Ocean Cruising Club 2022 Awards Recognise Numerous Achievements

Each year, the Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) recognises the outstanding achievements of blue water sailors and with cruising returning to somewhat normal grounds, the Awards Sub-Committee found numerous achievements for the 2022 awards.

Published 1 month ago

Source:  Daria Blackwell – Ocean Cruising Club

Nominations for the awards are made by Full Members of the OCC and winners are selected by a highly experienced team of bluewater cruisers and the selections are approved by the OCC General Committee.

OCC Barton Cup

For 2022, the OCC awarded the OCC Barton Cup to Jon and Megan Schwartz and their young sons Ronan and Daxton, an American family, who with their two cats Poseiden and Athena, left France on their new Boreal 47 Zephyros at the end of 2018 bound for the Caribbean.

Jon, Megan, Ronan (15) and Daxton (13) Schwartz have been cruising full-time aboard their Boreal 47 since September 2017. They have sailed 35,000 NM in this time exploring Europe, the Caribbean, South America and Antarctica. Their latest project included a largely offshore circumnavigation of South America during which they transited the Panama Canal, sailed to the Galapagos and Easter Island, extensively explored Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, made two extended sails to the Antarctic peninsula, visited the Falkland Islands, St Helena and Ascension, then returned to the Caribbean.

Commodore Simon Currin remarked, “We thoroughly admire the Schwartz family for their seamanship, as well as for their low-key approach to their adventures, much done in today’s difficult times. They’re great ambassadors of the OCC and the cruising community in general and very deserving of this, our most coveted, award.”

The Schwartz Family (OCC)

OCC Seamanship Award

The OCC Seamanship Award goes to the parties involved in the rescue of a participant in the Golden Globe Race (GGR 2022) in the Southern Ocean some 500 miles off the coast of South Africa: Tapio Lehtinen, Kirsten Neuschäfer, Capt. Naveen Kumar Mehrotra and the crew of the Darya Gayatri & MRCC Cape Town.

Tapio Lehtinen set off his EPIRB, donned his survival suit, grabbed his ditch bag, and deployed his liferaft just before his Gaia 36 Asteria sank, within five minutes of beginning to take on water at the stern. He was rescued from his liferaft by fellow competitor Kirsten Neuschäfer (who was about 100 miles distant at the time of the sinking) and was transferred to the bulk carrier in 3m seas and 25kn winds. Kristen then resumed racing.

For full details see the OCC website.

Kirsten Neuschäfer (OCC)

Lifetime Cruising Award

The Lifetime Cruising Award for 2022 is shared by two extraordinary sailors: Joanna (Asia) Pajkowska and OCC Founding Member Ian Nicolson.

Captain Asia Pajkowska is perhaps Poland’s most accomplished sailor. She has completed three circumnavigations. In 2019, at the age of 60, she completed her first solo nonstop circumnavigation on a borrowed boat, FanFan, sailing from Plymouth to Plymouth. She has taken part in numerous short-handed and fully crewed bluewater race events, winning top honours in many and receiving numerous awards from the Polish Yachting Association (Polski Zwiazek Zeglarski).

Ian Nicolson, who turned 94 in August 2022, is a highly-respected yacht designer and the UK’s most experienced surveyor. He continues to race his Maxi 1000 St Bridget regularly, interspersed with singlehanded and family cruises on the west coast of Scotland. He has also written 27 books with several more in the works, some 20 of which are still in print, not to mention having submitted numerous articles to OCC’s flagship publication Flying Fish over the years. He has also found time to be our Port Officer for the Clyde ever since the network was created in September 1959.

For full details of this award, visit the OCC website.

Vasey Vase

In the Southern summer of 2021/22, Roving Rear Commodores Lars and Susanne Hellman made an epic voyage from Ushuaia to the Antarctic peninsular and back again to Ushuaia.   RoRCs Lars and Susanne Hellman have spent almost a year cruising amongst snow and ice and glaciers, exploring the wildest terrain in Chile.

For full details of this award, visit the OCC website.

Jester Medal

In the summer of 2022, between his sophomore and junior years of high school, Cal Currier completed a 3,400-nautical-mile journey in 28 days from Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, to Lagos, Portugal.

In addition to qualifying Cal for the OCC Jester award, the trip may have made Currier the youngest person to have completed the west-to-east Atlantic crossing alone and included a 24 – hour layover in the Azores. The spirit in which he completed the entire endeavor, more than his young age, make his accomplishment notable and worthy of the OCC’s recognition

For full details of this award, visit the OCC website.

OCC Award (members)

This year, the Club recognises two members who have contributed a great deal to the OCC for many years, both of whom are standing down from their responsibilities: Jeremy Firth and Daria Blackwell.

Jeremy Firth has edited the OCC Newsletter for six years and has done a superb job throughout his tenure. The Newsletter is one of the most popular membership perks, keeping us all connected, interested and aware of each other’s doings, and he richly deserves this recognition for his hard work and dedication.

Daria Blackwell has held numerous positions in the OCC since she joined in 2011 after three Atlantic Crossings, including Halifax to Westport, Ireland followed by an Atlantic circuit. Her dream of a circumnavigation aboard their Bowman 57, Aleria, with her husband Alex and cat Onyx, was cut short by illness in the family. Instead, she was coopted by John Frankin onto the Strategy Team and has been deeply involved in OCC activities ever since, having been elected to the General Committee (GC) shortly thereafter.

For full details of this award, visit the OCC website.

OCC Award (open)

This, which is open to all including nonmembers, recognises service to the ocean cruising community as a whole, is awarded to Patricia Dallas & David Sapiane of New Zealand and Russell Frazer of North America.

Gulf Harbour Radio is a New Zealand licensed coast radio station run by Patricia Dallas and David Sapiane from Gulf Harbour near Auckland. Every season since 2012 they have supported international cruisers on their passages to and from NZ and the South Pacific with their daily SSB schedule.

They run their service voluntarily, provide local advice, weather analysis, and forecasting, and assist where people need support. They also live-stream their broadcast on YouTube so that friends and family can tune in to listen to the vessels checking in.

David Sapiane and Patricia Dallas from Gulf Harbour Radio (OCC)

Twenty years ago, in early 2002, Russell Frazer ran the Big Fish Net crossing the Atlantic from the Canaries to the Caribbean. In more recent times, Russell and Lynne Frazer, s/v Blue Highway, run the annual OCC NE USA SSB Net. . The Net operates daily except Sundays at 0700 local time (1100Z) on 6227 kHz USB switching later to 4036 kHz USB.

For full details of this award, visit the OCC website.

PO Service Award

Three OCC Port Officers who were cited as exceptional ambassadors for the OCC have been recognised with a PO Service Award

Chris & Bill Burry – POs Deltaville & Mathews, VA, have welcomed many OCC members to Mathews and Deltaville when cruising the Chesapeake Bay. Members can count on them to assist in finding haul-out yards for hurricane season and they encourage members to stop at their dock to provision, fill water tanks, and prepare for offshore passages.

Bill and Chris Burry (OCC)

Peter Dodd – The Port Officer for Nova Scotia, Canada, has spent a lot of time providing services and assistance directly to cruisers, reaching out to OCC boats, and offering support in the Lunenberg/Mahone Bay region of Nova Scotia. He has been an OCC member since 2004 and, with Terry Folinsbee, a Port Officer since 2007.

Mike Hodder, Port Officer for Southwest Ireland, is the consummate ambassador for the OCC, especially for newcomers to Ireland. He is a knowledgeable, genial, and helpful host by every measure. Herewith are just a few of the many things he did (and continues to do) in helping members prepare for arrival to the Emerald Isle, and to help members thrive during unexpected extended stays or delays.

For full details of this award, visit the OCC website.

Qualifier Cup

In 2022 Qualified Cup recipient Ainur Mutiyeva and Shaun Weaver set out from Panama on their beloved THREE SHIPS heading via the northern route to Papua New Guinea on what they reckoned was the least stressful Covid route.

As their account submitted for inclusion in Flying Fish 22/2 demonstrates, their non-stop 8900 nautical mile passage from Costa Rica to Papua New Guinea taking 144 days was an outstanding example of tenacity and seamanship reflecting the true ethos of the OCC. The fact that this was Ainur’s first experience of a major ocean crossing and the style, enthusiasm, and commitment she demonstrated during the passage, was unusual, to say the least.

For full details of this award, visit the OCC website.

David Wallis Trophy

Presented by the family of David Wallis, Founding Editor of Flying Fish, and first awarded in 1991, this silver salver recognises the ‘most outstanding, valuable or enjoyable contribution’ to the year’s issues. The winner is decided by vote among the Flying Fish Editorial Sub-committee.

Ellen Massey Leonard shares the prize for SAILING AND DIVING THE MANY MOTU this year with Anthea Cornell Stock who is awarded the Trophy posthumously for CAPSIZE

For full details of this award, visit the OCC website.


The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of Noonsite.com or World Cruising Club.


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