Your nominations wanted for Cruising Helmsman's 'Cruiser of the year' award with Yachting Australia

After collaboration with Yachting Australia, Cruising Helmsman is pleased to announce the implementation of an award for Australian cruiser of the year, to be included in the annual Yachting Australia Awards.

Now it is up to you to start nominating.

Much has still to be considered, but the announcement has been made this month to kickstart nominations of suitable candidates. The first award will be given at the 2016 Yachting Australia awards night later in that year.

Cruising Helmsman has long believed just because people who cruise may not have trophy cabinets does not mean they have not achieved. It was especially pleasing, therefore, to see YA jump at the idea when approached.

So the question needs to be asked and even debated! What constitutes a ‘cruiser of the year’?

You tell us.

Some parameters for nomination need to be outlined here. First of all, the title of the award is pointedly named. You do not have to nominate a somebody, it can be a couple or a full crew. But they do have to be Australian and human, nominating a boat or an event will not fly.

Each month Cruising Helmsman will highlight one of the nominations as a lead up to the final award presentation. The story published will be at the discretion of the CH editor and does not constitute preference. Naturally, those not published will not miss out on being selected. All nominations will be in the running equally.

As the year rolls on, YA and Cruising Helmsman will convene a selection panel to discuss the nominations and select a winner. That winner and other nominees will be invited to attend the YA awards night where the winner will receive the trophy and the accolades of their peers!

So who do you think qualifies? What have these people done to deserve recognition and our thanks?

Recognition is such a subjective concept. We each have different ideas as to what is an exceptional achievement. In a recreational lifestyle such as ‘cruising’ it is even harder to find such achievements.

Cruisers are an individualistic bunch. Yes, we may cruise in company and yes, there is something special about congregating in a secluded harbour on one person’s yacht for sundowners. But usually we just do what we want to do because of the pleasure derived, not to break records or even to win awards!

So how do we recognise suitable candidates? Without naming names, personally I think it is obvious a candidate has to have done something seen by others in the cruising community as beneficial or exceptional. Top priorities in my mind then would be someone who may have written guides, destination articles or practical articles (not just for Cruising Helmsman, I am quite prepared to be collegiate here) that are of use to the community. Or maybe some altruistic people who helped disadvantaged communities in Australia or elsewhere. These are both endeavours without recompense or, at least are not a major source of income.

Other considered candidates may be a person where sailing provided a life-changing epiphany that set them on a different more fulfilling course. Or someone that committed an act of bravery while sailing.

Someone who has sailed a unique cruise or for the longest time would be of a lesser consideration. That does not discount them from the field so still feel free to nominate. But you must include as much information as you can to bolster your nomination.

And yes, you may nominate yourself!

To nominate anybody/ies please feel free to pen a letter, e-mail or fax to Cruising Helmsman (see a current issuefor contact details). Put forward your nomination/s and reasons why you wish to nominate. Any accompanying material would also be useful in determining the veracity of the claim and the influence that cruiser achieved.

The first potential Cruiser of the year nominee will be published in the January 2016 issue of Cruising Helmsman.

Go for it.

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