The Salty Dawg Rally is beginning to gather momentum for the fall rally that sails from Hampton, VA to The Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda, B.V.I. Starting the rally’s fourth year, the founders are happy to announce that the Salty Dawg Rally is officially a State of Rhode Island registered 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation. The IRS approval is retroactive to 2012 for all sponsors and supporters who have donated to the organization.
In making the announcement, Bill Knowles, Co-founder of the SDR, said, “Achieving this designation is a major milestone in the growth of the Salty Dawg Rally. It opens doors to us, and will enable us to provide an even wider spectrum of benefits and educational programs to our members and to interested blue water sailors around the world.”
The SDR is lucky to have many excellent corporate sponsors. You can find the list on the website. (www.saltydawgrally.org) From the very beginning, the SDR has been fortunate to have individuals who have stepped up to support the free rallies with cash contributions. Now, those cash contributions or donations can be booked as being made to an official 501(c)(3) corporation.
The rallies remain free to all entrants who want to join and all skippers will get the benefits of excellent weather and routing offshore from Chris Parker, daily radio chats while on passage and check-ins with Dick Giddings on the Doo Dah Net. The USCG Float Plans will be on file with the Rally. They will be able to attend all of the fun parties and free educational seminars that the SDR offers. The SDR is a true cruisers’ rally and is run by cruisers for cruisers in just the format that experienced cruisers like.
As the name suggests, the Salty Dawg Rally is for experienced skippers and crews. The rally does not inspect boats or require any specific equipment, with one exception. For new boats joining the rallies starting with the Fall 2014 event, all boats will be required to have these two forms of reliable long range communications: A fully functioning single sideband which transmits and receives, and a SPOT or equivalent satellite based tracking device.
Skippers are responsible for their boats, their gear, their safety equipment and procedures and for the decisions they make about when to depart Hampton for the sail to the Caribbean. The SDR will designate a day in early November as a tentative starting date and dates for the parties, but skippers will determine on their own when to leave and what route to take.
Over the years, the SDR founders have developed a great list of benefits and discounts for the Salty Dawgs — such a free moorings at The Bitter End until Dec 20 and discounted moorage after that! And last fall they created a membership program that gives skippers access to all of these benefits. You will find a growing list of benefits on the website. When you become a member and use the free moorings at The Bitter End, discounted provisioning at Rite Way, B.V.I., etc. you can earn back your membership fee in a couple of weeks.
The SDR is all about educating sailors and at the same time having fun cruising and safe sailing. The organization is dedicated to sharing information with members, rally attendees and the general cruising community. Stay tuned for a schedule of seminars and events to come this fall and watch the website for updates and more information about seminars and the rallies.