The Cruising Club of America (CCA) is proud to announce that Maxwell A. Fletcher, of Orr’s Island, Maine has been awarded the Club’s premier sailing award for a member, the Far Horizons Award, for 2023. This award recognizes the sailing achievements of a member who has embarked upon a cruise or series of cruises that demonstrate the broader objectives of the Club including the adventurous use of the sea.
Max has been sailing with his family since childhood, so he has had his eyes set on the horizon from a young age. To date, he has sailed to more than 50 countries, typically requiring adventurous passages. A notable 52-day double-handed voyage was, in 1985, aboard his Westsail 32 when he sailed eastward from New Zealand, around Cape Horn, to the Falkland Islands. Few small yachts had accomplished such a voyage at the time, and it was certainly not an easy trip; it included surviving a knockdown well past horizontal and a 60-hour stretch of hand-steering under bare poles, covering 130 miles per day. Along the way, he sailed over so-called “Point Nemo,” the coordinate at sea that is farthest from any land.
Fletcher, with wife Lynnie, have also sailed across the Atlantic Ocean four times aboard their Nordic 40 and has cruised the Atlantic coastline of Europe, Norway, the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean to Turkey, and much more. He has also sailed in the high latitudes reaching Baffin Island, Hudson Strait, and the Antarctic Peninsula, assisting with the adventures of others.
In making the announcement, Steve James, the CCA’s Chairman of Awards said, “Obviously, this award is long overdue.”
When informed of the award, Max and Lynnie had just returned from a sail on a Norwegian ketch in the remote and usually icebound Scoresby Sound in northeast Greenland. In his typically polite and unassuming manner, he replied, “I’m thrilled and most appreciative for being honored with this award.” It is the CCA that feels honored to have Max as a member and awardee.
The CCA will present the 2023 Far Horizons Award to Fletcher on March 1, 2024, in New York City.