FAYE BENNET AWARD - 2021
The 2021 Faye Bennet Award Committee of Bob Kleiner, Thomas Boulden and Erin Carberry De Croix have chosen Drew D’Orsi of Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club and Team LBI as the LBIYRA 2021 Faye Bennet Award winner due to his strong dedication to the sport. In his nine years as a sailor, he has competed in five different boats across 13 states and abroad.
One thing Faye always stressed was sailing many boats well. Drew has done that, exceptionally well.
Drew began sailing on LBI at the age of seven and has continued ever since. He credits sailing with giving him confidence, taking him to unimaginable places, introducing him to many new friends, all contributing to him falling in love with the sport. Drew sails on Barnegat Bay year-round, constantly challenged by the wind conditions and his peers. His desire to race stems from early years of competing with other local sailors at LBIYRA events. At these events, Drew developed his love of competing and his knowledge of the racing rules and sportsmanship.
In 2021, Drew competed in five different boats: Optis, ILCA 4s (Laser 4.7s), 29ers, C420s, and FJs. He has sailed in local, regional, national, and international regattas over the course of his junior sailing career in fleet racing and team racing. He has sailed competitively in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, California, Texas, and Michigan. He has also sailed in Oman, Spain, and Canada for various international Optimist Regattas. At the age of 12, Drew sailed for Team USA at the XXX International Vila de Palamos Optimist Trophy Regatta in Palamos, Spain and placed the best out of the 15 Team USA members. In 2019, he sailed for Team USA at the 2019 Optimist Asian Oceanic Championship in Mussanah Sport City, Oman. He was also one of six USODA National Team members selected to compete at the Singapore Nationals in March, 2020. Unfortunately, the regatta was cancelled due to COVID.
Drew has been on the USODA Optimist National Team for two years (2019-2021), first qualifying for the team at age 13. The Optimist National Team is comprised of the top 36 Opti sailors in the United States. In 2018, he won the LBIYRA Optimist Championship for Blue Fleet. The following year, Drew won the LBIYRA Optimist Championship by placing first overall and first for Red Fleet. This past winter, Drew’s team placed 2nd out of 26 teams at the 2021 USODA Optimist Team Race Midwinter Championship in Sarasota, Florida, which qualified them to attend the Trofeo Marco Rizzotti Team Race in Italy (scheduled to take place in May, 2021). However, just like Singapore Nationals, this event was ultimately cancelled due to COVID.
The LBIYRA is enthusiastic in naming Drew D’Orsi as the 2021 Faye Bennet Award Recipient as he embodies all the qualities that Faye prioritized.