Ocean sailor Gregor McGuckin, of Dublin, has been named a winner of one of the Cruising Club of America’s top awards.
McGuckin, age 32, is winner of the Rod Stephens Seamanship Trophy for extraordinary efforts to aid a competitor in the 2018 Golden Globe Race.
The award follows Afloat's own 2018 salute to the solo sailor for his selfless heroics.
The award, along with several other CCA awards will be presented on March 6 at the club’s Annual Awards Dinner at New York Yacht Club.
The Cruising Club of America awards the Rod Stephens Seamanship trophy to Gregor McGuckin of Ireland, for his attempted rescue of a fellow competitor, Abhilash Tomy, in the 2018-2019 Golden Globe Race. Ninety miles apart, McGuckin and Tomy were both dismasted in the same hurricane-force storm in the Southern Ocean, and Tomy was seriously injured. McGuckin jury-rigged his boat and sailed to within 25 miles of Tomy to help. Although a French fisheries vessel, FPV Osiris, was able to reach Tomy first, McGuckin’s seamanship and courage were of the highest order.
His shore team spokesman, Neil O'Hagan, described the effort: “In an incredible show of seamanship, the 32-year-old Irishman managed to build a jury rig and hand steer his yacht Hanley Energy Endurance for the past four days to within 30 miles of his fellow competitor in order to be on-site to assist with the rescue if required. McGuckin did not declare an emergency for his own situation, despite being rolled over and losing his mast. However, given the extremely remote location and the condition of his yacht, it was deemed the appropriate course of action to abandon his yacht under a controlled evacuation scenario as the opportunity arose. This considered move helped ensure that if his own situation deteriorated during any attempt to reach land in the coming weeks, a second rescue mission would not be required.”
It is the second such award the Cruising Club of America has awarded to an Irish sailor. The 2014 Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship went to Sean McCarter, skipper of the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race Northern Irish entry Derry-Londonderry-Doire. The award was in recognition of the way he directed his crew during a dramatic man overboard rescue in the harsh northern Pacific Ocean in March 2013.