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Ocean Cruising Club Announces Awards for 2014


The Ocean Cruising Club (The OCC) has announced the recipients of the OCC Awards for 2014. Each year the OCC recognises the achievements of ordinary individuals doing extraordinary things on the world’s oceans and brings those achievements to the attention of the sailing community at large. The OCC Awards Sub-Committee, composed of accomplished members from around the world, made the announcement at the Club’s annual January dinner.


The recipient of the club’s premier award for members, The Barton Cup, is OCC Member the Reverend Bob Shepton.  Having won this award previously in 1995, Bob is now recognised for his recent Northwest Passage and Greenland sailing/climbing expeditions. His writing regularly appears in sailing and climbing magazines worldwide and his book, Addicted to Adventure: Between rocks and cold places, released in 2014 has received critical acclaim.


The OCC Award of Merit, an award that recognises both members and non-members, goes to Peter Semotiuk (non-member) for his exceptional radio service to sailors transiting the NW Passage. Now retired, Peter was dubbed the “Northwest Passage’s own night watchman”. As a private contractor for the North Warning System, for more than twenty years he has spent the evenings beside his radio broadcasting weather and ice conditions to sailors attempting the Passage.


“It is testament to the global nature of the OCC that members from all over the world submitted a record number of high quality nominations for this year’s Awards, representing the sailing community in all of the world’s oceans. This is truly fitting in this 60th Anniversary Year of the OCC’s founding.” said Commodore John Franklin.


“Judging the candidates this year involved a great deal of reading, research and analysis,” added Jenny Franklin, Chairman of the Awards Subcommittee.  “As one judge put it, ‘it has been an inspiration to me personally to read of the amazing exploits of the members of this Club’. We had a stellar team of 11 members representing 6 countries on the Awards selection panel and are immensely grateful for their time and commitment to this task.”


The Awards will be formally presented to the winners at the Annual Awards Dinner aboard the HQS Wellington in London on the 28th of March.  A full list of award winners follows. For more details, please visit the OCC website Awards pages. High resolution images and personal interviews are available upon request.


OCC Awards for 2014

*Denotes a non-member


Ø The Barton Cup                                  Rev. Bob Shepton
For his recent and challenging NW Passage and Greenland expeditions in a particularly difficult year for ice          


Ø OCC Award of Merit                           Peter Semotiuk*
For his valuable weather and ice prediction radio service to sailors transiting the NW Passage as well as organising rescues when needed


Ø OCC Award                                          Doug & Dale Bruce
For exceptional service as Regional Rear Commodores for NE USA and many years of dedicated service to the OCC


Ø The Vasey Vase                                 Ralph Villiger
For his unusual exploratory passages of the East Coast of Greenland


Ø The Rose Medal                                 Barry & Sue Fuller
For passage from Valdivia to Puerto Williams via the Chilean Channels    


Ø The Rambler Medal                           Steve Brown
For his passage from Maine, USA to Kodiak, Alaska which took 3½  months, almost half of it hand steering in s/v Novara, during a particularly difficult year in the NW Passage


Ø The Jester Medal                                Webb Chiles*
For his singlehanded passage in a Moore 24 from San Diego to Opua, New Zealand in the spirit of the Jester Challenge          


Ø Geoff Pack Memorial Award            Beth Leonard
For a lifetime of writings and publications on important issues which have helped many overcome obstacles and encouraged them to cruise in small boats

Ø The Qualifier’s Mug                           Roger & Audrey Kynaston
For the very readable account of their classic Atlantic Circuit in their Rival 34


Ø The David Wallis Trophy                  Bill Wise

Dick Davidson

A dead heat between two of our most senior members, both of whom wrote fascinating articles  about their 1950s qualifying cruises for the OCC’s 60th Anniversary issue of the Club journal,  Flying Fish


Ø The Port Officer Medal                      Vladimir Ivankiv*

For exceptional assistance to cruisers visiting Russia, particularly during the 60th Anniversary Baltic Cruise in St Petersburg

Jesse James*

For unstinting service to cruisers in Trinidad and Caribbean waters, characterised by consistently positive and proactive feedback from members


Ø The Endurance Award                     Bill Marden

For his dogged determination to get back afloat aboard his own yacht, despite being in his 93d year

                                                                        Glenn Wakefield

For sheer perseverance over 8 years to continue his goal of circumnavigating despite serious setbacks (boat loss, rigging failure, etc)



About the Ocean Cruising Club


The Ocean Cruising Club exists to encourage long-distance sailing in small boats. A Full Member of the OCC must have completed a qualifying voyage of a non-stop port-to-port ocean passage, where the distance between the two ports is not less than 1,000 nautical miles as measured by the shortest practical Great Circle route, as skipper or member of the crew in a vessel of not more than 70ft (21.36 m) LOA; associate members are committed to the achievement of that goal. This standard distinguishes the OCC from all other sailing clubs. It’s not about what you are or who you know, but simply what you have done, that matters. Our membership as a whole has more experience offshore than any other sailing organisation – in the number of circumnavigators, in the range of extraordinary voyages members have completed, and in the number of solo sailors, and female sailors among our ranks. This is what sets us apart from other organisations, even as it draws us together as a group. We bring the spirit of seafaring to our association by always being willing to assist any fellow sailor we meet, either afloat or ashore.

With a central office in the UK, though it has no physical clubhouse, the OCC is, in a way, the “home port” for all of us who have sailed long distances across big oceans. With 48 nationalities and Port Officers in as many countries, we have a more diverse membership and a more international reach than any other sailing organisation. Our Port Officers and Regional Rear Commodores represent the frontline interaction with our existing members and the recruitment of new members.


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