Cruising Club of America 2010 Far Horizons Award

Far Horizons Award
Rick Olney
Cruising Club of America (CCA) will award The 2010 Far Horizons Award to William E. Cook for a series of commendable voyages to the far north of the globe including cruises to Greenland and the Baffin Island (Canada). This award is given to a member of the CCA 'for a particularly meritorious cruise or series of cruises that exemplify the objectives of the Club.' The award will be presented on March 4, 2011 by CCA Commodore Sheila McCurdy during the club’s annual Awards Dinner at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan.

After receiving a B.A. from Yale and a Ph.D from Harvard, Cook went on to teach English for five years but longed for a change in scenery and decided it was time to explore more of the world both mentally and geographically.

In the early summer of 1972 he set out on a cruise of the North Atlantic Circle with his wife Toni on their 60-foot (18.3-meter) Sparkman & Stephens ketch, Endeavour. The two spent the summer sailing through Scotland, England, France, Italy and Spain and by the fall, Endeavour was in the heart of the Mediterranean Ocean. When winter came, Cook had made it past the Canary Islands, the Cape Verdes Islands and was headed for the Caribbean. By the spring of 1973, Cook and his wife had completed their first journey and began the cruise home to New England.

After Cook’s excursion, he became enamored with the art of yacht design and decided to further his knowledge of the subject through courses at Westlawn School of Yacht Design and Stephens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.

By 1977, Bill Cook had opened Cook Yacht Design in Hyannis, Mass. Since then, he has been designing racing and cruising sailboats that range from 10-85 feet.

After Cook had sold Endeavour in mid-1970, he began cruising with friends and visited many new places including Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador. He also partook in a number of Southern Ocean Racing Circuits including three Newport to Bermuda Races, the Annapolis to Newport Race and the Marblehead to Halifax.

In 2000, Cook bought the sailboat Resolution, a 56-foot (17-meter) Bristol Sloop. Since that time he has cruised extensively in the Canadian Maritimes and the Canadian Arctic including the Labrador Coast, and in 2007, he visited Leaf Basin in Hudson Strait. His most recent cruise was in 2010 when he visited Greenland for the second time to explore the southern end of the country. (Cook’s first trip was in 2003 when he ventured through the western end into Disko Bay.)

When he is not exploring the seas, Cook participates in a number of extracurricular activities. He is a past Commodore of the Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich, Conn. and has been a Trustee at Mystic Seaport Museum since 1982. He served as Board Chairman from 1995 to 2001 and is currently the Rear Commodore of the Cruising Club of America’s Boston Station.

In addition to presenting its Blue Water Medal, the CCA will present the following 2010 Awards:

The Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship awarded to Alessandro Di Benedetto (Rome, Italy) for his resourcefulness when jury rigging Findomestic, a 21-foot (6.5-meter) monohull, near the rounding of Cape Horn in 2009. Alessandro is known for his single-handed open ocean voyages and has been commended for the many records he has surpassed.

The Blue Water Medal awarded to Alex Whitworth for his circumnavigation of the world via the Northwest Passage West to East. Whitworth has spent much of his adult life voyaging around the world, and in 2010 he completed his second circumnavigation of the globe on his Brogla 33 Berrimilla.

The Richard S. Nye Trophy awarded to Robert A. VanBlaricom who has brought distinction to the Cruising Club of America by meritorious service, outstanding seamanship, and outstanding performance in long distance cruising. He has been a member of the Club since 1964 and has served on many committees over the years. He has been awarded the John Parkinson Memorial Trophy twice for transoceanic passages; one was in a 39-foot (11.9-meter) steel-hulled sloop named Seabear, which he built with a partner. Bob has been awarded the CCA’s Charles H. Vilas Literary Prize, and the Royal Cruising Club Trophy. He has been Rear Commodore of the San Francisco Station of the CCA. As an author, he wrote and self-published his sailing autobiography, Time and Tide.

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