Cruise of the Year awards honored 2021

Prestigious Ocean Cruising Club Awards for Cruising Achievement Announced

The Ocean Cruising Club’s most prestigious award, the OCC Barton Cup, was awarded to Dustin Reynolds, who became the first double amputee to circumnavigate the globe solo.

Reynolds lost his left arm and leg in a 2008 motorcycle accident after being hit by a drunk driver. Only six years later, he boarded his sloop Alberg 35, Roudis in Hawaii and traveled around the world.

In Thailand, Reynolds had to admit that his yacht was not up to the challenge and would need to be replaced if he was to continue his circumnavigation. With some coaxing from friends and a successful crowdfunding campaign, Dustin bought the 1983 Bristol, Tiama and continues his adventure.

When Reynolds began his journey, he had very little money or experience. He learned to sail from YouTube videos and raised $12,000 for his first yacht.

Just to add to the difficulty of Reynolds’ adventure, his two yachts were extremely basic, with no electric winches and even lacked an automatic tail winch until 2019 when he was gifted one.

When asked how he manages to navigate such a rudimentary boat with one hand, he replied: “I use my teeth a lot”.

The OCC Seamanship Award

Minke in tow of the Good Report. Photo: OCC

The OCC Seamanship Award was presented to George Arnison on Good relations and Duncan Lougee on Minke in recognition of their exceptional seamanship during their first passage at sea in the 2021 Jester Azores Challenge.

Duncan Lougee, sailing a 25ft Folkboat, Minke, and George Arnison in a 30 foot wooden sloop Good relations, were sailing from Plymouth to the Azores in the 2021 Jester Challenge when damage to Minke resulted in a remarkable display of self-reliance and seamanship from the two solo sailors.

Four hundred miles from Terceria, George Arnison received a message from the jester ‘Helm’ (Roger Taylor) asking if he could come to the rescue of Duncan Lougee on Minke.

Arnison, on board Good relations was 40 miles to leeward and immediately moved in strong winds and began the long beat to windward looking for the crippled boat.

Find the victims Minke with a failing rudder, George Arnison proceeded to tow the 25-foot Folkboat but Good relations suffered her own technical problems with her genoa furling line separation.

With a storm jib and a jury-rigged rudder, the two boats helped each other for the next 11 days, even enduring a Force 9 gale on the way, before finally crossing the finish line at Pria da Vitoria.

The OCC Prize

The OCC award has two components – one recognizes members who provide valuable service to the OCC and the other recognizes anyone who provides extraordinary service to the cruise community as a whole.

This year the club recognized the incredible service of the 2020 South Pacific team: Juan Boschetti, Liz Back, Cynthia Rasch, John and Lyn Martin, John Hembrow, Viki Moore and Sue Richards.

CCO Winner Viki Moore

New Zealand-based Viki Moore of the South Pacific team. Photo: OCC

The 2020 South Pacific team pooled their talents and resources to bring as many sailors home as possible during the travel restrictions imposed during the 2020 global lockdown.

The OCC Lifetime Cruising Award

OCC Winner James Wharram

James Whram. Photo: OCC

The OCC Lifetime Cruising Award 2021 was awarded posthumously to the man many consider to be the father of multihull cruising James Wharram, who died aged 93 in December 2021.

James Wharram has spent his life designing and improving catamarans, based on classic Polynesian designs and proving them to be ocean-worthy boats. A fact so obvious today but considered dangerously controversial at the time.

Wharram was a lover of life and wrote several books about his adventures such as “Two Girls Two Catamarans” (1968) and “People of the Sea” (2020).

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OCC Environmental Award: Richard and Stephanie Hackett

This is a new award for this year’s OCC and goes to Richard & Stephanie Hackett and their Pacific Rim based NGO called Sea Mercy.

Sea Mercy, whose motto is “Sailing with a Higher Purpose”, organizes private yachts to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief to island nations in the South Pacific.

Additional prizes awarded for 2021 include:

Katie McCabe, CCO winner

At 14, Katie McCabe won the unofficial record as the youngest sailor to circumnavigate Britain from Timothy Long, who backed her challenge. Photo: Tom Hurley

  • OCC Jester Award to Katie McCabe.
  • OCC qualifying cup to James Frederick
  • OCC Port Officer Service Award to Natasha Wolmarans, Port Officer Representative, Richards Bay, South
  • Africa and Westbrook Murphy, Port Officer, Annapolis, MD
  • OCC Events & Rallies at Colin Cambell and John Head for the West Country Meet
  • OCC David Wallis Trophy for 2021 to Graham and Avril Johnson for their excellent Full Circle article. Among Flying Fish’s most regular contributors, this was their 20th and final submission since setting out on a (very) leisurely circumnavigation in 2002.

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