American Sailing Association marks 30th anniversary

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The American Sailing Association is celebrating its 30th year serving the national sailing community.

The ASA was established in 1983 to introduce uniform sailing standards to the United States and unite the multitude of independent sailing schools across America, which were then teaching their own diverse methods.

During the last 30 years, the ASA has developed an internationally accepted system of sail education offering recognized levels of proficiency to its sailing schools. The ASA has grown to include a network of 2,000 working certified sailing instructors at more than 300 professionally accredited sailing schools in 18 countries and has certified more than 400,000 people.

“When we got under way 30 years ago, our mission was simple — to help make sailing safer and more enjoyable,” ASA founder Lenny Shabes said in a statement. “But ASA’s long-term dedication to sail education has seen the development and successful implementation of a lineup of internationally recognized sailing standards. These include a seven-level keelboat program, a small-boat program, multihull courses, coastal and celestial navigation, as well as weather and docking endorsements. Over the past three decades ASA has evolved into the world’s foremost organization dedicated to recreational sailing instruction.”

The ASA is commemorating its Pearl Anniversary with festive, philanthropic and promotional activities throughout 2013. To celebrate the milestone, the organization will host the ASA 30th Anniversary Blast in October at the Annapolis Boat Show, the largest industry show in the United States.

Additionally, the ASA will launch a series of national and international 30th-anniversary flotillas co-hosted by the association and its participating schools.

In the spirit of giving back, ASA will be building on the relationship it established in the fall of 2012 with Hands Across the Sea by continuing to help raise awareness and funds for the non-profit organization dedicated to raising literacy levels of children in the Caribbean.

By holding a series of “Sailing for Literacy” events with participating affiliate schools and instructors, in addition to several ASA-sponsored eBay auctions, ASA’s fundraising goal for its anniversary year is $30,000. The ASA will present a check to the charitable organization at the 30th Anniversary Blast in Annapolis.

ASA members and other sailors will have the opportunity to show off their amateur photography skills through a photo contest taking place on ASA’s Facebook page throughout the spring and summer this year.

Categories include:

• Best Action Sailing Photo — to be chosen by the ASA’s Facebook fans

• Best ASA Sailing Photo (which must depict the ASA logo or name) — to be chosen by ASA staff

• Best Sailing Lifestyle Photo / Editor's Choice Award — to be chosen by the editor of the American Sailing Journal, the ASA’s quarterly publication

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