By Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island
The local non-profit organization Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI) was honored last week at Tall Ships America’s 50th Annual Conference on Sail Training and Sea Education when its Perry Corps program was named Sail Training Program of the Year for 2022.
The three-day conference, held at the Newport Marriott, hosted nearly 200 delegates and facilitated networking and professional development for operators, administrators, and sail crew for Tall Ships around the country. The Tall Ships America Sail Training Awards were presented at a final banquet, where OHPRI co-founder Bart Dunbar also was presented with the Tall Ships America Lifetime Achievement Award.
“The Perry Corps is a model for making direct connections between sail training, traditional academic content such as science and math, and its real-world application in creating options for work in the future,” said Tall Ships America Executive Director Dr. Kris Von Wald. “It is at the forefront of sail training and sea education and is well deserving of this award.”
Comprising a series of programmatic experiences aboard Rhode Island’s Flagship SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, the Perry Corps seeks to provide participants of all ages with empowering experiences connected to the sea and in turn link them to broader opportunities in the Blue Economy, particularly the Maritime Industry and Marine Trades. Its curriculum is heavily focused on vessel familiarization and operations; through subjects such as navigation and skills such as painting the hull, students engage in academic concepts such as algebra and chemistry.
“Put simply, the Perry Corps trains for the sea and through the sea.” said OHPRI CEO Captain Jonathan Kabak. “To have brought these programs from inception to a place that they are being recognized by our peers at the national level is validation of OHPRI’s effort to define itself as an agent of empowerment for our community here in the Ocean State and beyond.”
Kabak said it is difficult to identify an entry point into the narrative of Bart Dunbar’s involvement with sail training and education at sea. Afterall, few have a resume that includes teaching sailing at the United States Naval Academy; serving as an incorporating member of the American Sail Training Association (ASTA); co-founding Tall Ships Rhode Island, which gave young people the opportunity to experience sail training; and then leading that organization through its metamorphosis to become Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island, responsible for building this country’s largest full-rigged ship in over a century.
“Bart’s influence and legacy are intertwined with modern sail training not just here in Rhode Island but across the United States, and the globe,” said Captain Kabak. “Having the opportunity to honor this true legend, in his hometown, on such a special night for OHPRI was incredible.”
For more information on the Perry Corps or the full range of Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island’s Programming, please visit www.ohpri.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org