Oldest, farthest, bravest: these are some of the superlatives describing the winners of 2013’s Cruising Club of America (CCA) Awards, presented at the New York Yacht Club in New York City, New York.
For its Blue Water Medal, the CCA selected Jeanne Socrates, who became the oldest woman to sail solo and non-stop around the world. Jeanne and her husband, George, completed their first Atlantic crossing in 1999, sailing from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean with the ARC. In Grenada that same winter, George was diagnosed with cancer; he passed away in March 2003.
Socrates, however, kept the couple’s sailing dreams alive, starting with her first attempt to solo-circumnavigate in 2007. Setting sail from Mexico, she made it nearly all the way around before her autopilot failed about 60 miles shy of crossing her outbound track. She tried again in 2010, from Victoria, British Columbia, but suffered a severe knockdown 100 miles west of Cape Horn and was forced to pull into Ushuaia, Argentina, for repairs.
Finally, in October 2012, Socrates cast off from Victoria and sailed all the way around, returning on July 8, 2013.
The CCA also awarded the Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship to Jean-Pierre Dick, in recognition of his completing the 2012-13 Vendée Globe after sailing without a keel for the last 2,650 miles of the solo non-stop around-the-world race. The Far Horizons Award went to Tom and Dorothy Wadlow for 18 years and 75,000 miles of cruising.