The Ocean Cruising Club Awards for 2016: Noonsite awarded The Geoff Pack Memorial Trophy

Each year, the Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) recognises the outstanding achievements of blue water sailors and brings them to the attention of the sailing community. The Geoff Pack Memorial Trophy recognises the person (member or non-member) who, by their writing in print or online, has done most to foster and encourage ocean cruising in yachts or other small craft. This year it is awarded to Sue Richards* and the Noonsite Team: Val, Jeremy and Noah.

Published 6 years ago, updated 4 years ago

The full OCC press release can be read here – this is an edited version.

Award nominations are made by OCC members, but suggestions for consideration are welcome from the cruising community at large. A panel of judges comprising accomplished OCC members from several continents made the selections.  The final selections were ratified by the General Committee of the Ocean Cruising Club.

Commodore Anne Hammick noted, “With the continued growth in long-distance cruising, including many circumnavigations and high-latitude passages, it is increasingly rare for a single voyage to stand out. Our members do not cruise in order to win awards – they do so for the love of sailing, adventure and the sea. Even so, the OCC is delighted to recognise outstanding achievement among our members and the wider sailing community.”

Jenny Crickmore-Thompson, Chairman of the OCC Awards Sub-Committee, made the announcement.  “It is my distinct pleasure to announce the winners of the OCC Awards for the year 2016. This year the winners include a crew who exhibited a remarkable act of seamanship and bravery as well as those who support blue water cruisers in their endeavours.”

The OCC Seamanship Award

This is presented to Gavin Reid*, the skipper and the crew of Mission Performance during the 2015-2016 Clipper Round the World Race, for responding to a distress call, standing by under difficult conditions, and swimming to M3, climbing the mast and freeing a crew member who had been trapped at the top for 9 hours.

Gavin Reid is profoundly deaf and had almost no sailing experience prior to signing up for the Clipper Race.

The Seamanship Award is made “to recognise outstanding feats of personal bravery at sea or exceptional acts of seamanship” and Gavin’s and his mates’ actions – the manoeuvring, the swim and the mast ascent – reflect these criteria perfectly. See the story and video on BBC News.

The OCC Award of Merit

This award goes to Victor Wejer* for his unselfish and outstanding service, his extensive advice to international Arctic sailors, and his remote support of yachts sailing the Northwest Passage.  The OCC Award of Merit is open to members or non-members who have performed some outstanding voyage or achievement.

Over the years Victor has collected information concerning methods, shelters, anchorages, ice conditions and equipment from voyagers who have succeeded as well as those who have failed in their attempts to sail this unique and often unpredictable passage. Victor has collated various accounts to create a truly valuable body of work which he updates and regularly shares. His Yacht Routing Guide can be downloaded from the RCCPF website.

The Geoff Pack Memorial Trophy

This award recognizes the person (member or non-member) who, by their writing in print or online, has done most to foster and encourage ocean cruising in yachts or other small craft. This year it is awarded to Sue Richards* and the Noonsite Team: Val, Jeremy and Noah.

Sue Richards is Editor of the website and over the past two decades has led the development of this site to become the cruising yachtsman’s primary source of worldwide cruising information. Noonsite has a wealth of up-to-date information on practically every country of interest to cruising yachtsmen and has become the yachtsman’s “first call” in planning routes and passages. Through their diligence and dedication, Sue and her team enhance the safety, enjoyment and security of the global cruising community.

The noonsite team are surprised and grateful for the recognition this award gives the website. “I am overwhelmed that noonsite has been recognised by the OCC and awarded the Geoff Pack Memorial Trophy.” said Sue, “It should not be overlooked that without the support of the global sailing community feeding back their cruising reports and port and country updates to the noonsite team, the site would have expired a long time ago. So in our mind, this Trophy has to be shared with the cruising community as a whole, who have unfailingly and wholeheartedly helped the site grow with their words.” Read more here.

Other Awards

The OCC Award – Suzanne Chappell s/v Suzie Too

The Vasey Vase – Simon and Sally Currin s/v Shimshal

Rose Medal – Franco Ferrero & Kath McNulty s/v Caramor

Water Music Trophy – George Curtis s/v Galliard of Beaulieu

David Wallis Trophy – Rebecca (Bex) Band

Qualifiers Mug – James Muggoch s/v Annie of Orford

Port Officer Medal – (2)

Nina Kiff s/v Wetherley (Opua, NZ) and

Agustin Martin s/v Caballito de Mar IX (Gran Canaria, Spain)

Australian Trophy – Bill Hatfield s/v Katherine Anne

Vertue Award – Scott & Kitty Kuhner s/v Tamure

Additional information on all the winners can be found on the OCC website

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