Walter Erben Award Winners
photo courtesy of Randy Pawlowski
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photo courtesy of Ross Herbert
This award was established in 2001 by Mary Anne and Bill Ward in memory of Mary Anne's father. Walter Erben was a tireless supporter of sailing and racing for many years. Whether it was to set marks, rescue an overturned boat or any of the other numerous tasks it takes to run a regatta, Walter Erben was there to do the job in his own quiet way. He enabled others to pursue their pleasures and goals in sailing and racing. This award is for the person who exemplifies this ethic of helping others with no thoughts of anything in return. This person doesn't have to be a racer or even a sailor but someone who has done or continually does something to help promote sailing. We all know those people and often take them for granted.
"From the time I was a small child my father and
I spent hours on his boats. He taught me to love the water and
experience the joy of being on the water. When my Dad passed away in
2001 I wanted to find ways to honor him and his spirit, his kindness
and his constant reminder to be grateful. My husband, Bill and I
decided to create the Walter Erben Memorial Award as a way to say
thank you to the people in Brevard County who help make sailing the
wonderful event it is, whether they are on the water or behind the
Nominations are accepted throughout the year. To nominate someone, email the information to Jim Lacy, email@example.com You should include the person's full name, and a discussion of why you think they should receive the award (be specific).
This was the 13th year of the
presentation of the Walter Erben Memorial Award. This award is for
those who exemplify Walter Erben's
The Award Winners
2013 - Tony Godden
2012 - Jim Henry
This year’s recipient of the Walter Erben Memorial Award is Dave Noble. His 30 plus years of involvement in the Space Coast sailing community embodies the spirit of Walter Erben. As an FIT student he was captain of the sailing team. After graduating he was coach and adjunct faculty at FIT for sailing. He’s been MYC Fleet captain numerous times. He’s arranged and sponsored many seminars for various fleets along with rules and tactics seminars over the years including having Gary Jobson give a presentation at FIT.
Dave has been instrumental in bringing and growing various fleets to the area including Lasers & Thistles among others.
Through his dedication and hard work for the
past 5 years he has revived the J 24 fleet to 9 boats and growing.
He’s scoured the region for boats that are available and has
expedited the process of getting boats to local sailors. He’s
started a new series of weekly evening J24 racing. Fleet 87 has come
back to life through his efforts. As trends wax and wane on the
Space Coast sailing scene Dave always has ideas and actions to keep
2010 - John
2009 - Jerry Butz
This year’s recipient of the Walter Erben Award is Rachele Ross. This Award is given to the sailor who has shown service and dedication to the sailing community. Walter Erben would be honored to know that Rachele has shown tireless dedication to the sailing community and is so well deserving of this prestigious award.
Thirty years ago, after many requests for a women’s race, Rachele was asked to plan and host a dinner at Melbourne Yacht Club. She agreed, under the condition that the men of the club run a race for women only... and that after the race they cook and serve the dinner and do the clean-up afterwards. They agreed! And so the Mermaid Regatta was born!
Little did those men realize that Rachele was and is the ultimate Party Planner, with her formidable organizational and motivational skills; she has guided the Mermaid Regatta through all thirty years of races, seminars, dinners and entertainment. To her, planning a regatta is no more difficult than collecting seashells at the shore! From T-shirt and flyer design to event and entertainment planning to party theme design to recruiting for dinner and entertainment committees to racing her own boat Sleighride, Rachele does it all. For all MYC’s parties and racing venues, she IS the Chairman of the Board when it comes to shore-support. And when Shore Captain duties allow, she and husband Jerry also volunteer Sleighride for race committee, youth sailing and other on-the-water regatta needs. Today The Mermaid Regatta is one of the longest running All Women’s Regattas in the country, thanks to Rachele’s hard work and dedication.
For over thirty years Rachele and Jerry have raced somewhere in Brevard County almost every weekend of the year! And Rachele has always made sure that ladies were part of Sleighride’s crew. She was born to the water and all the joys that being on the water provide. Her lady recruitment schemes have been the envy of many a gentlemen’s yacht. To her it’s not foremost the challenge of getting to the finish first, but rather the sharing of joy and friendships that being on the water gives her. What greater purpose that a race provides then the utmost excuse for all to enjoy when “Going on a Sleighride”!
years now you have given us the best party, the best regatta
entertainment, the best tee-shirt designs, the best organized
~Jan Crawford, Sleighride crew since 1981~
In addition to being a family man, he is a Commander in the United States Naval Reserve, a US Sailing certified small boat instructor, a US Sailing certified keel boat instructor and a United States Naval Academy Sailing Instructor.
He had taught the Red Cross Basic Sailing Course for the past 11 years to more than 350 people.
In 2005 he started the Titusville High School Sailing team with the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps to teach basic seamanship, sailing and water safety. He is currently working with the team in building a fleet of Club 420's to further this effort. In the meantime, he has helped to acquire 2-man boats for the high school sailing and intermediate class. Luis Delgado with MaryAnn Ward
Luis and the Titusville Sailing Club are currently in negotiations with Brevard Parks and the city of Titusville to expand the storage facility to increase the size and type of boats in their training fleet.
Luis is an individual who has focused his time and ability in
sailing on the most important aspect of being a member of the
sailing community, he is an educator. We can expect more creative
ideas and efforts from Luis in the future. Our sailing community
will feel the effects of Luis' efforts for years to come.
Gerry Moores is the honoree for the Walter Erben Award in 2006.
The Walter Erben Award for 2006 saw the most
nominations since it's inception in 2001. Nominees from one end of
the Space Coast to the other were submitted. The breadth of desire,
talent and dedication shown by our past recipients, and those
Among this years nominee's are past winners John McNeill, Sherry Beckett, Mike Nulf and Mike Chappell. Others nominated were Jack Leahy, Rachele Ross, Simon Koumjian, Hasty Miller, James Liebl and Sharon Tolson. The sailing community thanks them for all their efforts as well.
Michael Chappell is the honoree for the Walter Erben Award in 2005. Michael has been instrumental in keeping the ocean-racing program alive in Brevard county. He has served countless terms as Fleet Captain at CBYC, as well as a few years as Commodore. He was also a founding member of CBYC. He has been member of several regular crews and is a pleasure to sail with. More importantly, he is always calm and an excellent teacher; of sailing techniques and strategy, as well as how to run an RC boat.
He has been instrumental in securing boats for RC and running the races with little or no help and does this on a regular basis. Since there are very few members at CBYC who are active racers it has often been a challenge to convince the club to invest time, effort and money in a racing program. His interest, dedication and perseverance has been instrumental the continuation of ocean racing here in Brevard county.
Michael has also been the PRO for the annual Calema Mid-Winter Windsurfing Regatta - which is one of the largest windsurfing events in the world. He is single handedly responsible for organizing the RC for this event. This typically entails convincing about 8 boat owners, and 20 accessory people to give up a weekend (and a work day). Many members of the RC team are power boaters, who know do not sail or race at all. Michael's personality and charisma convinced many people to help with the event that we now all look forward to and enjoy playing a role in.
Michael is one of many people that has been vital to the local racing community and is the recipient of the Walter Erben Award for his years of tireless service and dedication to our community.Others nominated for this year were Sherry Beckett, Gerry Moores, James Liebl, Dave Merchberger and Mike Nulf. The sailing community thanks them for all their efforts as well.
2004 - Mike Nulf
Mike is a consistent supporter of all the local clubs with pre-race organization, race committee and post-race scoring and awards in addition to his representing IRYC on the PHRF Board. He has worked hard to make the local Melges 24 fleet one of the largest fleets in the country. Mike has planted the competitive seed in the local Melges 24 fleet and he continues to tend to it so that one day it may bear fruit in the form of national recognition for the skill and dedication of our local sailors.
Mike is not only an excellent organizer but is also one of the rarest commodities in any organization, a tireless worker. He is always there to offer a hand helping others rig a boat, fix a part, salvage a disaster, move a mark, deliver a boat, start a race, compute the results, pick up a mess, or to sooth frayed tempers. Mike Nulf is an outstanding example of the attributes required to be awarded the Walter Erben Award.
2003 - John MacNeill
His sailing classes are offered to the local community, not only MYC members. His efforts have returned small boat sailing in a big way to our area through his running the Small Boat Sunday's racing at Melbourne Yacht Club.
His efforts have also led to the donation of small boats to MYC's growing fleet of sailboats and the revival of the local Sunfish fleet in our area. The revival of this fleet led to a World's qualifying event at MYC.
John truly embodies the dedication and ethic of Walter Erben.
Other Nominees for the 2003 Award were Rachele Ross, Mike Nulf, Gerry Moores, Sherry Beckett and Chris Gates. The sailing community thanks them all for their efforts as well!
Congratulations to Bob Sowden, awarded this
year's Walter Erben Memorial Award at the MYC Fall Regatta.
2001 - Sherry Beckett - Awarded for untiring efforts to add life to the South Brevard racing fleet, in the form of the weekly ‘Racing News’ emails, sail-race.com website, as Women’s Racing Chairman, as MYC Fleet Captain, and other related endeavors.
Other nominees for the 2001 award were Karen Knockel, Bob Sowden, Roni Duys, Mike Chappel, and Dr. Tom Beals from Titusville. All deserve a large thanks for their ongoing efforts as well.
Last modified on 08/05/2014