Ocean Cruising Club

Honorary Membership is one of the Club’s greatest honours and may be awarded to a Member who has given exceptional service to or achievement for the Club, a Member or non-Member who has completed a number of exceptional exploits in the world of ocean cruising, or a distinguished and respected person who has given significant service to offshore cruising.

Current Honorary Members

José Henrique Azevedo– elected 2019 (PO Horta from 2007)
  • Winner of 2018 Events & Rallies Award

José Henrique Azevedo José Henrique Azevedo
José Henrique is presently OCC Port Officer Representative in Horta, Faial, Azores. He is the son of the late ‘Peter’ Azevedo who was formerly OCC Port Officer and himself an OCC Honorary Member. 2018 saw an incredibly successful OCC event to celebrate the centenary of Peter Café Sport, attended by some 46 boats, all of which had to make an ocean passage to get there, and around 170 members and non-members. José Henrique performed an outstanding service in helping to organise a week of multiple events. His enormous enthusiasm for the OCC was ably demonstrated to all. He has very strong local contacts throughout Horta all of which he brings to bear when required to assist OCC members and other yachtsmen.

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Richard (Dick ) Guckel – elected 2019 (ordinary member from 1987)
  • Winner of 1998 and 2018 OCC Award

Richard (Dick ) Guckel Richard (Dick ) Guckel
Dick stepped down from editing our monthly e-Bulletin in December 2018 after more than 20 years on the job. During his two decades as editor he never missed a single month, even while away cruising or during a period of poor health. That members appreciate the e-Bulletin is demonstrated by its outstanding opening rate, consistently 60% or more, when the average among association newsletters is nearer 20%. Dick stood for the Committee in 2010 and served as Rear Commodore 2012-2017.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston – elected 2008 (ordinary member 1967-1989)
  • Winner of 1969 OCC Award
  • Winner of 1989 and 2007 OCC Award of Merit
  • Winner of 2007 Jester Award

Knox-Johnston Sir Robin Knox-Johnston
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was the first man to circumnavigate non-stop solo winning the Sunday Times ‘Golden Globe’ in 1969. Robin and his brother Chris joined the club after sailing their ketch Suhaili from Bombay to England via Capetown. Without funds to build the boat specifically designed by founder member Colin Mudie for the round the world race, the spartan Suhaili was refitted for the challenge. Robin was also the second winner of the Jules Verne Trophy in 1994 (together with Sir Peter Blake). For this he was awarded with Blake the ISAF Yachtsman of the Year award. In 1996 Robin established the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. In 2006 he became at 67 the oldest yachtsman to complete a round the world solo voyage in the VELUX 5 Oceans Race.

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Alfredo Lagos (POR Vigo) – elected 1999 (ordinary member from 1954)
  • Winner of 2013 Port Officer Medal

Alfredo Lagos Alfredo Lagos (POR Vigo)
One of the first Port Representatives, as they were known then, appointed for Vigo. Alfredo befriended Hum Barton in his pre-club delivery days and automatically inherited the whole Club without being asked. Hum spent some time in Vigo where Alfredo slipped Rose of York for him. Alfredo has also arranged the ever popular Bayona meet annually since 1984. Alfredo continues to this day, vigorously representing the Club and helping the many members who call. Indeed three generations of the family have welcomed members to their corner of Spain. Alfredo’s son Alberto has also been instrumental in setting up the Club website. More Information

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Les Powles – elected 2015 (ordinary member from 1997)
  • Winner of 1996 OCC Award of Merit

ALes Powles Les Powles
Les sailed three times around the world on the proverbial shoestring. At 50, he spent his savings building Solitaire in Liverpool in 1975. With only eight hours sailing experience, he set off that year into the Atlantic. Famously, he headed for the Caribbean, but his poor navigational skills meant he accidentally landed in Brazil. He went on to complete a 34,000 mile circumnavigation via Panama, Darwin and Cape Town arriving back in Lymington having been given up for dead. Towards the end of his second, non-stop 28,500 voyage in 1980-81, Les struggled with hunger and survived on rainwater, a few spoonfuls of rice and quarter of a tin of meat per day. Following this voyage Les received the YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award in 1981. On his third, epic, eight-year voyage in the late 1980s he was again given up for dead, but surprised everyone by his return four months after he set sail from New Zealand, aged 70. He had lost five stone and hardly had the strength to lift the sail. Now in his 90s, Les lives aboard Solitaire in Lymington Yacht Haven on a free mooring.

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Jon Sanders – elected 2015

Jon Sanders Jon Sanders
A famous Australian sailor, Jon's first solo circumnavigation was from 1975-77 in the first Perie Banou, an S&S 34. In 1981-82 Jon then completed a double circumnavigation west to east via the Southern Ocean. This voyage was recognised in the Guinness Book of Records and in 1983 he was awarded an OBE and the Chichester Award amongst many other accolades. In 1986 Jon set off again in the Parry Endeavour, a 14m sloop, completing a triple solo circumnavigation of the world in just under two years, spending 658 days at sea and covering 71,022 nautical miles. Jon's only contact with the outside world was via electronic communication and a couple of parcels of mail thrown to him from another vessel. In 1988 he acquired his current yacht Perie Banou II, an S&S 39 built in 1971, extensively refurbished to handle severe conditions and has since completed a further three circumnavigations, finishing his ninth in 2015 in Fremantle at the age of 75.

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Geraldine (Gerry) Wright – elected 1971 (ordinary member from 1965)

Geraldine (Gerry) Wright Geraldine (Gerry) Wright
The eldest of four daughters sailing with parents James and Ann Griffin aboard the Colin Archer gaff ketch Northern Light met Hum Barton in 1965 in the Canaries. She had grown up aboard boats and was a registered British Seaman (through a loophole in British law) which gave her father peace of mind sailing foreign seas with his young family. Gerry was both Navigator, with a preference for star sights, and bo'sun learning the traditional ways to look after the sails and rigging. Hum became a firm friend of the family. They sailed concurrently across the Atlantic to Barbados where all the family joined the OCC and met up from time to time over the following years. By 1971 Hum had married Mary and came to Geraldine's wedding to Cdr Nick Wright in Gibraltar whom she met during his time as captain of HMS Chichester. Hum's wedding present was life membership of the OCC on account of her extraordinary and then unique upbringing and traditional skills.

Deceased Honorary Members

Peter Azevedo – elected 1980, dec.2005 (PO Horta from 1972)

Peter Azevedo Peter Azevedo
Along with João Carlos Fraga, Peter Azevedo (of Peter Café Sport fame) had been instrumental in welcoming Club members to the Azores ever since the inception of the Azores Rally in 1977 (when only one boat attended!) The rallies have been made especially enjoyable by the welcome and assistance given by João Carlos and Peter, and the citizens of Horta have taken the Club to their hearts, simply referring to it as "The Club", the definition of 'Ocean Cruising' being considered superfluous. Peter's son Jose is the third generation of the Azevedo family to continue the tradition as Port Officer Representative for Horta.

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W.Cmndr. Terence (Batchy) Carr, AFC, DFC – elected 1977, dec. 1986 (ordinary member from 1956)

Batchy was a great friend of Hum Barton. Whilst circumnavigating with his wife in their 60 foot Colin Archer ketch, Havfruen III, Batchy referred to taking a wife to Tahiti as being like "taking coals to Newcastle". Havfruen III was the biggest yacht that Colin Archer had designed when he drew her for her first owner in 1894. Batchy bought her in 1947 and lived aboard for the next 27 years, completing 12 Atlantic crossings and a circumnavigation in the 1950s. Havfruen III was re-named Wyvern and she is now back in Norway and has been beautifully restored as a sailing exhibit of the Stavanger Maritime Museum, now sailed by OCC member Eoin Robson.

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Howard Fowler – elected 1977, dec. 1996 (ordinary member from 1971)

Club Secretary and Treasurer from 1965 to 1976. The first part of Howard's career was in the Merchant Navy, where he developed an interest in navigation. He then joined the Royal Naval Reserve, and spent his training year as a Lieutenant in HMS Daring, commanded by Lord Louis Mountbatten, where his distinctive height earned him the nickname of `Lofty'. Howard then joined a couple of colleagues in an air navigation school, where he taught navigation to Air Force aircrews, much of the time in South Africa. Howard later became a navigation instructor for yachtsmen and used his student contacts to the benefit of the club, notably using the good offices of the Sunday Express in an effort to locate the Club's first known missing boat somewhere off Port Moresby. It was said that during his time as secretary Howard never left a letter unanswered. Certainly he established a rapport with the members, many of them from distant parts of the world, that did much to establish and maintain our present far-flung membership. This he achieved with only an old manual typewriter, while also keeping the accounts and organising the functions.

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João Carlos Fraga – elected 1994, dec. 2017 (ordinary member from 1980)

João Carlos Fraga João Carlos Fraga
João Carlos Fraga (and Peter Azevedo, deceased, of Peter Café Sport fame) have been instrumental in welcoming Club members to the Azores ever since the inception of the Azores Rally in 1977 (when only one boat attended!) The rallies have been made especially enjoyable by the welcome and assistance given by João Carlos and Peter, and the citizens of Horta have taken the Club to their hearts, simply referring to it as "The Club", the definition of 'Ocean Cruising' being considered superfluous. Peter's son Jose is the third generation of the Azevedo family to continue the tradition as Port Officer Representative for Horta.

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Emily Morse (nee Potter) – elected 1991, dec. 1999 (ordinary member from 1976)
Emily Morse (nee Potter) Emily Morse (nee Potter)
Rear Commodore East Coast USA from 1984 to 1991 and energetic organiser of winter rallies to New York Yacht Club and Connecticut's Mystic Seaport Museum. Under her leadership the East Coast went from strength to strength, with a notable 200 attendees at one rally. With member and husband Forbes Morse she sailed many thousands of miles in their Swan 43 Blythe Spirit, joining club rallies in the Azores, Ireland and England. Emily served two terms as Rear Commodore East, and on retirement in 1991 was made an Honorary Life Member, but sadly lost a long battle with cancer eight years later.

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Mike Richey – elected 1980, dec. 2009 (ordinary member from 1956)
  • Winner of 1993 OCC Award of Merit
  • Winner of 1997 Geoff Pack Memorial Award
  • Winner of 1987 Water Music Trophy

Mike RicheyMike Richey
Director of the (later Royal) Institute of Navigation and frequent Committee member. In 1966 Mike sailed Jester (which he bought from Blondie Hasler in 1964) single-handed to the Azores and back. Mike threw away the outboard engine and relied for auxiliary power on an 11ft sweep. In the event he made fairly brisk progress but is perhaps more famously known for his obscure tricks of celestial navigation. Mike also wrote an occasional column for Yachting Monthly under the title 'On Reflection'. He sailed alone, not from any aversion to humanity but because it provided good thinking time without outside interference. He almost lost Jester in 1986 but both were taken aboard a passing banana boat. However, in 1988 there was no reprieve from a knock-down and this time only Mike survived. The Jester Trust was formed to build a replica of which Mike continued to sail for the next 15 years and well into his 80s. The Trust was disbanded in 2005 and Jester is now owned by OCC member Trevor Leek.

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Sir Alec Rose – elected c.1990, dec. 1991 (ordinary member and PO for Portsmouth from 1965)
  • Winner of 1968 OCC Award
  • Winner of 1968 Blue Water Medal (CCA)

Sir Alec RoseSir Alec Rose
Alec joined after coming fourth in the second OSTAR in 1964. The Queen conferred a knighthood on Alec in 1968 when he repeated Francis Chichester's feat of a singlehanded one-stop circumnavigation. Not to outdone the Club gave Alec the 1968 Award comprising a plaque and 30 Guineas, and Cruising Club of America awarded the prestigious Blue Water Medal. It is often forgotten that Alec had set off at the same time as Francis the previous year, but was run down at night in the Western Approaches by a vessel which did not stop. After Hum Barton's death Alec became the new Club Admiral (1981-1991). He rarely missed an AGM and on occasions took firm charge when circumstance demanded. He was never publicity-conscious but was always afforded full respect by the sailing world.

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Captain Ian M Spencer (Antigua) – elected 1975, dec. c1980 (ordinary member since 1954)

Lived in Nelson's Dockyard Naval Officer's Quarters and was elected honorary membership in lieu of services to the Club. Qualified aboard s/v Freelance in 1953 Las Palmas to Barbados.