South Whidbey Yacht Club

Don McArthur Award

The Don McArthur Award was initiated in 2015 by key members of the SWYC Youth Sailing Association Committee that were involved in running the Youth Sailing program in 2015. The intent of the award is to recognize an individual who made a significant contribution to the Youth Sailing Program.


The Trophy awarded to the individual nominated by the “Committee” is a trophy won by Don McArthur as a very young sailor in the Boston area youth sailing programs. The winners of each vessel class (Turnabout to Thunderbird and all classes in between) sailing in the summer sailing regattas from each of the south bay yacht clubs were eligible to race in the summer’s end regatta. The sailor with the best record at the end of the regatta, regardless of vessel class, was awarded the "Finley Cup." Don won the award in his Turnabout named "Hoot Mon". Turnabouts were similar in size to an El Toro, without the blunt ends, and we're sailed by two. "Hoot Mon" was Don's own boat which his grandfather bought for him when he was 7. We believe he won this cup in 1951 when he was 12.

Don was a founding member of South Whidbey Yacht Club, and one of three “founders” of the Youth Sailing Program. Don, along with Bob Rodgers and Bill Brown spent two years (2008-09) organizing the sailing program, finding and restoring El Toro’s, etc.; with 2010 being the first year of sailing classes. Don kept them organized and was often the first one to show up each day to set up the canopies, and other equipment to get classes started. Don often ran a safety boat for classes and cleaned up at the end of each day. He was loved by all of the students and much appreciated by the sailing instructors. Don also loaned his Pelican for adult sailing classes.


Nominees will be nominated by the Management Committee of the Youth Sailing Association. Nominees will be selected based on their significant contribution to the youth sailing program for that year. Nominations may be submitted to the Founders Award Committee in October, who will review the nominations and select a winner.


The winner will be announced at the annual Commodore’s Ball by the Chair of the Founder’s Award Committee. The winner shall hold the trophy for one year, and then turn it in prior to the subsequent Commodore’s Ball.

Previous Award Winners