ALL THE NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF AMERICAN BOATING
Gavin Reid, 28, an amateur sailor who was born profoundly deaf, was named as the 2016 Yachting Journalists’ Association Yachtsman of the Year. The Scotsman’s tale, which involved a heroic rescue at sea, is some- thing to admire. Reid had no sailing experience before he began training for the Clipper Round-the-World Yacht Race, a semiannual 11-month, 40,000-nautical-mile circumnavigation aboard identical 70-foot steel
clippers by a crew of predominantly amateur sailors.
“If someone had told me two years ago, when I was starting my training for the
Clipper Race, that I would be here today collecting this award, I couldn’t have believed
it,” Reid said at the ceremony. “I have learned and experienced a huge amount and hope I
can inspire others to take up the challenge of ocean racing. It’s been a fantastic adventure.”
On January 5, 2016, Gavin was racing on an Australian leg from Sydney to the
Whitsundays with his team aboard the yacht Mission Performance when a mayday was
picked up from a non-Clipper Race yacht that reported a crewman was stuck at the
top of the mast.
Mission Performance was nearest to the stricken vessel, and Gavin, who uses
hearing aids in both ears, volunteered to swim between the two yachts, as conditions prevented transferring alongside, where he found four other crew on board, all
incapacitated and unable to help their crewmate tangled in halyards at the top of the
Gavin had become experienced in mast work during the Clipper Race and used the
one remaining staysail halyard to hoist himself two-thirds of the way up the swinging
mast, then climbed the rest of the way hand over hand to reach the crewman, untangle
the lines, and help to lower him safely.
“It was pretty bumpy, and I think I was up there for about two hours,” he told a
British magazine. “The guy was up there for about nine hours, so I am glad he is down.”
— RICH ARMSTRONG
Deaf amateur sailor
earns high honor
A fleet of more than 40 sailing vessels
from around the globe will dock in Boston
Harbor from June 17 to 20 for an event
that will feature the first tall-ship parade
under sail in the port since 2000.
The event, SailBoston, is part of a larger international event, Rendez-Vous 2017
Tall Ships Regatta, a 7,000 nautical mile
trans-Atlantic race by traditional sailing
ships that will visit six countries in Europe
and North America. The trans-Atlantic
regatta will start in Royal Greenwich,
England. From there, the fleet will race to
Sines, Portugal, then to Bermuda.
Port visits to Halifax and Ontario will
mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Canadian Confederation.
In Boston, visitors can tour the ships,
view the parade of sail, and stroll the historic waterfront. All events are free and
open to the public. — R.A.
Tall-ship fleet invades Boston Harbor