Photo by Dan Nerney.

The Cruising Club of America’s Board of Governors established the Richard S. Nye Trophy to recognize a member or members of the Club “who has brought distinction to the Club by meritorious service, outstanding seamanship, outstanding performance in long distance cruising or racing, statesmanship in the affairs of international racing, or any combination of the above”. 

Last Friday night, Sheila McCurdy received the 2019 Nye Trophy for her years of service to and leadership of the Cruising Club of America, the Bonnell Cove Foundation, and the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee. A lifelong sailor and 22-time crew or skipper in the Newport Bermuda Race, McCurdy was the first woman to be elected as CCA Rear Commodore and subsequently the club’s Commodore. 

McCurdy’s involvement and influence in the sailing world extends much further, as she was on the board of directors for three years at US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport. She is currently on three important US Sailing committees that address safety at sea, offshore training and seamanship, all passions of McCurdy.

On receiving the Nye Trophy, named for a CCA past commodore who twice won the Newport Bermuda Race, McCurdy said, “Everything I’ve given to this club has rewarded me many times over in friendships and incredible opportunities. This award is especially meaningful to me because at the age of 22 I sailed from the Canary Islands to Tortola with Dick Nye aboard Carina, so this is an amazing arc.” She concluded by saying, “I am not done yet. There are many more people to encourage to go out and make adventurous use of the sea.”

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McCurdy has been a trustee of Mystic Seaport since 2013 and now serves on its executive committee. She is also a member of the Fales Committee of the U.S. Naval Academy Sailing Program, a Maritime Studies Advisor to SUNY Maritime College, and a past Director and Interim Executive Director of the Museum of Yachting in Newport.

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