Welcome Aboard 2016

damy steward, youth award for ocean conservation, us sailing, R. Mark Davis, Jack Gierhart
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A Blue Future

On December 6th, 2016 Sailors for the Sea held their third Welcome Aboard Gala, hosted by Stephen & Wendy Lash and David & Susan Rockefeller. 225 sailors, donors and ocean enthusiasts attended the bi-annual event, hosted by Christie’s in Rockefeller Plaza. Guests enjoyed signature cocktails provided by Zacapa and Perrier, and marveled at Aurora Robson’s “Updrop” sculpture that hung from the atrium.

The State of the Ocean conversation between Charles Goddard, Dr. Enric Sala, and Ian Walker was a highlight of the night. Charles Goddard, Editorial Director, Asia-Pacific, The Economist Intelligence Unit, provided insight on the impact of ocean health issues with a global economic lens. Dr. Enric Sala, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, brought us the science and imagery that helps preserve some of the planet’s most unique areas and discussed the importance of protecting the high seas. And Ian Walker, Winning Skipper of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, shared his insights from sailing around the world three times. Their thoughtful discourse covered the perils our ocean faces, the important role it plays in personal health and economics, and what each of us can do to make a difference.

For the first time a youth honoree was also recognized and presented an award sponsored by US Sailing. D’amy Steward, a student ambassador of Sailors for the Sea and a youth council member of Earth Echo International, was this year’s recipient. She represents our future and is a beacon of hope amongst the next generation of our ocean stewards.

Following dinner, Ian Walker rallied the crowd and Christie’s auctioneer, John Hays, got the bidding started. Lucky and generous guests took home items including a trip to St. Barths for the Bucket Regatta, a stay in Nantucket highlighting a gorgeous Tiffany & Co. bracelet, a transatlantic voyage from Patagonia to South Africa with Ponant, an expedition with Lindblad to the Galapagos, a luxury catamaran charter with Dream Yacht Charters and an exclusive stay at Segera Retreat in Kenya. All of the proceeds are funding Sailors for the Sea’s programming in 2017.

The evening proved to be a strong reminder that the ocean can survive without us, but we cannot survive without the ocean. But there is a beacon of hope, and that is the many people working together to restore ocean health.

We are incredibly grateful to our host Christie’s and all of our wonderful sponsors who made the evening a grand success!