Dominion names finalists for YachtWorld Heroes award

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Dominion Marine Media has announced the five finalists for its 2013 YachtWorld Heroes award.

Now in its third year, the Heroes initiative recognizes individuals and organizations that have leveraged their love and respect for boating into a higher consciousness.

The five finalists are:

• Joel Aberbach, volunteer, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary District Seven assistant staff officer, Sea Partners and America’s Waterway Watch of Miami, has volunteered 25,000 hours over 40 years to educate the public about protecting and preserving our marine environment.

• Betsy Alison, Paralympic coach for the U.S. Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, of Newport, R.I., was a 2011 U.S. Sailing Hall of Fame inductee. Her current focus is the development of national team athletes in three Paralympic sailing events in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games.

• Dieter Paulmann, founder of Okeanos Foundation of the Sea and Pacific Voyagers, of Germany, and his crew sailed 20,000 miles across the Pacific with their fleet of seven vaka moanas (oceangoing sailing canoes) to raise awareness of contemporary threats to the sea.

• David Rockefeller Jr., founder of Sailors for the Sea, of Newport, R.I., educates and encourages the boating community in the worldwide protection of the oceans. With offices in Newport, San Francisco, Japan and Portugal, the group’s programs offer steps that boaters can take to reduce their environmental impact.

• Jeanne Socrates, sailor aboard S/V Nereida, of the U.K., completed a singlehanded nonstop circumnavigation last year at the age of 70 after two other near solo circumnavigations that involved beaching, loss of a boat, a knockdown off Cape Horn and major repairs that interrupted her first two attempts.

The winner will be announced Feb. 13 at the Miami International Boat Show.

“It is an honor to recognize these remarkable people for their endeavors and share information about their organizations with boaters everywhere,” Jessica Muffett, founder of YachtWorld and YachtWorld Heroes, said in a statement. “They are addressing important issues for our blue planet, proving one person can make a difference.”

The judges were Wendy Mitman Clarke, Dieter Loibner, Jessica Muffett, Standon Murray and John Page Williams.

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