Points East’s Yachtsman of the Year: Peter McCrea

This has been a very competitive year for this award, with 9 people nominated, all of them strong candidates. The winner, selected by the previous recipients of this award, is certainly a standout sailor.

He is both a racer and a cruiser, and he’s been at it for over 30 years. His sailing CV includes the entire US East coast, from Maine to Key West; Bermuda many times, an Atlantic Circle, the eastern Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Nova Scotia.

What makes all of this even more remarkable is that much of it was accomplished single or double handed. And in a 32’ boat. Those Bermuda trips? He’s done 13 Bermuda 1-2’s. (Actually, the most recent one was a 1-1; he did both legs solo!) That Atlantic Circle? It was accomplished double-handed with his remarkable wife as crew.

Among the countless races in which this year’s winner has competed, dozens of them have been Maine ocean races in the shorthanded division. They include the Downeast Challenge, the Gulf of Maine solo-twin, the Maine Rocks Race, the Round Islesboro Race, the Rockland-Castine Race… well you get the idea. In total, our recipient has logged over 74,000 sea miles in his Freedom 32 Panacea!

But to earn this award, a sailor must be considered not just good in his own right, but also a good ambassador of the sport. Let me quote from his nomination papers: “He has seduced many Maine sailors into doing many single-handed offshore races. Thanks to his energy and enthusiasm, single-handed and double-handed classes have been added to most of the GMORA races. More importantly than his own participation, he has mentored many of us as we have made the transition to single or short-handed offshore racing.”

This is not the first time our recipient has been recognized for his sailing accomplishments. He was the very first person awarded the Ocean Cruising Club’s Vertue Award. Besides being an OCC member, he is also Port Captain in Rockland/Thomaston, and is an active member of the Rockland Yacht Club.
It’s a good thing tonight’s banquet wasn’t scheduled for earlier this month, because our recipient would have been off sailing in Penobscot Bay celebrating in his own way his 75th birthday.

It is indeed an honor and a pleasure to present the 2017 Yachtsman of the Year award to Peter McCrea.

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