California Sea Scouts Earn BoatUS Flagship Award

ALAMEDA, Calif., May 31, 2012 - As Sea Scouting continues the celebration of 100 years of getting young people on the water throughout 2012, BoatUS commemorated the hallmark year by bestowing its 10th BoatUS Sea Scout National Flagship Award to the top-performing Sea Scout unit in the nation, Ship 72, Albatross, of Martinez, California. BoatUS West Coast Representative Bryan Dove presented the trophy at a ceremony in Alameda, May 28.

California Sea Scouts Earn BoatUS Flagship Award

The presentation was a highlight of yet another milestone Sea Scout event, the 60th Annual Ancient Mariner Regatta held at the USS Hornet Museum, a World War II aircraft carrier moored at former Naval Air Station Alameda, California. "We are particularly proud of this year's winner because Ship 72 is the fourth California Sea Scout unit to earn this recognition since BoatUS revived the Flagship Award in 2002 to help celebrate Sea Scouting's 90th anniversary," Dove said as he presented the trophy to Catherine Murphy-Bevan, the ship's boatswain or youth leader. Skipper Alan Mollwitz, the adult leader, joined 23 members of the crew in accepting the trophy.

Like all Sea Scout units, Ship 72 uses boats, seamanship and nautical skills to develop character and leadership qualities in young people, both male and female. With two dozen youths active in the program, Ship 72 operates a 65-foot ex-Navy torpedo retriever as its principal boat based at Martinez Marina on Carquinez Strait. Other boats include Little Tross, an 18-foot Crownline ski boat, a 1970s vintage 14-foot tri-hull runabout with a 40-horse Mercury dubbed Tadpole, two home-built dories, several Zodiacs, and a whaleboat named Shanagagines.

To earn the Flagship recognition, the ship and its crew compiled an impressive record of accomplishments with 50 days of on-the-water activities last year, including a 10-day summer cruise. They also completed six community service projects, competed in eight regattas, and increased membership 17%.

Sea Scouting is a co-ed program for young adults, age 14 to 20, operated by Boy Scouts of America. With over 7,000 youths, about one-third female, participating in 550 Ships nationwide, regular activities range from formal training in boating handling, rules of the road and safety drills to boat maintenance, electronics and engine repair, with a good measure of fun thrown in.

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