The Black Dog Award

Jay Irwin, recipient of the Black Dog Trophy, with Jesse Briggs at the 2014 Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race Awards

The Black Dog Trophy was created in 2006 to honor the individual(s) who supports the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race in the spirit of Captain Lane Briggs (1932-2005), the founder of the GCBSR. Named after Captain Briggs' faithful companion, Reb, this bronze statue of a black dog signifies loyalty to the race mission and faithful and honorable support for the event without personal recognition. In the words of Captain Briggs, "It's amazing what you can get done if you don't care who gets credit for it!"

The board of directors presents this award, honoring significant contributions to the race, as deserved and not on an annual basis, making it the most prestigious presentation of the organization.

                             Bill Mellen, Jay and Al Roper 

Here's what Al Roper had to say in presenting the award.  "The Black Dog Award, named after Reb, Captain Lane's dear friend and companion, is the GCBSR's most prestigious award.  It goes to a captain who represents those qualities of honesty, seamanship, humor, enthusiasm, love of the Chesapeake Bay, and integrity, as embodied by Captain Lane Briggs himself.  Being a rascal doesn't hurt either.  This year the recipient is a dear friend of Lane's.... sailing buddy, drinking buddy, raconteur, author, and a participant in the GCBSR since the very beginning. He has no idea this is coming, so now is the time I will bring a tear to his eye, and amazingly render him speechless (a rare instance for those who know him) as I invite him to come up to the stage.....Jay Irwin !"