U.S. Sailing has honored Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (C.R.A.B.) with the 2019 Robie Pierce Award for its efforts over 30 years to promote public access sailing for thousands of people with disabilities. The award was presented by Robbie Pierce, the son of the award’s namesake, and US Sailing President Cory Sertl to C.R.A.B. Executive Director Paul “Bo” Bollinger at U.S. Sailing’s Leadership Conference awards ceremony on the deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Midway in San Diego, California. Brother Bollinger is an initiate of the Beta-Nu Chapter at the University of Kentucky.
The Para Sailing Committee chose C.R.A.B. from nominations across the country. The Robbie Pierce Award recognizes the outstanding program for sailors with disabilities that have made notable contributions to promote public access sailing for people with disabilities.
Accepting the award, Brother Bollinger said, “This year we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and what better way for U.S. Sailing to recognize our dedicated volunteers and adaptive sailing programs during this historic year.”
“We are honored to have earned U.S. Sailing’s Robie Pierce Award as a testament to our efforts,” said C.R.A.B. President Brad LaTour.
“This year we are embarking on building the country’s premier adaptive boating center in Annapolis, and we will be greatly expanding C.R.A.B.’s sailing programs and fleet for greater numbers of people with disabilities in the region.”
C.R.A.B. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that strives to make the therapeutic benefits of sailing and the freedom it provides a reality for physically and/or developmentally-challenged
individuals and their families, wounded warriors, and local children from at-risk communities regardless of their financial circumstances. C.R.A.B. has been providing sailing instruction for
nearly 30 years on the Chesapeake Bay.
The late Robie Pierce, who suffered with multiple sclerosis, won several national and world disabled sailing regattas. Pierce served as chair for the U.S. Sailing Sailors with Special Needs Committee, now called the Para Sailing Committee. Dedicated to improving access to community-based sailing venues, Pierce played a major role in helping to develop and promote disabled sailing.