This year’s 80th Anniversary J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, presented and led by the Island Sailing Club (ISC) in Cowes, Isle of Wight, was the largest ever to be staged with 1,908 yachts present. It was introduced in very difficult weather conditions that lead to a particularly high number of incidents on the water and the highest level of nominations ever for the Nautica Outstanding Seamanship Award, now in its 4th year.
The Nautica Outstanding Seamanship Award recognises acts of good seamanship on Race day and is open to all those involved, whether competitors, spectators, members of the emergency services or race officers.
Among the many worthy nominations following the June 25th Race, were two extraordinarily strong nominations for skippers coming to the rescue of two separate ‘Man Overboard’ (MOB) incidents, both in big seas.
The joint winners of the Nautica Outstanding Seamanship Award for 2011 and each also receiving a handsome Nautica watch, are Michael Hook, skipper on the Britannia Events chartered Flying Fish, GBR 9043T, for rescuing a man overboard from a Laser SB3, and Paul Harris, owner and skipper of Tan-It, a Sydney 36, for rescuing a man overboard from Jings!, a J133.
The Award’s judging panel comprising Gavin Crilly-McKean (Nautica Watches), Dave Atkinson (ISC Race Management) and Simon Boulding (Britannia Corporate Events) stated that the winners were selected because, “successful MOB recoveries in such unforgiving circumstances have to be exercised with a great deal of skill and without a moment’s hesitation or regard for the rescuer’s race results.”