals for either undergraduate competitive achievement in sailing or outstanding leadership and service to the establishment, development and growth of the sport. The names of the inductees will be added to the ICSA College Sailing Hall of Fame, which is on permanent display in the Robert Crown Center at the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.).
The James Rousmaniere Award for Student Leadership recognizes an undergraduate for extraordinary achievement in leadership whose efforts have made a significant contribution to the development, progress and success of his or her club or team, conference or the ICSA.
Forsberg was nominated not only for being a leader on her Middlebury College Sailing Team, but also as the vice president of the NEISA conference where she helped promote the growth of student-led and club programs in the conference.
“She provided a vital connection between the conference leadership and those who were having trouble getting their voices heard,” says Hannah Lynn, the NEISA undergraduate president who worked with Forsberg. “Specifically, she contributed to the creation of the NEISA team development handbook as well as the club team symposium last December.”
“Jade believes in the importance of smaller, developing teams in college sailing, and confidently stood by her beliefs in front of the NEISA community at the 2015-2016 scheduling meeting,” says Alex Levin, coach for the Middlebury team. “Jade is a natural leader, articulate, and confident in her beliefs. Jade has remained true to her agenda and has been a consistent leader for our club team at Middlebury.”
“I feel tremendously honored and I’m thrilled to be part of such a great conference in NEISA and to be able to give back to college sailing,” Forsberg explains. “Sailing has been an integral part of my college experience at Middlebury and I’m truly ecstatic to be a part of all the progress in our conference and my team at Middlebury.”
Other college teams in the NEISA conference will be able to benefit from Forsberg’s contribution.
“The goal of the handbook is to help make the process of starting or running a team just a bit smoother by providing advice and information about the key aspects of managing a team,” she says. “In essence, it aims to lessen the learning curve of starting or running a successful college sailing team and will hopefully take some pressure off students going above and beyond to participate in the sport. We had a phenomenal group of people who actually put the handbook together – former NEISA sailors, current sailors and coaches."
“I love the competition and camaraderie,” Forsberg says of what she enjoys most about college sailing.
The Lifetime Service Award recognizes a career of extraordinary service to college sailing, as a volunteer or professional.
“Stovy is a lifetime sailor committed to sharing and improving the game of college sailing and the sport as a whole,” says Adam Werblow, head coach for St. Mary’s College of Maryland and MAISA Representative for the ICSA Hall of Fame Committee. “As modern team racing rose in popularity and sophistication, Stovy became an expert on its rules, helping to bring about positive changes to reduce protests and increase fairness in regatta results.”
Brown was instrumental in developing the umpire system that exists today in college team racing.
“He has served as chief umpire at ICSA National Championships many times over the years and has always strived to make our sport better by helping to create a level playing field for the competitors,” explains Werblow. “Stovy is an inspiration in dedication, courage and commitment to excellence.”
“I am truly humbled by this award because I grew so much during my four years of college sailing,” says Brown. “In fact, sailing at Yale University also grew while I was there, emerging from only a club sport to one awarding varsity letters in my senior year.”
“Perhaps my most vivid memories are working with the great coaches and officers of college sailing to improve the sport,” continues Brown:
For instance in the early 90s, team racing was becoming very difficult to officiate because of the growing numbers of protests. After serving on one college nationals committee where the team racing championship was decided in the jury room followed by a middle Atlantic championship where protests lasted until two o'clock in the morning, it was unclear whether team racing could survive. This was the time the Hinman Trophy was experimenting with on the water umpiring. So the following spring we worked out a way to prototype on the water umpiring at the spring St. Mary's team race event and it was a great success. This has saved perhaps the most intellectual and challenging part of our sailing competition.
Brown’s contribution to college sailing has made a significant difference in the success of the sport.
“It has been a pleasure to serve and give back to the sport which has given so much to me over the years,” Brown concludes.
The Outstanding Service by a volunteer award honors an individual who has volunteered their time, talent and resources to advance the interests of college sailing at the club, team, conference or national level.
“Rob Overton has been serving college sailing as an expert judge and umpire as far back as I can remember,” says Werblow. “Rob has been annually serving as chief umpire for the Mid-Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association (MAISA) Team Race circuit…Aside from his amazing commitment of time, Rob brings a true zeal to the game by bringing umpires, coaches and sailors together for the love of the competition and desire to make the game as fair as possible.”
“This is an incredible honor for me,” says Overton. “The list of past Outstanding Service awardees includes several people who have, in my judgment, contributed much more to college sailing than I have, so I feel humbled.”
“Umpiring college team races gives me a ringside seat to some of the best dinghy sailing in the world. In addition, I repeatedly witness great sportsmanship, whether it's a boat taking a voluntary penalty turn even when it costs her team the race, or a sailor thanking me for explaining my call – even though he disagrees with my explanation!”
Overton continues, “In the protest room, the competitors are calm and respectful, and at the end of the hearing the parties invariably shake hands with their opponents and with the judges. I attribute this high level of sportsmanship largely to the coaches, who actively teach it. All in all, college sailing is a great sport to be involved in as a volunteer.”
Contact: Jennifer Mitchell |Toile à Voile for ICSA | firstname.lastname@example.org | 763-234-8286 m.