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The Ocean Cruising Club announces Sid & Rebecca Shaw as Recipients of the 2015 Vertue Award

Sid & Rebecca Shaw with the Vertue Award


Doug & Dale Bruce, former Regional Rear Commodores for northeast USA, announced that Sid & Rebecca Shaw of Falls Church, Virginia were recently chosen as the winner of the Ocean Cruising Club’s Vertue Award for 2015.


The Vertue Award is to given each year to the Ocean Cruising Club member in North America who best represents club founder, Humphrey Barton, through sailing achievements or service to the club and cruising community. Hum Barton was a living symbol of the strong friendships between cruisers from Great Britain and those from North America. He founded the Ocean Cruising Club in 1954 club and established a legacy that members still revere. “Vertue XXXV” was the name given to the Vertue class sailboat which Mr. Barton sailed transatlantic in April-May 1950. At that point in time, small sailboats were just beginning to make significant ocean passages. Vertue was just 25 feet in overall length, very small in comparison to today’s oceangoing yachts.


Sid & Rebecca Shaw fulfil all the criteria for the Vertue Award. Sid qualified for the OCC in 1965 (50 years ago) for a passage from the Galapagos Islands to Hiva Oa, Marquesas. Rebecca qualified in 1972 on a passage from Beaufort, North Carolina to Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.


Over many years and many passages the Shaw’s have crisscrossed the South Pacific to numerous destinations, including Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand and many islands in between. On the Atlantic side they have cruised the Caribbean, Venezuela, Cuba, Nova Scotia, New England plus their home waters of Chesapeake Bay.


They served with great distinction as Regional Rear Commodores for the USA/SE from 2008 to 2014 -- during which period the club has thrived in that region and many members locally and from abroad have enjoyed multiple cruises and parties expertly organized by the Shaw’s. They have been extraordinarily generous with their time, talents and playing hosts to many members from around the globe who have benefited from their hospitality.


The Shaw’s have written numerous articles for the OCC’s “Flying Fish” magazine describing their many adventures. Additionally they served effectively as members of the London-based “General Committee” which is charged with managing the club’s day-to-day operations and helping to set long range policies.


All told they have worked extraordinarily hard to make the Ocean Cruising Club as successful in North America as it is around the world.


The Vertue Award of the Ocean Cruising Club



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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