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October 9, 2017

US Sailing Nominations Open

US Sailing is accepting nominations for 2017 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year through November 30. Each member of US Sailing may nominate the one American male and one female sailor they believe turned in the most outstanding on-the-water performance during the 2017 calendar year.

The awards criteria are:

  • Must be a citizen of the United States, eligible to represent the USA under World Sailing regulations, and actually representing the USA at the event(s) for which the nominee is being considered for the award.
  • Awards recognize the individual male and female US sailor who has demonstrated on-the-water excellence in the calendar year. In the past, there have been outstanding situations resulting in a skipper and crew nomination being accepted.
  • Must have won a major international or national event and/or performed at a high level consistently in multiple events against elite competition.
  • There is no minimum age required to win the award.
  • The awards are not based on career racing results or contributions to the sport outside of racing.
The 2016 Rolex Yachtspeople of the Year, Daniela Moroz and Caleb Paine, are both from California. Moroz proves that age is not a criterion — the kiteboarder was only 15 when she was chosen.

© Daniel Forster / Rolex

The awards were established in 1961 by USSA and have been sponsored by Rolex since 1980. A slate of nominees, determined by the membership of US Sailing, is presented to a panel of accomplished sailing journalists, who discuss the merits of each nominee and then vote to determine the winners.

Reader Submission: Somewhere Awesome

The following photo comes to us from Leonie Deramus . . . and that’s all we know. We know that Leonie and her partner’s boat is the Sao Nicolau with the port of call in Fairbanks, Alaska. But as for this sunset, we’re going to let our imaginations run wild. If you have an epic shot from your boat, please send it here.  

The Arcs, Adventure and Tradgedy of ‘Captains Courageous’

For the first 20 minutes of Captains Courageous, we’re thrust into the inner circle of a New York tycoon and his son, a boy so vile that the head butler calls him ‘it’. From the moment we meet Harvey Cheyne Jr. — played by Freddie Bartholomew — he’s bitter, seethes with jealousy and lies constantly. He demands validation from those around him, coveting loyalty from people he cares nothing about. Wanting to be admitted to an exclusive boarding school club, Harvey threatens another boy, telling him, “What if . . . he woke up one day and my father took away all the automobiles he had to sell and said: You’re fired.”

After getting himself kicked out of school, Harvey is remanded to the care of his father, who acknowledges that perhaps he’s failed his boy, but seems incapable of mustering enough effort to do anything about it. He takes Harvey with him on an ocean liner, which plows through a foggy sea, its horn bellowing.

Freddie Bartholomew as Harvey and Spencer Tracy as Manuel in the 1937 film Captains Courageous. © 2017 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Forever engaged in his one-upmanship, Harvey goes on an ice cream soda bender. Drunk and sick from the gluttony (and trying to protect his fragile ego by not letting other boys see him get sick) Harvey stumbles onto deck, sneaks outside the rail, and falls into the ocean. Suddenly, we’re watching a different movie. Harvey has literally fallen out of the world he ruled and into another.

Manuel Fidello — played by a young, curly haired Spencer Tracy — is at once the antithesis of Harvey. He’s kind, sincere, and we cannot help but adore him immediately. The perpetually wisecracking Manuel plucks Harvey out of the ocean and into his dory, calling him his ‘little fish’.

It was an all-star cast, which included some Hollywood legacy names such as Carradine and Barrymore (Lionel is center, mouth agape).   © 2017 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Unshaken by his fall and still driven by instinct, Harvey tries to bark orders and throw his father’s money around at the crew of We’re Here, a Gloucester fishing schooner. Captain Desko — played by Lionel Barrymore — humors the boy for a time, before resigning himself to the fact that ‘there’s nothing left to do’, smacking Harvey, who is eventually placed in the care of Manuel.

While reticent, Manuel takes the boy under his wing after Harvey pays his dues in the galley, and befriends Dan — played by Mickey Rooney — the son of the captain. Harvey and Manuel eventually fish together, but Harvey, still battling his instincts to scheme, sabotages the gear of another fisherman.

Manuel gives Harvey a cold shoulder, which is simply the last straw for the fragile, amoral boy. He’s forced to confess his crime, to build his integrity, and to win back the respect of Manuel, who has in every way become the father Harvey never had.

The We’re Here in Captains Courageous. © 2017 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

With her holds full, We’re Here races another schooner for Gloucester, pushing hard in a race for pride and bragging rights. A topsail is ready to burst its seams, and Manuel goes aloft to take in sail. But disaster strikes, the rig comes down, and Manuel is mortally wounded. He tells the cook in Portuguese that he’s maimed, and that he doesn’t want the boy to see. Harvey climbs onto the downed rig as the crew slowly chops it away, in what is one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the history of film.

“This is one of the very few films which is better than the book,” John Dukat, one of our readers, wrote us, referring to the novel of the same name by Rudyard Kipling. “One highly compelling scene is in the cockpit where Manuel talks about the sailor’s angel who looks out for you. This comforts me in rough weather. And if that isn’t enough, my brother, a merchant marine officer would show the film aboard ship. At the end there wasn’t a dry eye in the ward room.”

Hike! There was some serious, real-life, rail-down sailing in Captains Courageous. © 2017 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

In 1937, New York Times film critic Frank S. Nugent wrote: “Interesting as the early sequences are, with their telling revelation of Harvey’s character, the picture does not really come alive until the cameras turn upon the We’re Here. Then, in its depiction of the men and methods of the old Gloucester fleet, it takes on almost the quality of a documentary film, enriched by poetic photography of schooners spanking along under full sail, of dories being lowered into a running sea, and shading in, quite deftly, the human portraits of the fishermen with their quiet heroism and resignation, their Down East humor, and their stern code of decency.”

Have you seen Captains Courageous recently? Please, tell us about it.

This past Friday, Hannah Arndt and Olivia Williams, Bay Area natives and recently graduated vagabonds currently in search of cheap thrills on the island of Oahu, poked their heads around the Hawaii Yacht Club as racers started to prepare for the weekly Beer Can race.
As of last week, there was still no power, no Internet and limited phone service throughout the Caribbean, so accurate reporting of September’s devastating hurricanes — storms that already seem like they hit months ago — remains difficult.