The International SeaKeepers Society hosted its Annual Founders Award Event during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October during which Nainoa Thompson was honored as the 2022 SeaKeeper of the Year.
Thompson is a native Hawaiian navigator native Hawaiian navigator and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. He is best known as the first Hawaiian since the 14th century to practice the ancient Polynesian art of navigation having navigated two double-hulled canoes (the Hokule’a and the Hawai’iloa from Hawaii to other island nations in Polynesia without the aid of western instruments.
Also honored at the event was Lehua Kamalu as NextGen Awardee, and Robert DuGrenier as the SeaKeeper Artist of the Year.
More than 150 guests were in attendance at a private waterfront residence where they enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and live music alongside some of the yachting community’s most influential members. Attendees included Charlotte Vick, Consultant for ocean, environment and climate policy; Mary Crowley, founder of Ocean Voyages Institute and Ocean Voyages Inc.; and Captain Sandy Yawn. SeaKeepers leadership was in attendance, including Chairman Emeritus Michael T. Moore, Chairman Jay Wade, and board members Glen Allen and Dr. Mark Luther. Master of Ceremonies Louis Aguirre, from South Florida TV station WPLG 10, led the stage program.
The group’s 2022 Discovery Yacht Fleet program video was shared with guests and included highlights from scientist-led expeditions, citizen science, educational outreach and community engagement.
The group thanked its honoree guests: Tanya Lynn and Andrew Heller, as event hosts, and SeaKeeper Founding Member, George F. Sustendal. It also thanked Bradford Marine (Sustainability Sponsor), Global Marine Travel (Travel Sponsor), Douglas Elliman (Discovery Sponsor), Florida Atlantic University (Science Sponsor), Memorial Healthcare Systems (Photography Sponsor), Patty and Rick Elkus Foundation (Education Sponsor), Smallwood’s Yachtwear (Giftbag Sponsor), and JMS Yachting Management USA (Gallery Sponsor).
The group expressed it gratitude to its media partners for their promotion during the life of the event: CharterWorld, Coral Gables magazine, Excellence Luxury magazine, Luxury Guide, Marine & Industrial Report, MegaYacht News, Meridian, Triton, Ocean Media, Venue magazine, Yachts International, and YATCO.
The International SeaKeepers Society is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization focusing on the health of the world’s oceans and climate. SeaKeepers works with the boating and yachting community to take advantage of their unique potential to further marine research and to raise awareness about the issues our oceans face. SeaKeepers acts as a global catalyst working with governments, scientists, institutions, and other marine organizations to further its mission and support sensible, achievable marine protection and restoration.
For more information and additional event photos: seakeepers.org