Commodore Daniel P. Dyer III presented the Cruising Club of America’s 2012 Richard S. Nye Trophy, Blue Water Medal, and Far Horizons Award at its annual Awards Dinner on March 1 at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan.
The Nye Trophy, for contributions to the club, went to Brin R. Ford of New Haven, Conn. Ford is a 1964 graduate of Harvard University and has a Masters in Architecture from Yale. He is an accomplished offshore racer and has competed in 18 Newport Bermuda races. He was recognized for his computer skills, including creating online registration and race scoring.
David S. Cowper was awarded the club’s Blue Water Medal. Cowper, who is British, works as a chartered surveyor and is a member of the Royal Cruising Club.
Photo courtesy CCA
David Cowper, middle, holding plaque, was awarded the Blue Water Medal for his numerous circumnavigations via the Northwest Passage.
His accomplishments include the fastest solo circumnavigation by way of Cape Horn, Cape of Good Hope and Cape Leeuwin in his S&S 41-foot sloop Ocean Bound.
In 1982 Cowper circumnavigated against prevailing winds in 237 days, beat Chay Blyth’s record by 71 days and became the first person to circumnavigate in both directions.
In 1984 he became the first person to circumnavigate in a powerboat.
In 1986 he made his first attempt at the Northwest Passage, but was thwarted by ice. On a second attempt in 1988, he reached as far as the northern Alaskan coast. In 1989 he resumed the passage, sailing the Bering Strait and continuing south to Australia. Cowper authored the book Northwest Passage Solo chronicling his adventure.
In 2001 he took Polar Bound, a 48-foot aluminum lifeboat, around Cape Horn and north with the goal of completing the Arctic Passage across the top of Russia. Russian officials stopped the trip and Cowper did the Northwest Passage eastbound. Combined with his east-west passage, the trip marked another first.
Cowper’s sixth circumnavigation began as an east-west transit of the passage aboard Polar Bound. He then sailed south along the west coast of South America, to the Falklands, South Georgia, South Australia, Hawaii, and Alaska, before once again taking the passage west to east and finishing in England in the autumn of 2011.
In 2012 he headed west through the Northwest Passage via the McClure Strait. With his boat in Alaska, he plans to resume his seventh circumnavigation in the spring of 2013.
Photo courtesy CCA
CCA Nye Trophy recipient Brin R. Ford.
The CCA’s Far Horizons Award went to Stephen and Karyn James of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for 10 years and 38,000 miles of cruising. The award recognizes members for “a particularly meritorious cruise or series of cruises that exemplify the objectives of the Club.”
After commissioning their 54-foot aluminum yacht in 2002 (built by Kanter Yachts in Canada), the couple cruised the Great Lakes, then in 2003 sailed to Bermuda and Newport, R.I. They continued on to Nova Scotia.
In 2004, they sailed east to Ireland by way of the Azores and took part in the Irish Cruising Club’s 75th Anniversary Cruise. They continued on to Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Belgium ending the voyage in France.
In 2006, the couple cruised south to Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar and Morocco. In 2007, they cruised the Mediterranean. In 2008, they sailed north to Orkney and Shetland Islands via the Azores and then on to Norway and Svalbard before returning to Scotland. They spent 2010 in Spain, Italy, Tunisia, an=d Malta. Then 2011 and 2012 took them to Greece, Turkey, Croatia and Venice.