Cruising Club of America Honors ABN AMRO TWO Crew

Japanese solo sailor and American cruising couple also recognized for achievements on the water

At the Cruising Club of America's annual Awards Dinner in New York on January 16, CCA Commodore Edward S. Rowland presented several awards to sailors who have demonstrated endurance, heroism, and seamanship on the high seas.

Solo sailor Minoru Saito, 71, of Japan, received the Blue Water Medal for completing his seventh singlehanded circumnavigation aboard his 50-foot sloop Shutendohji II. The Blue Water Medal was inaugurated in 1923 to reward meritorious seamanship and adventure upon the sea displayed by amateur sailors.

Saito's non-stop voyage, dubbed "Chalenge-7," began in Tokyo in October 2004 and finished in June 2005. Saito has always sailed without sponsorship, on a shoestring budget, and with a long-running heart problem.

The crew of ABN AMRO TWO received the Rod Stephens Trophy for Seamanship for their efforts in trying to rescue a crewmember who was lost overboard in the North Atlantic during the Volvo Ocean Race on May 18, 2006.

While trimming ABN AMRO TWO's spinnaker in high winds and rough seas, Hans Horrevoets was swept off the boat by a wave. Fellow crewmembers located his body quickly, used sound judgment, and followed good, previously rehearsed rescue procedures. Although the crew recovered Horrevoets' body, they were not able to revive him.

The seamanship trophy is made possible by shipmates and friends of the late Rod Stephens to recognize an act of seamanship that significantly contributes to the safety of a boat or of one or more individuals at sea.

Larry and Maxine Bailey of Seattle, Washington, received the 2006 Far Horizons Award for full-time cruising these past 14 years aboard their 43-foot cutter Shingebiss II. The Bailey's were noted for their self-sufficiency, seamanship, sense of adventure, and interest in other cultures.

The Bailey's are the first to receive the Far Horizons Award, which was established in 2006 by the CCA Governing Board. The award recognizes members of the Cruising Club of America for a particularly meritorious cruise or series of cruises that exemplify the objectives of the club.