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January 8th 2014. By Staff.

The Envelope, Please: 5 YachtWorld Heroes Finalists Announced

The winner will be announced at the Miami Boat Show on February 13, 2014.

It took some effort, but the judges finally narrowed down an impressive list of nominations to five finalists. And in a few weeks, the list will be furthered narrowed down, to just one name, who will become the 2013 YachtWorld Hero.



Since 2011, Dominion Marine Media has recognized individuals that use their love and respect for boating and the environment to make a difference. The 2012 award was accepted on behalf of all 10 nominees by Dusty McCoy, Chairman and CEO of the Brunswick Corporation, who chatted with editorial director John Burnham at length before the awards ceremony. (Watch the Dusty McCoy Interview: Talking YachtWorld Heroes.)

Choosing this year’s finalists, founder of YachtWorld and YachtWorld Heroes Jessica Muffett explained, was a challenge. “We had such great nominees, it was very difficult to choose just five, and the judges all had diverse ideas about what made a ‘hero.’ Ultimately, though, five rose to the top.”

The five 2013 YachtWorld Heroes finalists are:


Joel Aberbach

Joel Aberbach volunteers with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Sea Partners, an environmental education and outreach program focused on developing awareness of maritime pollution issues and marine environmental protection regulations. Joel started the program in the Miami-Dade community decades ago, and over the past 40 years he has volunteered over 25,000 hours of his time.


Betsy Alison


Betsy Alison is the Paralympic coach for the U.S. Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider and in 2011 was inducted into the US Sailing Hall of Fame. Through her work with elite athletes, she has helped to build bridges between those with disabilities and those who are able bodied, building a greater sense of community and understanding. 

Dieter Paulman

Dieter Paulman


Dieter Paulmann, founded Okeanos to focus attention on “those individuals and communities that are making positive steps to heal our oceans and to reconnect us with the sea.” A fleet of seven vaka moana sailing canoes, sailing as one and crewed from many nations, traveled 20,000 miles to raise awareness about what is happening in our ocean and planet. The story of this spectacular voyage can best be seen by viewing the trailer of their soon-to-be-released movie, Our Blue Canoe.

David Rockefeller JR

David Rockefeller, Jr


David Rockefeller, Jr., founder of Sailors for the Sea, is an avid sailor with a life-long love of the ocean. He’s also a philanthropist with a keen interest in environmental issues, and Sailors for the Sea was designed to educate the boating community about ocean health issues and help boaters to protect the waters we all love.


Jeanne Socrates

Jeanne Socrates completed a singlehanded, nonstop circumnavigation at the age of 70. Her accomplishment proves that perseverance is more important than age or gender, no matter how physical the challenge.

Learn more about the YachtWorld Hero finalists

The winner will be announced during the 2014 Miami Boat Show in February. “Selecting the top 2013 Hero was almost as hard,” added Muffett, “Though we were all very pleased with the result.”

For more information, visit YachtWorldHeroes.com.