The William T. Hart Award recognizes encouragement of sailing particularly with youth.
William Tanquary Hart, who liked to refer to himself as “The old Bill Hart we all know and love”, was a charter member of DCYC. He began his sailing career on White Rock Lake with a series of wooden boats, first a Royal Nonesuch and then a Lightning. His first date with his wife to be, Dot, was to patch a hole on the Nonesuch. Little did Dot realize she had committed herself to a life of sawdust being tracked into the house. Even when Bill condescended to a fiberglass boat, an Alberg-designed Corinthian, he made sure there was a lot of wood to be taken care of. As time went on, Bill and Dot spent more time sailing at night, leading to his title as “The Commodore of the Night Fleet”. It was not uncommon for early risers to see Bill, Dot, and friends returning to the harbor as the sun rose over the east shore. Bill spent many hours on the lake with young novice sailors, teaching them “the ropes” and cultivating a love of sailing. One of Bill’s students was Past Commodore Maxey Mayo. Bill spent a day on the lake with Maxey, teaching him all the basics of good seamanship. It wasn’t until they were returning to the harbor that Maxey told Bill he had commanded a ship in WWII. A wood boat fan to the end, Bill spent the last years of his life building another wooden boat, a Penguin sailing dinghy, in his garage. It was launched posthumously with Dot at the helm. This award is presented at the annual membership meeting in November to the member who makes the greatest contribution to the encouragement of sailing, primarily with the youth of the Club. The recipient is selected by the Fleet Captain.