Medals provided by FS Foundation used for ACC and Carolinas Districts

What Kind of Trophy?

A young sailor once asked me why we didn’t give monetary prizes instead of trophies, or “little tin cups” as he called them.  I gave him the long version about how sailing is a Corinthian sport where sportsmanship and fair play are an integral part of the game and how exaggerating the value of the prize might challenge that philosophy.  When the reward for winning is are large there is temptation to cut corners for some.  Look at all the professional major sports and you can see proof of this all too frequently.

To me the value of a prize or trophy is the respect and recognition of our peers when we perform well.  The applause, handshakes and comments are what matters.  Ask an Olympian and you’ll find out that while the medal has some intrinsic value that’s not why they do it.  It’s true that some will reap big financial gains after the games but for most it’s about the recognition they get for their achievements.  Just look at the smiles on competitor’s face when having a ribbon placed around their neck.

Bill Ross believes in this philosophy and suggested to the FSSA that using medals at major events is a way to call attention to the accomplishments of our top performers without spending lots of money on trophies that only increase registration fees.  Charles Buffington of the Flying Scot Sailing Foundation liked the idea and the foundation is now offering gold, silver and bronze medals for free to be used at sanctioned FSSA events.  The details of the regatta can be engraved on the back of these beautiful medals.   Think about this.  When you walk into a room where there are medals displayed along with trophies where do your eyes gravitate most of the time.

The first gold medals awarded since the program started were at the Atlantic Coast Championships in Edenton, NC recently and I think it’s great that it was won by Harry Carpenter and Adam Keen on a tie breaker after some great competition.  By the applause the crowd clearly showed their recognition and admiration for their efforts and the medal will be a great reminder of that in the future.

See the regatta report for more details http://fssa.com/content/2012-acc-and-north-carolina-district-results.
Pictures are attached.

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