2007 Southam Awards for Excellence in Sailing Communications Announced
Winners of the annual 2007 John Southam Awards for Excellence in Media Communications were announced Feb. 14 by U.S. trade association Sail America and Chief Judge Sally Helme at the Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail media breakfast.
The awards, named in honor of John Southam, former publisher of Cruising World and Sailing World magazines who played a significant role in the growth of sailing, are now in its 15th year with an impressive number of media impressions totaling 77,374,337 generated by 2007 contest submissions.
Of the 228 entries, which included a broad mix of print, broadcast, books and online/internet media, the judging panel of four industry veterans awarded seven cash prizes totaling $11,000, plus noted two honorable mentions.
The 2007 Southam winner is The Learning Channel’s TV Series, “Little People, Big World” episode #36, conceived and produced by Gay Rosenthal Productions in conjunction with The Moorings. This heart-warming feature aired multiple times in December 2007, reaching an estimated audience of more than three million viewers. The broadcast production is a reality series that offers viewers an intimate look into the lives of little people. The feature showed the Roloff family enjoying a sailing vacation in the Bahamas aboard a Moorings catamaran.
“Their excitement and enjoyment at learning to sail is infectious and provided powerful visual testimony that people of all shapes and sizes, of all ages and abilities, can enjoy the beauty of sailing and time on the water,” said Helme. “The impact of the show has been dramatic – The Moorings and many other charter companies reported that their phones rang off the hooks on days following the airing, with consumers clamoring to go sailing like the ‘little people’; did.”
Episode producers won $5,000 for the grand prize winning entry, plus a beautiful crystal sailboat. The check was presented to David Rohr of The Moorings during the Miami Boat Show Press Event.
Other category winners included Jerry Mashaw and Anne MacClintock for their book, “Seasoned by Salt,” published by Sheridan House. The book is a well-told account of one couple’s year-long cruise through the Caribbean sharing the highs and lows of cruising in both an entertaining and informative format. Ultimately, the judges deemed this best in class due to its ability to “inspire anyone who is debating casting off themselves.”
The winner in the Newspapers Under 100,000 (circulation) category is entitled “Smooth Sailing,” published in the Atlantic City Press (Atlantic City, NJ) in June 2007 and written by Courtney McCann. This well-written article celebrates the beauty and simplicity of an afternoon sail on the Jersey shore, underscoring that learning to sail is easy. The author also provided complete contact information for her readers, including a list of sailing schools and boat rental companies in the area, along with some basic sailing terminology.
Also taking a major win from the Garden State in the Newspapers Over 100,000 (circulation) category is Nyier Abdou, for her article, “Sailors Tap Reservoir of Delight,” published in the Star Ledger, Newark NJ, with a daily circulation of nearly 400,000. Abdou’s article featured an informal sailing club that operates on the Spruce Run Reservoir in Hunterdon County, NJ. Having fun is the mantra for this group, and the article provides a refreshing and welcoming perspective of grass roots sailing, inviting the reader to get involved.
One of the most popular categories was the Web, with a variety of interesting and varied entries, many from individual sailors and authors. The Web category winner is the Courageous Sailing Center in Boston, MA (www.courageoussailing,org). Judges noted the site’s simplicity, ease of navigation and the model community’s sailing program. Twelve different language options are provided at the click of a mouse, a true benefit for the diverse Boston area market. Other highlights included the free kids’ sailing program provided via scholarships and fundraisers, which served as a major site attraction and distinction.
The Magazine Category was won by Roger Toll for his article, “Tied Up in Knots” published in the December 2007 edition of Delta Airline’s SKY Magazine. Reaching four million readers, the cover story included a six-page feature. The author described his week at the Offshore Sailing School in Ft. Myers, FL and how he was “transformed from a newcomer to being captain of his own yacht” through the school’s Fast Track to Cruising course.
Two honorable mentions were also awarded. Kathy Moorhouse of Baker Media Group was recognized for her feature article entitled, “Like Ducks to Water” which appeared in Akron Life and Leisure Magazine in August 2007. In addition, Versus Network, its producers and commentators including Tucker Thompson, was recognized for its outstanding coverage of the 32nd America’s Cup which reached more than 15 million viewers for sailing’s marquis event.
“In general, this year’s Southam entries were of very good quality and provided lots of diverse takes on sailing, from the adventure and challenge of sailing in the America’s Cup to beer keg racing in New Jersey,” summarized Helme. “Just like the sport and lifestyle of sailing, the 2007 entries showed that sailing has something to offer just about everyone!”
The list of winners are posted on the www.southamaward.com website. For more information, contact Southam Contest Administrator Patti Velsor at Kenton Smith Advertising & Public Relations, Inc., telephone: 407 856-6680 or email email@example.com.