MYSTIC — Mystic Seaport honored world-class sailor Gary Jobson with the Museum’s America and the Sea Award on November 5, 2013. Presented annually by Mystic Seaport, the award recognizes an individual or organization whose contribution to the history, arts, business, or sciences of the sea best exemplify the American character. Jobson received the prestigious award at a black tie gala held in his honor at The Pierre in New York City.
The America and the Sea Award honors and celebrates those who embrace the scholarship, exploration, adventure, aesthetics, competition, and freedom the sea inspires. Distinguished past recipients include founder of WoodenBoat publications Jon Wilson (2012), former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman (2011), oceanographer and deep sea explorer Sylvia Earle (2010), maritime collector and yachtsman William I. Koch (2009), president and CEO of Crowley Maritime Corporation, Thomas B. Crowley Jr. (2008), Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian David McCullough (2007), and famed yacht designer Olin Stephens (2006).
Jobson has spent much of his life sailing the world’s oceans. He is a decorated sailor, television sailing commentator, Emmy winner, sailing lecturer, sailing coach, and author. A great friend and supporter of Mystic Seaport, he has collaborated on producing documentaries on sailing and sailors with the Museum’s Film and Video Archives, including Unfurling the World: The Voyages of Irving and Electa Johnson. The documentary shares the adventures of the famous sailing couple who completed seven round-the-world voyages between 1933 and 1958 and later in life traveled throughout the inland waterways of Europe. Jobson, in partnership with Mystic Seaport, hosted the Mystic, CT, premier of the film in April, 2012.
Jobson’s talent, enthusiasm, and dedication to the art of sailing have inspired expert and novice sailors around the world. A champion sailor, he was awarded his first trophy, the Powell Trophy, in 1966 and won the America’s Cup with Ted Turner in 1977. In 1999 he won the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy, U.S. Sailing’s most prestigious award. He has also won the infamous Fastnet Race and many of the world’s ocean races.
“Few people have had such an extraordinary impact on the sport of sailing as has Gary Jobson,” said Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport. “His contribution goes far beyond the awards and accolades on the race course: Gary is a gifted teacher and storyteller whose generosity and commitment has been an inspiration for many people inside and outside of the sailing community.”
Over the past 35 years Jobson has given more than 2,000 lectures around the world. From 2010-2012 he served as President of U.S. Sailing and he is currently the Vice President of the International Sailing Federation. In 2003, he was inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame and in 2011 into the National Sailing Hall of Fame. He was elected President of the National Sailing Hall of Fame in January, 2013.
A prolific author, Jobson has written 18 books on sailing–newest publications include Gary Jobson: An American Sailing Story (Nomad Press, 2011) and Nantucket: A Sailing Community (Nomad Press, 2012)–and he is also Editor-at-Large of Sailing World and Cruising World magazines. He has been ESPN’s sailing commentator since 1985 and most recently covered the 34th America’s Cup for NBC.
As a lymphoma survivor, Jobson has a strong affiliation with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He has been the National Chairman of The Leukemia Cup Regatta program since 1994 and actively works to raise funds and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. To date, these events have raised more than $44 million. In 2012 the University of Maryland Medical School established the Gary Jobson Professorship in Medical Oncology.
A resident of Annapolis, MD, Jobson and his wife, Janice, have three grown daughters and two grandsons.