Backe Wins Maritime Hero Award

 SpinSheet editor Molly Winans with her maritime hero Don Backe of CRAB at the U.S. Sailboat Show in 2009.Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky and US Sailing announce the winner of the 2012 Old Pulteney Maritime Heroes Award. Donald Backe of Annapolis, one of six “unsung hero” finalists considered for the top honor, received the most votes in an online public vote. Backe will be honored at an award ceremony in January during US Sailing’s 2013 National Sailing Programs Symposium in Clearwater, Florida.

Backe was nominated by a member of his sailing community for creating Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) whose mission is to inspire and teach the disabled to sail. Backe founded CRAB in 1991 so that sailing could be experienced by physically and mentally challenged individuals, as well as those who weren’t able to participate in the sport for financial reasons.

“When I founded CRAB I certainly didn’t intend to win an award,” said Backe.  “Since that time the organization has changed many lives.  It feels great to be recognized for making a difference and it just makes me want to do more.”

As neighbors and friends, we here at SpinSheet are not surprised by this news at all... but it does make us very happy to see someone who has long been our hero get some national recognition. Congratulations, Don!