C. Gaither Scott of Annapolis has been honored by the U.S. Sailing Association, the national governing body of sail racing, and by the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association, this region's governing body, in recognition of his long years of service.
Scott received US SAILING's most prestigious award, the Nathaniel G. Herreshoff Trophy, at US SAILING's annual general meeting in Dearborn, Mich.
Then, last Saturday, CBYRA honored him with one of its own highest awards, an honorary life membership, at its annual general meeting in Hampton, Va.
The Herreshoff Trophy is awarded each year, by vote of the US SAILING board of directors, to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to sailing in the United States.
"If there is a godfather for offshore sailing, that person would be Gaither," said US SAILING vice president David Irish. "He has made offshore sailing and service to this sport the focal point of his leisure-time activities, and we all have been enriched by his presence."
Annapolis' other "godfather" of sailing, Arnie Gay, approved of Scott's official recognition with the awards.
"I think it's wonderful," Gay said. "He's given his lifetime to yacht racing, done it for years and years in every capacity, including his time as chairman of the America's Cup, and it doesn't get much higher up than that. It's well deserved."
Longtime friend Ron Ward of Severna Park -- who for many years alternated chairmanship of the Annapolis Yacht Club's Race Committee with Scott, and also is internationally known for exacting standards of excellence in race management -- made the nominations to both organizations.
"He may be one of our longest-time contributors on local, national, and international levels," Ward said. "As a very close friend of Gaither's, I know better than anyone of the long hours and the dedication which led to his selection. All of that, however, would have been meaningless were he not so capable in all of his efforts on behalf of our sport."
Scott raced a number of yachts named "Mist," winning CBYRA High Point numerous times as well as many other awards. The name could be very appropriate -- sometimes he and sons Jim and Charlie would be so far ahead that Mist was lost in the mist on the horizon.
Just a few of his sailing credentials include service as commodore of the Annapolis Yacht Club; chairman of its Race Committee; president of CBYRA; vice president of US SAILING and a member of its board of governors; Senior Race Organizer; Senior International Judge; ORC Councilor; IYRU Delegate; and long-standing member and past chairman of the New York Yacht Club's Race Committee -- in which capacity he ran the America's Cup series in 1980.
A longtime vigorous supporter of offshore rules, Scott, as US SAILING's Offshore Chairman, guided the IOR and used that experience, both at US SAILING and at the ORC, in bringing the IMS to international implementation. He continues as a respected and vital delegate to ORC and IYRU, frequently deferred to on questions of how yacht racing was, is, and should be.
At the CBYRA meeting, Ward described Scott's experiences in running regional, national and continental championships here and abroad, and the continuing demand for his services as a judge at world championships in Europe and the United States.
"He must also be a pretty good teacher, if you consider some people he has trained in race management, and Charlie and Jimmy Scott obviously learned well from him as sailors," Ward said.
"His accomplishments outside the Chesapeake are of interest and led to the Herreshoff award, but we know him because of his service to us in our own area. Over the years he has given top-quality racing to thousands of Chesapeake sailors."
Scott is known and respected as a person who has given more of himself to the sport of sailing than he has taken from it as a competitor. He has conducted himself in a manner that challenges those who have followed him to match his high standards of excellence and integrity.
Although his motives for unstinting service have not been for personal recognition, such recognition by US SAILING and CBYRA definitely has been earned. To the sailing community for which he has done so much, it is a means of thanking him for his years of dedication and hard work.