Fred Weickhardt of Summerville has won The Post and Courier's Golden Pen award for January for his letter to the editor "Ramps for small boats sadly lacking."
Mr. Weickhardt's letter opened: "The Charleston Harbor is a great place for sailing. Presently, however, the only two places for the public to launch small sailboats are Remley's Point and Wappoo Cut boat ramps. These are probably the two worst places to launch boats due to strong currents, nearby structures and commercial boat/ship traffic."
He added: "Before Mayor Joe Riley was elected, there were three places on the peninsula to launch small boats, and they were heavily used. A small dirt boat ramp at Brittlebank Park was used by many working-class people to launch fishing boats. Small sailboats were also launched there. But, the city stopped it."
He also wrote that the city took over the Mosquito Fleet landing, where young people could launch small sailboats, "and built the ill-conceived Maritime Center that now serves as a marina for millionaires' yachts and fancy shindigs." He added: "The city forgot to add a place to launch boats at the Maritime Center."
And: "The City Marina was a busy boat ramp before Mayor Riley leased it to a subsidiary of The Beach Company."
Mr. Weickhardt lamented: "An average working person once could launch a Hobie Cut or Sunfish at the marina and participate in a regatta or just have a great day of sailing."
Golden Pen winners are invited to an annual luncheon with the editorial staff.