Ocean Cruising Club

Australian member Bill Hatfield, s/v 'L‘Eau Commotion', has been awarded the OCC Barton Cup for his recently-completed west-about single-handed circumnavigation, which included a particularly difficult and protracted passage around Cape Horn.

His voyage took him south of the Great Capes, with just one stop in the Falkland Islands after sustaining damage to rig and steering. His storm-damaged rig seriously slowed his progress to windward and yet he persevered for weeks in the frigid waters of Drake’s Passage before steering failure led to a retreat to Port Stanley for repairs. That was not the first time that Bill had made the Falkland retreat as he had been forced to do the same in the voyage that led to him winning the OCC Australian Award in 2016.

With his boat repaired, Bill left Stanley to complete a less eventful, late-season, rounding of Cape Horn and a passage across the Pacific to end his circumnavigation in Sydney. Bill’s ambition and determination would be remarkable at any age but is extraordinary for someone in his late 70s. Every twist and turn of his epic voyage is told in his beautifully written blog.

Photo: Selfie of Bill at the Horn. See more photos in the OCC Gallery – Awards 2018

Bill Hatfield