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Ted Turner Receives New York Yacht Club's Highest Honor

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NEW YORK, N.Y. — Tuesday evening, the New York Yacht Club honored Ted Turner with the New York Yacht Club Medal, the highest individual honor the Club can bestow. The ceremony was part of a reception at the 44th Street Clubhouse celebrating the 40th anniversary of Turner's Courageous crew, which won the America's Cup in 1977 and is the subject of a soon-to-be-released documentary produced by NBC.

Robert Edward "Ted" Turner III (above, gripping wheel, surrounded by his crew from the 1979 Fastnet Race, and at right) is a former winner of the America's Cup and a four-time Rolex Yachtsman of the 3e2e5cde 9b49 4167 a43a 43a1687582f4Year.While his extensive sailing resume played a significant role in his receiving this medal—which has been given out just 17 times previously—it's just one facet of one of the most interesting and successful Americans of modern times. Turner revolutionized television news when he founded the Cable News Network in 1980 and won a World Series as the owner of the Atlanta Braves. He is also the creator of the Goodwill Games, a member of the Television Hall of Fame and a former Time magazine Man of the Year (1991).

"Since 1985, the NYYC Medal has been awarded from time to time at the sole discretion of the Flag Officers in recognition of achievements of particular merit or outstanding contribution to the club or yachting in general," says Philip A. Lotz, Commodore of the New York Yacht Club. "Last night, it was my honor and extreme pleasure to present the NYYC Medal to Ted Turner."

While the high point of Turner's sailing career was his win over Alan Bond's Australia in the 1977 America's Cup, he had success before and after, including wins in the Flying Dutchman World Championships, Congressional Cup, 5.5 Metre Gold Cup, SORC and the storm-ravaged 1979 Fastnet Race.

"In the 1970s, Ted Turner took his one-design racing skills to ocean racing and dramatically changed the sport," says Gary Jobson, who served as Turner's tactician during the 1977 America's Cup. "During his remarkable sailing career, Turner served on many committees to advance the sport and he has been a generous donor to many sailing causes. The New York Yacht Club Medal recognizes Ted Turner's lifetime achievement and service to sailing."

The documentary on Courageous and the 1977 America's Cup will be aired to the public on NBC on Saturday, June 17 at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

Photo Credits: Jobson Collection/NYYC Archives