OCC Port Officer Awards Announced

OCC Port Officer Awards Announced

Congratulations to Greta Gustavson and Gary Naigle (USA), Peter Flutter (UK), and Robert Ravensburg (SA), and many thanks for your service to OCC!

By Daria Blackwell - 22/01/2018

This year two new Port Officer Awards have been introduced which recognise exceptional activities organised by Port Officers (POs = OCC member) and Port Officer Representatives (PORs = non-member). The OCC has more than 200 POs and PORs around the world, who assist members with anything from checking in to translation to doing laundry. While this is the raison d'être of the PO network, many become lifelong friends after helping with often difficult issues. Although only three are singled out for special recognition this year, our thanks go to all the POs and PORs for their dedicated service, in some cases over several decades.

The Port Officer Service Award, first awarded for 2008, goes to POs or PORs who have provided outstanding service to both local and visiting members. Greta Gustavson and Gary Naigle of Pilot House, Norfolk, VA are the 2017 winners, having been nominated by multiple OCC members. Their helpfulness, kindness, and hospitality are second to none, witnessed time and time again ever since their appointment way back in 1993. Members’ yachts stay on the dock managed by Greta and Gary while they organize propane refills, take cruisers to different stores for provisioning, accept and deliver parcels, and even do laundry. They do it for their love of sailing and the people they meet. Their devotion to the OCC is truly remarkable, and we recognise and sincerely appreciate their contribution.

New this year, The Port Officer Rally Award recognises an exceptional cruising rally organised by a PO or POR. Perhaps the shortest rally in the OCC calendar, but one to which members return year after year, is that organised by Falmouth PO Peter Flutter every August. A jovial dinner at the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club is followed next day by a cruise upriver to a midstream pontoon for further parties, both on the pontoon itself and aboard the larger yachts, primarily Peter’s own Tyrian of Truro.

It is not just the big, long rallies that are important – more people get to know and appreciate the OCC by attending the small ones. Our thanks to Peter for a great rally that attracts new OCC members and goodwill towards the Club year after year.

Also being awarded for the first time, the Port Officer Events Award is made for an exceptional single event organised by a PO or POR. For the past four years, Robert Ravensberg has single-handedly organised the Cape Town get-togethers, pulling in skippers and crews from multiple marinas and different times of arrival as they manage their South African east coast passage. He has hosted a day of wine tasting and lunch at the Cape Vineyards, venturing his own money for the deposit. The event is a fitting end to what for many is a difficult Indian Ocean passage, and a prelude to preparation for the Atlantic. In between, he handles all the OCC members’ needs and queries and recruits new members as qualified passagemakers arrive. Congratulations and thanks to Robert.

Photo: Gary and Greta in Norfolk. Photo credit (c) 2011 Caduceus, Elizabeth and Martin Bevan http://blog.mailasail.com/caduceus/234

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