The America and the Sea Award, established by Mystic Seaport Museum in 2006, honors and celebrates those who embrace the scholarship, exploration, adventure, aesthetics, competition, and freedom that the sea inspires.

The America and the Sea Award Gala is the single largest fundraising event for Mystic Seaport Museum. Proceeds provide vital funding for the exhibitions, educational programs, and activities at the Museum that tell the story of our nation’s maritime heritage. Programs like school visits, educator workshops, and community sailing benefit from the resources raised throughout the evening. Delivery of public history at this level can only be achieved with strong charitable support. 

For more information about the gala or to donate to the paddle raise initiative, please visit MSMGALA23.givesmart.com

The America and the Sea Award Recipients

Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret): 2023 

Mystic Seaport Museum will present its 2023 America and the Sea Award to
Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret), a decorated sailor, author, consultant, and
businessman contributing to the American maritime culture through his nearly four
decades of service and numerous books and articles on related subjects.

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Let’s Keep Brilliant – brilliant!

2023 Paddle Raise Video

Terry Hutchiinson

Terry Hutchinson: 2021

Terry Hutchinson, one of the most admired and respected sailors in the yacht racing circuit and most recently the skipper, executive director, and tactician for the New York Yacht Club American Magic campaign for the 36th America’s Cup, is the 2021 recipient of the America and the Sea Award.

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Tom Whidden

Tom Whidden: 2020

Tom Whidden, one of the most applauded sailors of all time, member of both the America’s Cup Hall of Fame and the National Sailing Hall

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Wendy Schmidt: 2019

Businesswoman and philanthropist Wendy Schmidt, who has built an incredible portfolio of work devoted to our oceans made possible through the many organizations she has founded, led, and inspired, is the 2019 recipient of the America and the Sea Award.

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Jon Wilson and WoodenBoat: 2012

The 2012 America and the Sea Award was given to Jon Wilson and WoodenBoat for their commitment to the celebration and preservation of the skills, treasures, and traditions of the sea and shore.

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Sylvia A. Earle: 2010

Sylvia A. Earle, who has been at the forefront of deep ocean exploration for four decades, received the 2010 America and the Sea Award from Mystic Seaport.

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William I. Koch: 2009

William I. Koch, founder of the Oxbow Group, philanthropist, avid collector and world-renowned sailor, was named the recipient of the 2011 America and the Sea Award by Mystic Seaport.

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Thomas B. Crowley Jr.: 2008

Thomas B. Crowley Jr., Chairman, President and CEO of Crowley Maritime Corporation, was honored with Mystic Seaport’s third annual America and the Sea Award at a gala dinner held at the Rainbow Room in New York City.

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Olin Stephens II: 2006

Olin Stephens II, the most successful and admired yacht designer of the 20th century, was named the first recipient of the America and the Sea Award presented by Mystic Seaport.

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