The Cruising Club of America has selected William (Scott) Piper III, M.D. to receive its prestigious 2008 Blue Water Medal for 12 years of adventurous cruising and voyaging in two boats, Pipe Dream VI, a J/40, and Pipe Dream IX, a 52' J/160, aboard which he has logged over 132,000 miles, for a total of 180,000 miles. The medal was presented at the club's annual Awards Dinner in New York on January 13, 2009 by CCA Commodore Ross Sherbrooke, of Boston, Mass.
Now 69, Scott Piper retired a few years ago as an orthopedic surgeon. He graduated from Dartmouth, and later took his residency in New York City, where he served in the Far East during the Vietnam War, and until not long ago practiced in southern Florida. His wife, Gillette, is a practicing psychologist. In remote areas, word of a doctor's arrival travels fast and on numerous instances Scott has performed emergency procedures. On one such occasion a few years ago, a young man was swept over a large waterfall, smashing numerous bones and almost drowning. Scott trucked him to a hospital, took over the emergency room, and performed successful surgery.
Scott Piper has crossed the Atlantic eight times and the Indian and Pacific Oceans four times each. His routes have varied substantially, including high latitude crossings of the North Pacific and Southern Oceans. His voyages have included roundings of three of the world's great capes, Cape Horn, the Cape of Good Hope, and Cape Leeuwin on the southwest tip of Australia. While he usually sails with friends, some of his voyages have been solo.
He has been awarded 14 Parkinson Trophies (including one for his recent Pacific crossing) for transoceanic voyaging, and it appears he is due for two more that he has never applied for. In his cruising he has accumulated 126 foreign courtesy flags. He has also raced his boats in offshore races including the Transpac, the Newport Bermuda Race (doublehanded), and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
At left, Scott Piper, with his wife Gillette, receives the Blue Water Medal on January 13, 2009.