OCC Awards for 2014

Awards will be presented at the OCC Annual Awards Ceremony
28 March 2015 at HQS Wellington, London.

High resolution images are available upon request. 

PowerPoint Presentation Shown at the Awards Dinner April 2015 (8mb pdf)

*Denotes a non-member


The Barton Cup:  The Rev. Bob Shepton

For his recent and challenging NW Passage and Greenland expeditions in a particularly difficult year for ice             

The Reverend Bob Shepton at the helm. Photo by Billy Budd. 


Bob Shepton's Dodo's Delight among the icebergs in Uummannaq in 2014. Photo by Ben Ditto. Reproduced with permission. 

Dodo's Delight crew picking their way through the ice in 2014. Photo by Ben Ditto. Reproduced with permission. 


Bob Shepton (‘the Rev’), only 79, has been a Royal Marines officer, a full time youth leader in the east end of London and Chaplain to two schools. He circumnavigated the world with school leavers via Antarctica and Cape Horn 1993-1995 on retirement, and has made 14 Atlantic crossings so far. In recent years he has been leading his own Tilman type expeditions to Greenland and Arctic Canada, sailing and climbing from the boat. Recipient of the CCA Blue Water Medal, the RCC Tilman Medal (twice) and Goldsmith Medal for Exploration, the OCC Barton Cup (1996) and Vasey Vase (three times) and also the prestigious mountaineering award of the Piolet d’Or. He was recently voted the Yachtsman of the Year 2013, mainly for his double transit of the North West Passage in consecutive years in his Westerly 33 foot GRP Discus Dodo's Delight.

He has written a book ‘Addicted to Adventure’ (Adlard Coles), published in May of last year, and book signing will be possible at the London Boat Show on 15, 16, 17th of January.

For more information, visit http://www.bobshepton.co.uk/.


The OCC Award of Merit: Peter Semotiuk*

For his valuable weather and ice prediction radio service to sailors transiting the NW Passage as well as organising rescues when needed

Peter Semotiuk at his marine radio station. Photo by Frederica Semotiuk. Reproduced with permission. 


As a child, Peter Semotiuk walked three and a half miles to school each way, every day, in the -40F temperatures of the Manitoba winters, and in a corner of the world with untamed bush and prairie and no roads. Despite or in spite of this he grew up with a fascination for the Arctic, and wondered what it would be like there. 

He spent his high school years building and firing homemade rockets; after graduation he attended the Manitoba Institute of Technology and then went to work in the aerospace industry. However the Far North kept calling to him and he obtained a job as radician on the newly built and, at the time, on the cutting edge of technology, Distant Early Warning Line.

In his spare time he took an interest in boats attempting to transit the Northwest Passage, and began to keep in contact with them via marine and amateur radio. He learned to sail, and then was invited to be part of the crew of John Bockstoce’s yacht Belvedere when it went through the Passage, a difficult expedition that started in 1983 and finished in 1988.

With the gradual opening of the ice and the increased traffic in the Passage he found there was a vital need for sailors to have information on the weather and ice conditions, which can change rapidly and dangerously, as well as backup support for supplies and repairs and rescue if needed, and this became an avocation which often requires hours of his time each day.

He was in the Arctic for most of the years from the mid 1960s until 2011 [Resolute, Gjoa Haven, Cambridge Bay (SSB 6224 kHz‏ at 0030Z)], and now lives in Winnipeg, Canada. He still scrutinizes the daily ice charts and continues to keep in contact with boats through radio, email, or satellite phone.

To read an article about Semotiuk, open pdf here

The OCC Award: Doug & Dale Bruce

For exceptional service as Regional Rear Commodores for NE USA and many years of dedicated service to the OCC

Dale and Doug Bruce in Maine, USA. Reproduced with permission. 


 Bluewater, the Bruce's Tayana 55 cutter, sailing off St. Vincent in the Grenadines.  Reproduced with permission. 


Doug & Dale Bruce have been sailing almost all their lives having met at a junior sailing program in 1961. Married in 1966, they have 3 wonderful daughters and 7 energetic grandchildren. Doug worked in New York City in the advertising agency business and retired (early) in 1994 when they left home and went cruising. 

After completing their qualifying passage in 1998 (Beaufort, North Carolina to Tortola, BVI), they received their OCC burgee and started making new cruising friends from all over the globe. After moving ashore in Camden Maine in 2000, they became Port Officers, a job held somewhat “in absentia” for several years while cruising in Newfoundland. In 2008, they became Regional Rear Commodores for the NE USA and organized countless successful cruises in company in Newfoundland and Maine as well as events from Delaware Bay to the Canadian Maritimes. They won the Rambler Medal in 2005 and the Geoff Pack Memorial Award in 2010 for their production of The Cruising Guide to Newfoundland

View detailed biography of Doug and Dale Bruce here


The Vasey Vase: Ralph Villiger

For his unusual exploratory passages of the East Coast of Greenland


First ascent. Reproduced with permission. 

 Leaving Lindenow. Reproduced with permission. 


Ralph Villiger is a 39-year-old Swiss mathematician and also holds a MSc in mathematical finance from Oxford University. He owns his own consultancy business to the pharmaceutical industry and manages a fund dedicated to the development of cancer therapeutics in the UK. 

Ralph started sailing at the age of 18 without his family being linked to sailing in any way. In 2003 he purchased Ntombifuti, a 40' aluminium sloop designed by Ed Dubois and with quite a history in the British short-handed circuit. He has always sailed short-handed, but only took up single-handed sailing when forced to deliver Ntombifuti to England and without having additional crew due to delays. After having sailed AZAB 2011 and OSTAR 2013 he now focuses on combining sailing with his second passion, mountaineering. Back in Switzerland he also runs his own winebar and produces the Swiss Blended Gin nginious!. He is currently in Patagonia. 

For more information, please visit Ralph's website


The Rose Medal:  Barry & Sue Fuller

For their passage from Valdivia to Puerto Williams via the Chilean Channels  


Crazy Diamond, New Caledonia. Photo by Karen Houston.  Reproduced with permission.

Barry Fuller. Photo by Phil Wickens. Reproduced with permission.

Sue Fuller. Photo by Phil Wickens. Reproduced with permission.

The Fullers in Cuverville Island, Antarctica 2013. Reproduced with permission. 


Barry and Sue Fuller took up cruising fairly late in life, buying their first keelboat, a 20ft, bilge keel Signet, in 1989. From their home port, Cardigan, they explored the drying harbours of the Welsh coast, and Southern Ireland. With early retirement in 1997, they had time to venture further afield. Like previous Rose medal winner, David Tyler, whom they have met several times, they spent their summers Munro bagging, and exploring Scotland as far north as the Shetland Isles. The winters were spent refitting Crazy Diamond, a Victory 40 built in 1972, and rock climbing on the Pembrokeshire Cliffs. In 2001, they started to explore the North Atlantic, spending a year in Iceland and cruising up the West Coast of Norway, and Svarlbad.

In 2007 Barry and Sue headed south and did their OCC qualifying passage from Crosshaven to the Azores, then island hopped through Madeira, the Canaries and Cape Verdes before crossing to Guadeloupe in time for Christmas. They transited the Panama Canal in 2008 and crossed the Pacific fairly rapidly to arrive in Tasmania in time to spend Christmas with their eldest son who lives there, and their other son and daughter who had flown over with their families.

The following winters were spent cruising the South Pacific Islands, with the summers spent in either Tasmania or New Zealand. By 2012 it was time to leave, and after many delays, they finally got underway to Chile in September. Being too early to take the direct route through the Southern Ocean, the Fullers meandered through French Polynesia, and Easter Island.  For the first 6 months of 2013, a year of contrasts, they sailed slowly south through the Chilean channels to Puerto Williams. They left Crazy Diamond on a mooring there and went walkabout in Bolivia and Peru, having some good treks, and climbing a 5300m peak, but failed to reach the top of a 6100m mountain. On their return to Puerto Williams, they swallowed their pride and booked a 4 week trip on a charter yacht to Antarctica (it's very difficult to get permission from the British government to take a yacht to Antarctica, and they now insist on having an ice-pilot aboard.)

This last year has seen the Fullers heading north, via the Falklands, Argentina, Uruguay and Southern Brazil. They are now back near Buenos Aires for some essential maintenance before heading north to the Caribbean, but perhaps not, as they write their cruising plans in the sand at low water.


The Rambler Medal:  Steve Brown

For his passage from Maine, USA to Kodiak, Alaska which took 3½  months, almost half of it hand steering in s/v Novara, during a particularly difficult year in the NW Passage

The crew of Novara in Nain, Labrador. Photo Novara archives. Reproduced withpermission. 

Novara up close and personal with  the Coronation Glacier. Photo Novara archives. Reproduced withpermission. 

Steve Brown relaxing with a stunning view of the Bylot Islands up Navy Board Inlet. Photo Novara archives. Reproduced with permission. 


Stephen Brown was the CEO of manufacturing businesses for over 20 years. He "retired" in 2006.

With over 45,00nm logged, Steve is no longer sure if he is a climber that sails or a sailor that climbs!

Climbing CV..
First ascents in the Himalaya, Tien Shan and Antarctica...

Sailing CV..
6 years Mediterranean cruising including Spain to Turkey in 2007.
Antarctic Peninsula 2007
4 yr circumnavigation with his wife, 2008 to 2012.
Northwest Passage in 2014.

For more information, visit Steve's website www.sy-novara.com. 


The Jester Medal: Webb Chiles*

For his singlehanded passage in a Moore 24 from San Diego to Opua, New Zealand in the spirit of the Jester Challenge

 Webb Chiles. Photo by Steve Earley. Reproduced with permission. 

Gannet in Neiafu, Tonga in August 2014.  Photo taken with a GoPro Camera. 

Gannet off San Diego in February 2014.  Photo by Steve Earley. Reproduced with permission.


Webb Chiles, 73, was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, far from the sea and into a family where no one had ever owned a boat.  In his early teens he decided he wanted to sail the world and write about it.  As an adult he has:  five circumnavigations—he is now on his sixth; seven books; and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles.

His first circumnavigation was in a 37’ engineless cutter, EGREGIOUS, in 1975-76.  Two stops.  In 203 sailing days.  Then a world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation in a monohull, breaking Sir Francis Chichester’s time by more than three weeks.  During the course of this voyage, Chiles became the first American to round Cape Horn alone.

Most of his second circumnavigation was made in an 18’ open boat, a stock Drascombe Lugger, named CHIDIOCK TICHBORNE after an Elizabethan poet.  It was then the longest open boat voyage ever made; and still may be.  A South African claims to have circumnavigated in an open boat, but the vessel was decked from the bow to aft of the mast and many do not accept that it meets the definition of ‘open’.

On his fourth circumnavigation, accompanied by his then wife, Jill, he rounded Cape Horn a second time in a S & S designed She 36 named RESURGAM on a passage from New Zealand to Uruguay.

His fifth circumnavigation was west about from New Zealand and completed in less than eighteen months  in 2008-9 solo in a 37’ sloop, THE HAWKE OF TUONELA.

He began what, time and chance permitting, will become his sixth circumnavigation, from San Diego, California in May, 2014, aboard an ultra-light Moore 24 named GANNET, and reached Opua, New Zealand four months and four stops later.  Moore 24s have often been raced single and double-handed from California to Hawaii, but GANNET is the first to cross the Pacific.

Chiles calls himself an artist.  One of his best known lines is:  a sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind.  He has written that the artist’s defining responsibility is to go to the edge of human experience and send back reports.  That is what he continues to try to do.

For more information see his website:  www.inthepresentsea.com

The Geoff Pack Memorial Award: Beth Leonard

For a lifetime of writings and publications on important issues which have helped many overcome obstacles and encouraged them to cruise in small boats


Beth Leonard with s/v Hawk.  Photo by Evans Starzinger. Reproduced with permission.

Hawk at Seno iceberg. Photo by Beth Leonard. Reproduced with permission.

 Beth Leonard at the helm of Hawk in South Georgia.  Photo by Evans Starzinger. Reproduced with permission.


Beth Leonard and her husband, Evans Starzinger, completed their first circumnavigation of the globe in 1995, a three-year tropical voyage aboard their 37-foot ketch, SILK. Within months of their return, they had determined to head off again in a custom boat to sail the high latitudes. During their four years ashore building their 47-foot aluminum sloop, HAWK, Beth began sharing what she had learned with others through speaking engagements, books, and articles. By the time they set out on their second circumnavigation in 1999, Beth had finished her how-to book, The Voyager's Handbook, which has helped thousands of people realize their sailing dreams.

Over the course of the next decade, while living aboard HAWK and sailing more than 75,000 nautical miles, Beth wrote hundreds of articles for more than a dozen sailing magazines including Yachting World, Yachting Monthly, Cruising World, Blue Water Sailing, and SAIL. She also completed the second edition of The Voyager's Handbook, adding a half dozen new chapters and vastly expanding the material in every chapter. Her fact-based analytical approach combined with a respect for the many different ways that people live aboard their boats allow her readers to find their own best path to realizing their cruising dreams.

For more information, go to http://www.bethandevans.com


The Qualifier’s Mug: Roger & Audrey Kynaston

For the very readable account of their classic Atlantic Circuit in a Rival 34

Sarah G, the Kynaston's Rival 34, near Fuerteventura.  Photo by Stuart Regan. Reproduced with permission.

Roger Kynaston aboard Sarah G. Reproduced with permission.

Audrey Kynaston sightseeing in English Harbour during their Atlantic circuit. Reproduced with permission.


Roger & Audrey Kynaston have just completed an Atlantic Circuit. 

Roger grew up around boats both in the UK as very young boy and then in Sidney in British Columbia, Canada.  His father worked in boat sales and charter. Shortly before the family emigrated to Canada, his Father was involved with the launch of the Moody 33 and they cruised hull number 5 to Holland and up the Ijslemeer.  While in Canada they completed several cruises in a Fisher 37, notably one to Barclay Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island and another up Jervis and Princess Louisa Inlets on the mainland. Roger completed his schooling in Canada and then moved back to the UK in 1985.  Opportunities for sailing were less available then but the family acquired a Drascombe Lugger in which they sailed in Wales and Devon.  After the death of his father, Roger's brother and he looked after Petrushka and sailed her in Poole.

Audrey was born in Dulwich and grew up in Brixton, South London. She had no involvement in sailing at all except to take the tripper boat across Torbay!  Roger introduced Audrey to sailing shortly after they first met in the year 2000.  They started with the family Drascombe Lugger but after they got married they acquired their own Hurley 22 which they cruised out of Starcross and later Torpoint. 

Following a very wet and windy night in Cargreen, Roger and Audrey decided they would like to sail south at some point.  They chartered a boat in the Ionian to see if they would like warm waters sailing and decided they did.  A couple of years later they were able to acquire Sarah Giddings, their Rival 34 and start planning their blue water cruise. In 2014, Roger and Audrey set off to complete an Atlantic Circuit. 


The David Wallis Trophy:       Bill Wise
                                                  Dick Davidson

A dead heat between two of our most senior members, both of whom wrote fascinating articles  about their 1950's qualifying cruises for the OCC’s 60th Anniversary issue of Flying Fish 


Bill Wise at his main "activity" these days - at the Royal Southern Yacht Club.   Reproduced with permission.

Bill Wise in working rig in the Hamble. Reproduced with permission. 

LANCELOT (“BILL”) WISE was born in Surrey in 1922 but spent most of his first year in Cairo, Egypt. The remainder of his childhood was spent in Suffolk. 

At RN College, Dartmouth (1936-1939) Bill learnt to sail in naval cutters and whalers, as well as his own dinghy from 1938, sailing on Rivers Dart and Orwell.  He was at sea throughout World War 2 (1939-1945)  in a variety of ships in Mediterranean, West Africa, Indian Ocean and finally Pacific.  No recreational sailing was possible in the UK and not much overseas.

In 1946, Bill commenced a series of courses to qualify for the new Electrical Engineering branch of the Navy.  Later on, was able to qualify as “C Eng  MIET  MBCS”.  He spent the post-war years (1946-1960) sailing in naval boats and “windfall” yachts (ex-German services) and RORC yacht “Griffin” as crew and skipper as well as crewing in privately-owned yachts, cruising and ocean racing, often as navigator, including: 2 Bermuda Races, 1 Transatlantic Race (qualification for OCC and RORC), Tall Ships Torbay-Lisbon Race, several Fastnet Races, 1 other transatlantic passage.Bill Spent two years as Chairman, HMS Collingwood Cruising Club, sailing and maintaining ex-Luftwaffe 100 square metre yacht “Wal” (later known as “Merlin”) as club yacht, mainly on short cruises, with some local and ocean racing. He gained limited square rig experience with the Sea Cadets in TS “Royalist” and “Centurion”.

Bill took on the position of Sailing Officer in HMS Triumph (Officer Cadet training ship) organising racing, including races with local yacht clubs in Baltic, Mediterranean and West Indies.  He served as Secretary of the Triumph Branch of RNSA. He spent time on main RNSA Committee, also on the Portsmouth Branch Committee as treasurer and standing race officer.

In 1960-1963, Bill began racing in dinghies and local yachts in Cape Town. During the period 1963-1980 Billdevoted his time to bringing up children in dinghies with occasional cruises in borrowed boats, and occasional races in larger boats. He also managed two three-year spells on Ocean Cruising Club Committee.

After leaving Royal Navy in 1967, Bill worked for ICL in computer sales and projects over much of UK, with the final five years in Telford new town living in the historic village of Ironbridge. He retired from ICL in 1972 but continued to live in Ironbridge, doing voluntary work for several organisations

The period 1981-2006 was spent on periodical cruises with Peter Pattinson (former OCC secretary) and his wife Shirley in “Kishorn”, run as the “Welsh Cruising School”, and other friends (mainly ex-clients of Peter’s!), visiting the coasts of England, Wales, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal and the Azores.

Bill moved to Hamble in 2007, so back in a sailing environment.  Arthritis now precludes being a competent crew but still get the occasional trip to sea under sail or power.

Bill married Janet Steward in 1960.  They have lived apart since 1981 but maintain good relations.  Their son Andrew is a member of the OCC and is currently Rear Commodore (Sailing) of the Royal Burnham YC with a 14 year old daughter.  Bill’s daughter Georgina lives in Hamble, assists her husband Simon Hand in his work as a race officer and is a useful member of the Royal Southern.  Another son Edward, also a keen sailor, died in 1989.



 Dick Davidson aboard Betsinda. Reproduced with permission. 


The Port Officer Medal:  Vladimir Ivankiv*

For exceptional assistance to cruisers visiting Russia, particularly during the 60th Anniversary Baltic Cruise in St Petersburg

 Port Officer Representative for the Russian Federation Vladimir Ivankiw pictured in Finland. Reproduced with permission.


Vladimir Ivankiv pictured with his daughter, Marina.

Vladimir Ivankiv was born in the surroundings of Lvov, Ukraine, USSR on the 7 Nov. 1954. At the age of 16, he moved to Leningrad to join his grandmother. He studied mechanical engineering in the Leningrad St. Petersburg Technological Institute from 1971 to 1977.  He is married and has a daughter, Marina.

  • 1979 to 1981 – Compulsory service in the Soviet Army;
  • 1984 to 1992 – Chief engineer of the Central River YC;
  • Since 1992 – the CA, Honorary Local Representative;
  • Since 1994 – the RCC, Honorary Foreign Representative;
  • Since late 90-ties – Swedish Cruising Club, Honorary Rep.;
  • Since 2003 – the OCC, Port Officer;                                                
  • Since 2005 – Clyde Cruising Club, Honorary Member;
  • Since 2006 – Cruising Club of Switzerland, Honorary Rep.


The Port Officer Medal:  Jesse James*

For unstinting service to cruisers in Trinidad and Caribbean waters, characterised by consistently positive and proactive feedback from members


Jesse and Sharon James being presented the OCC Port Officer Representative's flag by Ken Brook s/v Badgers Sett  at Crews Inn Marina, Trinidad.

For more information, please visit Jesse James' website


The Endurance Award: Bill Marden

For his dogged determination to get back afloat aboard his own yacht, despite being in his 93rd year

 Bill Marden working on Seawind at his farm in Texas


Bill Marden sailed his Garden designed Formosa Fancy Free for many years. His single-handed voyages epitomise the self-sufficient spirit. Nothing seems to faze him. Bill's philosophy is "keep it simple and you probably won't have to fix anything." What other man in his eighties, living on a limited budget, could sail thousands of miles in a yacht that would normally require a full crew?

He overhauled an engine extracting broken cylinder head bolts. To save costs, he later drove 1200 miles in an old truck loaded with spares from his home in Texas to Florida for shipping to his vessel laid up in St. Lucia.  He believes firmly in self-help typified by treating himself for chest burns, refusing outside help while isolating himself for a month in his yacht to prevent infection while new skin grew over the wound.  

When he lost Fancy Free to 'thieves' in Columbia, he set about finding a smaller vessel to replace it. Bill, now in his nineties, is preparing his new vessel Seawind, a Hans Christian, on his farm in Texas, surrounded by his herd of cows. Long may he sail. 

To read a Harvard Magazine article about Bill, view this pdf


The Endurance Award:  Glenn Wakefield          

For sheer perseverance over 8 years to continue his goal of circumnavigating despite serious setbacks (boat loss, rigging failure, etc)

Glenn Wakefield solo sailor Victoria, British Columbia


Glenn Wakefield spent 5 years preparing Kim Chow, a Rhodes 41' sloop, for a single-handed westabout non-stop circumnavigation and left Victoria, British Columbia Sept 2007. In April 2008, after 220 days at sea, having been rolled and suffering serious damage he was forced to abandon Kim Chow and was taken on board an Argentinian C.G.ship. Glenn was 800nm E of Cape Horn, his last corner before turning for home.

Undeterred, Glenn bought an S and S designed 42' sloop, West Wind ll, in 2010. He spent 3 years outfitting her. leaving Victoria on Sept 2, 2013 on his second attempt at a Westward circumnavigation. On Dec 26, 1800nm west of Freemantle, he found rigging failure on his lower shrouds which forced him to abandon his goal and nurse West Wind ll downwind to Australia.

For more information, please visit Glenn's website