Glasgow Resident Named Maritime Hero Winner in Old Pulteney National Awards

Date: 21st January 2015

Glasgow Resident Named Maritime Hero Winner in Old Pulteney National Awards

Gerry Hughes, a sailing enthusiast from Glasgow, has been named the winner of a nationwide maritime competition – The Old Pulteney Maritime Heroes Awards. 

Gerry, who is in his 50s, was nominated by his sailing club, Clyde Cruising Club, for his outstanding service, and selected as the winner by a panel of judges from the many deserving entries from across the nation.

Now in its third year, the annual awards program was initiated by Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky to reward the outstanding passion, commitment, and achievements demonstrated within Britain’s maritime communities, at both a local and national level. To launch this year’s competition, Old Pulteney contacted UK sailing clubs asking them to nominate any members they felt deserved recognition within one of the following three categories: Club Service, Bravery, or Sailing Achievement.

Gerry, a teacher from Glasgow who was born profoundly dead, started sailing as a child and decided at age 14 that he would one day sail around the entire world. Throughout his college years, Gerry became more adventurous in his sailing and in 1979 he sailed across the English Channel and won the Ferrier Seamanship trophy. By the age of 23, Gerry had become the first deaf skipper to sail around the British Isles, and won the Commodores Award for the best cruise of the year in 1982.

Throughout his life, Gerry continued to accomplish impressive feats both on and off the water. He became the first deaf skipper to sail across the Atlantic and was also appointed Assistant Head of Donaldson’s School of the Deaf after a long successful teaching career. In addition, Gerry represented Scotland six times at the World Deaf Golf Championships.

In 2012, Gerry returned to his first love – sailing – to complete his ultimate goal. On 1st September, he set out on a solo voyage to circumnavigate the globe via the five great capes. He returned home on 8th May 2013 successfully completing that goal.

Not only has Gerry fulfilled his own dreams of sailing around the world, but he has inspired countless other people with deafness and disabilities to fulfil their dreams as well. Clyde Cruising Club is very proud of Gerry and all of his work as a teacher and sailor and is proud to nominate him as a Maritime Hero.

Gerry said: “I am delighted and honoured to receive this award. It’s fantastic! It is especially important to me because the Clyde Cruising Club nominated me. I always enjoy meeting everyone and they always extend a warm welcome to my friends and family. It’s great to know that the Clyde Cruising Club will also benefit from this award. I will look forward to celebrating with everyone at our next event.”

To reward his enthusiasm and dedication, Old Pulteney has presented Gerry with a £1,000 personal cheque, a commemorative Maritime Heroes decanter, and a bottle of what has been dubbed the World’s Best Whisky ‐ Old Pulteney 21 Year Old Single Malt.

Margaret Mary Clarke, Senior Brand Manager: “Old Pulteney is delighted to honour and recognise Gerry in his lifetime achievements within the maritime community. His dedication and commitment while facing adversity is truly an inspiration to us and to those whose lives he has touched. It is our pleasure to celebrate his accomplishments through the Maritime Heroes Awards.”

For further information, please contact Laura Cavanagh at
Burt Greener Communications: 0131 220 0003 /

Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky is diligently crafted at Pulteney Distillery in Wick. It is the one of the most northerly distilleries on the UK Mainland and was founded in 1826 by James Henderson at the height of Wick’s herring boom. The distillery lies in the heart of ‘Pulteneytown’, which was created for all the fishermen at the time, and is embedded in the deep rooted history of this coastal town, which used to be one of the most important and biggest herring fishing ports in Europe. Old Pulteney is known as the Maritime Malt.

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