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Past Seven Seas Award Recipients

2018 Recipient of Seven Seas Award

David and Candy Masters
 - Endeavor 
Nominated by Scott Berg, Chardonnay 

David and Candy totally rebuilt their 1962 steel yawl Endeavor (including replacing 30% of the plating over a period of approximately 15 years), and after a few shake-down cruises sailed her from Seattle around Cape Horn, out to Ascension Island, back and forth on the Atlantic seaboard, north via Iceland to Ireland, Scotland, and beyond. Along the way they wrote, mentored many sailors, and worked as crew, shipwrights, canvas workers, and master ships carpenters.

While in Patagonia, they did a special charter with National Geographic taking a camera crew to waters rarely explored, and shared all of this in the SSCA Commodores’ Bulletin, at many gams and in other published articles. They were true experts at high-latitude sailing. It was a great honor to sail with them and have Candy crew for us. We lost David this year and the cruising world is a lesser place because of it. David and Candy Masters are the finest sailors I have ever known, and they are better people than they are sailors. David and Candy represent the finest traditions of SSCA.

David and Candy Masters
David and Candy Masters

2016 Recipient of Seven Seas Award

Marcie and David Lynn, s/v Nine of Cups

Marcie and David completed a circumnavigation in 2015 that included rounding all five of the Great Southern Capes, an unusual accomplishment for cruisers. The Lynns are known for their off-the-beaten-track cruising and have put nearly 80,000 miles under the keel. They are extremely self-sufficient cruisers and have always shown a deep commitment to good seamanship. They enjoy getting to know locals wherever they stop; freely share new-found information from their travels in the SSCA Commodores Bulletin; and have a passion for the environment, leaving a clean wake where ever they travel. 

Marcie served on the SSCA Board of Directors and as the Cruising Station Coordinator for many years. They continue to recommend Cruising Stations around the world.


Marcie and David Lynn
Marcie and David Lynn

2015 - Lin and Larry Pardey

Remarks by Beth A. Leonard:

When Evans set out to convince me to go cruising with him back in 1990, he introduced me to offshore sailing through the pantheon of early sailor-writers who led the way to distant shores aboard small boats for all of us, whether we know it or not. The Hiscocks, Smeetons, Roths. Tania Abei, Dodge Morgan. Robin Lee Graham. The Pardeys.

Of those, I related most to the Hiscocks and the Pardeys. They did not just complete one voyage but made it a way of life. They were couples whose cruising strengthened and deepened their partnership. Their adventures were humbling - sailing around the world! - but not utterly unimaginable - getting shipwrecked or pitchpoled near Cape Horn! They did it with sextants and without engines.

Evans owes Lin because, more than anyone else, Lin convinced me to go. She did it in three ways. She spoke to me as a woman and first mate. Her words wound a spell around me that answered the why, but then she told me how in straightforward, simple language. She directly addressed my fears. Her statistics on how often they had been in heavy weather put things in perspective, and her descriptions of handling it made me believe I could handle it, too.  She was honest about her relationship with Larry and the times when it wasn't perfect, while demonstrating the infinite rewards of a partnership forged in shared adventure.

And I owe Larry, because Evans aspired to the level of seamanship that Larry demonstrated every day at sea, and the level of skill he invested into every frame and plank of the two boats he built. Evans took three lessons from Larry. Design it strong and then build it stronger. The sea will find any weaknesses, so make sure there aren't any to find. Keep it simple - and if you choose not to keep it simple, then make sure you can do without whatever it is when it fails. Imagine and prepare for the worst, because good seamanship means never having to say you're sorry.

Lin and Larry's message, "Go simple, go small, go now," may seem outmoded when most cruising sailors have been convinced that they need a 50-foot boat, a watermaker, and broadband before heading offshore. But that message keeps the door open for those whose dreams would otherwise seem to be forever out of reach, and it reminds the rest of us that no matter what boat we're on as we cruise, we're still cruising.

The Seven Seas Award signifies the highest international recognition of a cruising sailor whose experiences on the sea demonstrate a deep commitment to good seamanship and an understanding of his ship and environment. I can think of no two people who better meet this description than Lin and Larry. This honor has only been extended 19 times in the 62 years of SSCA’s existence. The Pardeys belong with the Hiscocks, the Smeetons, and the Roths, all previous award winners.

Congratulations, Lin and Larry. And thank you for all of the voyages the two of you have launched, including mine.

Lin and Larry Pardey
Lin and Larry Pardey

2014 - Steve and Joy Fredrick, Ocean Angel

Despite a significant physical challenge, Joy has sailed to remote places, in all kinds of weather and with tremendous access limitations. She has had to persevere through at least one significant medical event while at sea, but remains always upbeat and fun-loving and inspires all who know her. Steve has taken on this challenge with patience and determination and courage. You can readily know his love and commitment to Joy. All of this is done with a quiet humility, which also exemplifies real sailing skills.

Steve and Joy continue to enjoy SSCA, both on the water and at the annual Melbourne Gam, which they regularly attend and took full advantage of the Trinidad package two years ago. They share their love of cruising giving talks to the cruising community.

Steve and Joy Fredrick
Steve and Joy Fredrick

2012 - Herb Hilgenberg, South Bound II

Herb Hilgenberg and his family suffered nasty weather on the way to Bermuda while they were out cruising. That experience drove Herb to dive into the science and art of weather forecasting and ultimately to the daily Southbound II net many of us know so well. In recognition of 25 years of selfless service to the cruising community, providing weather forecasts, routing advice, conveying boat watch information from search and rescue organizations to boats at sea and for providing a calm voice of reason to sailors at sea Herb Hilgenberg, the founding recipient of the SSCA Southbound II Award, is the 2012 recipient of the Seven Seas Award.

The Seven Seas Award signifies the highest international recognition to a cruising sailor whose experiences on the sea demonstrate a deep commitment to good seamanship and an understanding of his ship and environment.

Herb Hilgenberg
Herb Hilgenberg

2011 - Andy (awarded posthumously) and Pam Wall and their children, Kandarik

The Seven Seas Award signifies the highest international recognition to a cruising sailor whose experiences on the sea demonstrate a deep commitment to good seamanship and an understanding of his ship and environment.

Andy had sailed from Australia when he was young, stopping for a couple of months in Patagonia and exploring the many channels and bays before rounding Cape Horn. Later he and Pam had sailed around the world with their little kids on the 39 foot sloop that Andy and Pam built.

It was upon the return to Florida that Pam began her career with West Marine in Fort Lauderdale.  Here she became the “go to” person for anything to do with sailing, cruising, outfitting, and presenting lectures.  There are so many people that have been helped by Pam.  Her knowledge of sailing and foreign countries, her passion for the right equipment while outfitting yachts, and her wonderful enthusiasm for helping others gain knowledge and confidence is what Pam has for the sailing community not only in South Florida but in every harbor around the world!

Pam goes around the country giving lectures at boat shows, schools, hospitals, yacht clubs, and other organizations.  She talks about sailing, about responsibility, about empowerment, and the necessity of having dreams to work towards.  Pam Wall has become a byword in the community for smiles, laughter, and the joy of passing on information and encouragement to so many people.

Andy and Pam Wall, and their children
Andy and Pam Wall with their children

2009 - Beth Leonard and Evans Starzinger, Hawk

Beth and Evans are among the leading blue water cruising sailors today. They circumnavigated west-about by way of the Torres Strait and Cape of Good Hope aboard their first boat Silk, a Shannon 37 ketch, from 1992-95. They then spent four years ashore filling the cruising kitty while building their next boat Hawk, a 47’ Van de Stadt Samoa aluminum sloop. They then completed a second east-about high-latitude circumnavigation aboard Hawk sailing more than 75,000 nm in ten years including a 9,000 nm non-stop passage through the Southern Ocean. Their voyage took them from the Arctic Circle to Cape Horn and under all five of the mariner’s Great Southern Capes. Most recently they wintered in the Beagle Channel just north of Cape Horn and then sailed to the Falklands, South Georgia, St. Helena and up through the Caribbean to the Chesapeake. They have now sailed well over 100,000 miles.

In addition to the Seven Seas Award, Beth and Evans have won other noteworthy awards for their cruising. These include:

The 2003 Vasey Vase by the Ocean Cruising club for 9000 miles/59 day non-stop passage in the southern ocean and 2009 Vasey Vase for 2008 cruise to South Georgia

The Far Horizons Medal by the Cruising club of America for their voyages.

Beth's book "Blue Horizons" has won the Outdoor Literature category of the 2007 National Outdoor Book Awards. It's the first time a sailing book has won the Literature prize. The announcement is on the NOBA website.

Nominated by Nancy Zapf, Halekai, Marcie and David Lynn, Nine of Cups and Suzanne Giesemann, Liberty.

Beth Leonard and Evans Starzinger
Beth Leonard and Evans Starzinger

2008 - Noël MarshallSadko II

Noëlan accomplished circumnavigator, is a member of the Royal Cruising Club, Ocean Cruising Club and SSCA.

After an illustrious 36-year career in the English Diplomatic Service, where he served in Pakistan, Moscow and Strasburg, and 15 years of ocean racing, Noël Marshall retired in 1993 and began cruising aboard his first boat, Sadko, a Hallberg-Rassy 38. In 1997 he was awarded the Royal Cruising Club Challenge Cup for his four-year circumnavigation, which included visits to Japan and the Russian Far East.

The second Sadko, a custom 42 foot aluminum cutter designed by Mike Pocockwas launched in 2002 and made her maiden cruise to the White Sea to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the “discovery” of Russia by Sir Richard Chancellor in 1553. In 2004 Noël crossed the Atlantic where he then cruised up the North American coast and as far as Disko Island in Greenland before returning to the Chesapeake. Over the following two years he continued via the Bahamas to Panama, the Galapagos Islands, single-handed to southern Chile and, with a relay of crews, through the Chilean channels to Cape Horn, and up to Buenos Aires. This group of cruises was awarded three more trophies by the RCC.

For the 2006-2007 southern season, Noël returned single-handed to the Beagle Channel and then, with a full crew, spent six weeks visiting the Antarctic Peninsula. They reached Detaille island, about 20 miles south of the Antarctic Circle, and concluded with a landing on Elephant Island, taking with them a bronze plaque honoring the members of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expedition who survived there in 1916. One of the survivors, James Wordie, had been the Master of his college when Noël was at Cambridge. This was, beyond doubt, the “cruise of a lifetime,” and one for which the Royal Cruising Club awarded Noël both the Challenge Cup for 2007 and the Goldsmith Exploration Award.

Noel was nominated by Marcie and David Lynn, Nine of Cups.

Noël Marshall

2007 - Captain Eric Forsyth

Captain Forsyth is an accomplished voyaging sailor, widely published cruising author, and frequent contributor to the Bulletin. Eric’s articles have appeared in Ocean Voyager, CCA Cruising News, Latitudes & Attitudes, and Ocean Navigator, among others.

Over an 8 year period he completed the bare hull of a Westsail 42, which was christened Fiona in 1983. He also completed Fiona’s full refit twenty years later. He was awarded the prestigious Blue Water Medal by the Cruising Club of America in 2000.

Voyages of Fiona:
Cruise to Antarctica:  2006-2007
Full Atlantic Circle, Baltic to the Falklands:  2004-2005
Circumnavigation on the Clipper Ship Route:  2002-2003
North Atlantic Circle, Arctic to the Caribbean:  2000-2001
Circling South America via Easter Is., Antarctica and South Africa:  1998-1999
Circumnavigation via Trade Wind Route: 1995-1997

In addition, Eric has completed many ocean passages between the North American coast, the Atlantic Islands., the Caribbean and Europe, on both Iona and Fiona, and also completed 6 Newport-Bermuda races. His first Transatlantic crossing was in 1964.

Eric was as a fighter pilot for the RAF before emigrating first to Canada, then to the U.S., where he had a distinguished career as a senior scientist at Brookhaven National Labs in New York. In June 2007 he received a professional award from the IEEE for his work in superconductivity.

Captain Eric Forsyth
Captain Eric Forsyth

2005 - Rod and Becky Nowlin, Mahdi

After successfully thwarting an attack by pirates 30 miles off the coast of Yemen in March, 2005, Rod and Becky began working on trying to figure out a way for yachts going through the Gulf of Aden to better protect themselves from pirates/terrorist attacks in the future. 

Quoting Rod in May of 2005, "All of the international yachting organizations and especially the yachts planning to transit this area need to start making direct requests for assistance that actually require an answer from their governments. You should have contacts with a lot of yachting organizations who have direct input to their respective governments. We need to send out a direct appeal to these organizations for their help.

Hiring mercenaries may be well beyond the financial means of most of the yachts. That is why I have been pushing to get the local forces there involved. I know that the Yemeni Coast Guard is very sympathetic to the problems the yachts are facing along that coast and they just don't have the boats and trained personnel yet to deal with the problem effectively. The Vasco De Gama Rally that is heading south now toward Indian from the Med, has quite a few boats involved. One avenue of a definitive push for help may be for them to formally request armed guards aboard for the trip to Salalah. That way someone in authority has to actually make a decision.”

Rod and Becky's efforts to make the passage through the Gulf of Aden safer have continued, unfortunately with little useful results. Their words in 2007, "You are on your own out here and you had better be prepared to stand on your own two feet."

Rod and Becky Nowlin

2001 - Roger and Molly Firey, Sundowner

The Fireys shared their love of sailing and owned several day-sailors and off-shored cruising boats. They rebuilt an extensively damaged Swedish sailboat and sailed it on the Chesapeake Bay for 12 years. Prior to his retirement from the Navy, they purchased a Westsail 32, which they named SUNDOWNER. They lived aboard for 27 years completing three circumnavigations. They received several awards and lifetime achievements for their success as sailors. The book, Gentlemen Never Sail to Weather: The Story of an Accidental Odyssey, was written in part about them by their friend Denton Moore. However, Molly cautioned not to believe everything as some of it might have been slightly “embellished.”

Roger and Molly Fiery's Boat, Sundowner
   Winners of the Seven Seas Award Prior to 2000
Irving and Electa Johnson
Eric and Susan Hiscock
Wanderer V
Rolf and Deborah Bjelke
Northern Light
Miles and Beryl Smeeton
Tzu Hang
Carl and Jeanne Moesly
Al and Beth Liggett
Jürgen and Karin Schultze-Röhl
Tim and Pauline Carr
Roger Swanson
Cloud Nine
Bill Butler
New Chance
Hal and Margaret Roth

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