Award for Clip­per crew who res­cued sailor stuck aloft

Yachting World - - On The Wind -

At the Clip­per Race prize­giv­ing, Mis­sion Per­for­mance crewmem­ber Gavin Reid was pre­sented with the Henri Lloyd Clip­per Race Sea­man­ship Award for a re­mark­able act of brav­ery. Reid, a 28 year-old Scots­man, was born deaf. The award was de­cided by a pub­lic vote.

While rac­ing from Ho­bart to the Whit­sun­day Is­lands last Jan­uary, Mis­sion Per­for­mance re­sponded to a dis­tress call from M3, a TP52 with a rope wrapped round the pro­pel­ler, a dam­aged main­sail and a crewmem­ber who had been stuck at the top of the mast for sev­eral hours.

With con­di­tions too rough for Mis­sion Per­for­mance to come along­side at night, Reid, a sup­ply chain co-or­di­na­tor who had no sail­ing ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore the race, vol­un­teered to trans­fer over.

At first light, a throw­ing line was suc­cess­fully con­nected be­tween the two yachts. Reid jumped into the wa­ter and swam across, car­ry­ing his hear­ing aid inside his dry­suit. He later con­fessed he was most ner­vous about whether his hear­ing aid would sur­vive. (It did.)

Reid climbed M3’s mast to help free its stranded crew­man. “The hal­yards were all wrapped around the mast at the top, so I tried to go up and help the guy un­tan­gle him­self,” Reid said. “It was pretty bumpy. I was up there for about two hours. He was up there for nine.”

Fel­low Mis­sion Per­for­mance crewmem­ber Kather­ine Law said: “The crewmem­ber had been thrown around the en­tire rig­ging, jam­ming all hal­yards, in­clud­ing his own. [Reid] was sent up on the stay­sail hal­yard, which only went to the top two-thirds of the mast. Gavin is good at work­ing out solutions!”

“[Im­paired hear­ing] has been a chal­lenge all of my life,” Reid said. “I thought the Clip­per Race was a way to give my­self an even big­ger chal­lenge.”

Above: Gavin Reid was pre­sented with a Sea­man­ship Award for swim­ming to as­sist a TP52 with a sailor stuck aloft

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