2017 OCC Awards Presented Aboard the SS Great Britain

2017 OCC Awards Presented Aboard the SS Great Britain

135 members and guests honoured the recipients of awards that recognized the achievements of members and non-members on the oceans of the world.

By Daria Blackwell - 23/04/2018

The restored main first class dining salon of the SS Great Britain served as a distinguished setting for the awards dinner. During cocktail hour on the main deck of the massive passenger vessel, with the beautiful weather holding out for yet another hour, we were entertained by a steward's colourful telling of the history of the SS Great Britain and the achievements of IK Brunel, a child prodigy and builder of tunnels, bridges, ships, and buildings, and inventor of, among many things, the ship's propeller as an alternative to paddles.

Regional Rear Commodore Chris Jones assembled members in the dining hall after which Commodore Anne Hammick welcomed members and guests and Mervyn Wheatley led the Loyal Toast. After a delicious dinner and much talk with old friends and new, the task fell to Alfred Alecio to act as MC for the Awards presentations.

A few of the award winners could not join us for various reasons, but several sent words of gratitude to be read on their behalf. Susanne Huber-Curphey, winner of the Barton Cup, had written a short but entertaining and poignant speech which was read by Rear Commodore Daria Blackwell on her behalf. Sally Currin read a statement from the Fennymore-Whites, winners of the Vasey Vase, who are overwintering in the Arctic for their eighth year but were crewing on an OCC vessel mid-Pacific when they received the news of their prize.

Megan Clay, winner of the Qualifier's Mug, and Fergus and Kay Quinlan, winners of the David Wallis Trophy, were on hand to accept theirs in person.

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of a special award by OCC Member Mervyn Wheatley to the Captain of the Queen Mary 2, Christopher Wells. Captain Wells had orchestrated the rescue of Mervyn mid-Atlantic when his vessel was struck by a rogue wave and began taking on water. Mervyn's account of the rescue was humorous and elegant and paid tribute to the seamanship and exquisite hospitality aboard the QM2. Captain Wells' response warned other OCC members not to strive for a repeat of the hospitality with their own exploits. It was the first time the two seamen were reunited since the rescue.

The OCC Award for David Register and Lisa Blair's Seamanship Award will be delivered by their respective RRCs in the US and Australia, and the Jester Award was collected by retiring Vice Commodore Tony Gooch, mentor to Josh Ghyselincks who is sailing Tony's former vessel. Peter Flutter was on hand to accept his Port Officer Rally Award. John and Inge Chapman accepted Gary Naigle and Greta Gustavson's award and Rear Commodore and PO Coordinator Jenny Crickmore Thompson spoke on behalf of Robert Ravensberg and the POs honoured this year.

The final award was the new OCC Lifetime Achievement Award given to David Scott Cowper who told us of the major challenges he has faced in his lifetime of cruising under sail and power but felt somewhat reticent to accept a Lifetime Award as he is not yet ready to retire. We wish him continuing fair winds and smooth seas.

RRCs GB Fiona and Chris Jones bid us farewell and safe travels and promised another special event next year. Suggestions for venues are welcome.

Download a pdf of the slide loop that was played during the AGM and Awards Dinner Cocktail Hour via the link below. If you would like the actual PowerPoint Presentation to show at a local event, please contact Daria Blackwell via PR @ oceancruisingclub.

A photo gallery will be posted on the website in the coming days and will be linked into this page as it develops. Check back for additional photos and send your photos to Daria for posting.

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