Cruising World Editors and Contributors Recognized with National Writing Awards

Awards from Three Separate Organizations Highlight Excellence in Writing and Reporting

Cruising World editors and contributors have been recognized this past month with national writing awards from three separate organizations. Editor Herb McCormick, who is also the boating columnist for The New York Times, was singled out by both the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and BoatU.S. for editorial excellence. McCormick along with five Cruising World editors and contributors were named category winners in the Boating Writers International annual writing contest.

“We are very pleased to see the number of awards that Cruising World editors and writers have garnered in the past month. This recent recognition is for a level of writing and reporting that has long been a standard in the magazine,” said Sally Helme, publisher of Cruising World, based in Newport (R.I.). “Not only do our writers bring readers on vivid, armchair journeys around the world, but they take in-depth looks at environmental issues and developing technology–and they don’t hesitate to pose the tough questions that all of us in the boating industry should be asking.”

On February 15, in Miami (Fla.), McCormick was honored by BoatU.S. with the 2001 Moulton H. “Monk” Farnham Award for Excellence in Editorial Commentary. The award recognizes a magazine editor who displays both a passion for boating and a crusading spirit–and hence a willingness to use the editorial page to lead the debate on issues that face the boating community.


BoatU.S. Vice President Michael Sciulla cited McCormick’s editorial on his home state’s short-sighted legislation in mandating a statewide no-discharge zone for Rhode Island waters–a move that told a nice public relations story to the non-boating public but failed to give mariners a system for complying; and for his editorial challenging a disturbing trend among boat builders who launch bigger, more expensive boats each year without addressing the needs of young and first-time buyers in search of more modest craft.

Cruising World writers won awards in six categories in the Boating Writers International (BWI) annual writing contest. Awards were granted in ten categories, from a field of 439 entries. The winning feature stories appeared in the magazine throughout 2001.

Cruising World winners include: Editor at Large Bernadette Bernon, First Place, Boating Lifestyles; Editor Herb McCormick, First Place, Boating Travel or Destination; Associate Editor Darrell Nicholson, First Place, Ethics and Environment; Contributing Editor Steve D’Antonio, First Place, Boat Tests; Contributing Editor Alvah Simon, Second Place, News; Electronics Editor Ed Sherman, Third Place, Electronics (details on winning stories follow). “I’m pleased to see that Cruising World has not only won for its destination reporting, which is something the magazine is so well known for, but for articles that uncover environmental issues, for pieces that tackle technical subjects such as electronics–and for the objective reporting on new boats that our readers value so highly,” said McCormick. “I am proud of the entire staff–of the people here in-house and of our extended family of contributors who are out in the field, sending news and stories from the world’s oceans.”


McCormick was also presented in mid-February with the 2002 National Marine Manufacturers Association Directors Award. The Award is given to an individual who communicates, through the media, the pleasures of boating to non-traditional boating audiences.

NMMA Chairman Jack Malone applauded McCormick’s coverage of boating in The New York Times, for both great reporting and for his passion and enthusiasm that shines through to his readers. McCormick became the Times’s boating correspondent in the Fall of 1999.

Cruising World, based in Newport (R.I.), is a principal title of the Miller Sports Group.


Winning Articles / Bwi Awards

Boating Lifestyles: First place / Bernadette Bernon / “Midterm Reflections from a Semester at Sea” (October). “Bernon possesses a fresh voice and a writing style bursting with life. She distills a long sea cruise into a few pages of excellent prose, hitting the important points and incorporating details that make the trip come alive. The only disappointment comes at the end when there are no more pages to turn and the reader is forced to return to the real world,” said judge Liz Martinez DeFranco.

Boating Travel or Destination / First Place / Herb McCormick / “Stranger in a Strange Land” (September). “This compelling yarn is unique because it casts the most fearsome of sailing’s landmarks, Cape Horn, as a gruff, imposing giant whose significance is reduced to a golden ear bob by an unlikely group of over-60, former Chilean naval officers. The author is part of the experience, and he holds the reader on board throughout this momentous voyage,” said judge Diana Jessie.


Ethics and Environment / First Place / Darrell Nicholson / “Busted Flush” (May). “An excellent piece of hands-on, investigative journalism about an environmental topic of practical interest to boaters–getting rid of sewage. It is written with great clarity and humor and shows both extensive background research and good hands-on first-person reporting of the author’s futile quest to find a place to pump out his head raises questions of great importance to boaters everywhere,” said judge Betsy Haggerty.

Boat Tests / First Place / Steve D’Antonio / “The Crealock Tradition, Extended” (May). “So thorough, fair and objective that even the manufacturer praises him in his retort, which Cruising World ran alongside the story. The attention to detail and objectivity shown by D’Antonio should be a template for all boat tests,” said judge Michael Verdon.

News / Second Place / Alvah Simon / “Yanqui Went Home” (April). Simon reports on how the Panama Canal is being run today-after the “Yanquis” went home in December 1999-and how cruisers face an uncertain fate in a Canal now under a different government rule.

Electronics / Third Place/ Ed Sherman / “Seeing Is Believing” (October). With a first-time radar buyer in mind, Sherman and three other sailors rate four radar units using a clear and thorough criteria and numeric results.