By Cindy Kraus, Milwaukee Yacht Club PHRF Fleet Captain
The petite loving cup was originally awarded to a boat named Myosotis skippered by a Uihlein family member and her Milwaukee Downer College team, at a regatta on July 4, 1912 held at Milwaukee Yacht Club. Milwaukee Downer College was an all women’s college. Unfortunately, we don’t know much of the events of the Regatta but we do know that Marv Whalen of MYC and the MYC Foundation discovered and rescued the cup. The MYC Foundation concluded that this woman’s trophy should stay with the women’s fleet.
Although this trophy is referred to as the MBWSO Sportsmanship Trophy, it is awarded annually to a woman sailor in recognition of all the non-quantitative skills and actions that are touched upon by the MBWOS Bylaws Mission Statement. The mission statement of the MBWSO is…
“The object of the organization is to encourage and promote women in the sport of yachting and create a spirit of good fellowship among members and fellow yachters. And to encourage women to become more actively involved in the sport of sailing by developing and improving their skills and confidence in the sport.”
In addition to Sportsmanship, Skippers of the MBWOS cast their ballot for the woman who possesses such qualities as courtesy, determination, perseverance, and willingness to lead by example and share sailing knowledge with newer less experienced women sailors.
Fran Aring was this year’s woman sailor of the year, and recipient of the MBWSO Sportsmanship Trophy.
Cindy Kraus presented the award, to Fran, at MYC’s Award Banquet on Saturday January 12th. Cindy’s comments were these:
"this year’s recipient of the MBWSO Sportsmanship permanent trophy is most deserving. She exemplifies Sportsmanship and the Corinthian Spirit both on and off the water. She has lead the MBWSO over the past 10 years, raced in the MBWOS since its inception in 1994, and participated in the organization of the Midwest Women’s Sailing Conference. She is a humble, hard-working MBWOS skipper and competitor, an active T-10 sailor/racer in the MBOS and SSYC SS/SSS, a US SAILING Club Race Officer/PRO, and Queen’s Cup Race Official. My most vivid memory of Fran was back in the late 1970’s when I raced Chance for the first time in the SSYC Lady of the Wind race. After the race we docked Chance at SSYC, and Fran graciously camerunning down the dock to greet my crew and me. She exclaimed how happy she was that another boat had entered the race, especially one from Milwaukee Yacht Club. Her friendly and welcoming enthusiasm really impressed me.”
Fran joins previous winners of the Award, Phyllis McDonald, Whitney Kent, and Cindy Kraus. 2012 marks the 100th year since the cup was originally awarded!