The Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) has long been the go-to organization for high value, affordable rallies, but when Covid forced the sudden closure of borders in the Caribbean, it pivoted to organizing the Homeward Bound Flotilla. Its experience organizing rallies came to the rescue of some 473 sailors aboard 184 boats who were trapped in the Caribbean with little time to route plan or navigate documentation. With the help of the PredictWind weather forecasting service, the SDSA coordinated weather routing, tracking, and round the clock emergency assistance to the boats. It assigned “buddy boats” to those less experienced or less equipped for the trip. It maintained communication with many of the governments of the United States, the Bahamas, Bermuda and others to keep sailors abreast of the changing situation. It even succeeded in convincing the Bahamian government to lift a travel ban and allow flotilla members to route through if necessary. This ended up being crucial as over half the fleet did so.
In response, the Cruising Club of America has recognized the SDSA's efforts with its Special Recognition Award, an honor that is only given in select years to someone who has made an exceptional contribution to the sailing community. “We are proud to be associated with this team of dedicated Salty Dawg Members who exemplify our motto of ‘Sailors Helping Sailors,’” the CCA said in a statement.
It will present this award virtually to SDSA President, Hank George, on behalf of the Salty Dawg team at the CCA’s Annual Meeting on March 2nd.
For more on the SDSA, visit their website.