Brotherhood of International Mark Boat Operators


2021 SAYRA BIMBO Award

The SAYRA Race Management Chair consults closely with the BIMBO Selection Committee and is extremely proud to present the 2021 SAYRA – Brotherhood of International Mark Boat Operators Award for excellence in volunteering for Race Committee.  This is award was first presented to Grady Foster in 2011 and is being presented again to some very well deserving recipients.


Interestingly, the Brotherhood was formed at one of our Sister Cities - Savannah, GA in preparation for the 1996 Sailing Olympic Games.  According to official documents, after a very difficult day in very big seas, a group of mark boat operators banded together and issued a set of demands to the Olympic Race Officials.  It is unclear whether their demands were met but in any event this banding together formed the nidus for the Brotherhood affectionately known as BIMBO’s.


Currently there are members and chapters all over the world making sure the racecourse looks good.  The organization is complete with a website headquartered in the Netherlands and even has a Facebook page.  After nominations are made, the Selection Committee sends the year’s award winner’s name by carrier pigeon prior to SAYRA Annual General Meeting.


In the recent light of sailing returning in 2021 following the pandemic, we are spending more days out on the water and are running larger events.  As such the two recipients of this year’s award are no strangers to being out on the racecourse. 


Our first recipient has been involved in southeast sailboat racing for years.  Over the past 3 years, he has taken an active role in chairing and acting as PRO for all the keel boat regattas at the Savannah Yacht Club.  He is the first to volunteer and has always done an outstanding job.  He also put together a Zoom session with the rules expert from Lake Norman YC to discuss and share the US Sailing rule changes a year ago.  He enthusiastically shared the information with SYC and has done a phenomenal job of teaching their junior sailors the rules of the water.


Our second recipient comes to us from Carolina Yacht Club-Wrightsville Beach, NC where he was recognized as the 2010 CYC BIMBO of the Year.  In addition to supporting all the local CYC events, his impressive national level experience includes 2021 Laser ACCs (mark 1), 2017 Lightning NA’s (mark 1), 2017 Laser ACCs (mark 1) and 2007 Laser Masters Nationals (gate).  Not only does this he always put the weather mark in the right spot, he also makes the offset leg so perfect that you will not see a spinnaker set until boats round the offset mark!  In addition, he provides the most precise weather data to the PRO. 


As a small token of thanks, each recipient of this year’s award will be receiving a gift certificate to West Marine as we thank them for the dedication to our sport.


Please join me in congratulating Steve McCarthy from Savannah Yacht Club and David Nance from Carolina Yacht Club – Wrightsville Beach, NC as the recipients of the 2021 SAYRA BIMBO Award.  We thank these great volunteers!


Chip Till – SAYRA Race Management Chair


Past recipients of the SAYRA B.I.M.B.O Award:

2011 - Grady Foster

2015 - Johnny Doterer

2017 - Grayson Carter

2018 - Ned Stender

2019 - Van Kinnett

2020 - Team LLSC (Jeff Lehman, Pat Finnick, Cathy Freeman)

2021 - Steve McCarthy (Savannah YC) & David Nance (Carolina YC-NC)