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Ocean Cruising Club Awards 2022

Published on January 28th, 2023

The Ocean Cruising Club Awards Subcommittee has selected numerous achievements to recognize in 2022.

The OCC Barton Cup was awarded to Jon and Megan Schwartz and their young sons Ronan (15) and Daxton (13), an American family, who, with their two cats Poseiden and Athena, left France on their new Boreal 47 Zephyros at the end of 2018 bound for the Caribbean.

In mid-2019, they headed to Panama, from where they transited to the Galapagos, on to Ecuador, and down to Easter Island, before continuing east to Chile, arriving before Covid hit the world. They enjoyed their exploration of Patagonia for more than a year. The boys grew up quickly, becoming capable crew and sailors as they explored and raced dinghies with the local Chilean kids.

At the end of 2020, Zephyros headed across the Drake Channel for their first trip to Antarctica. They had a great time exploring before returning for another year in Chile (all done legally, with full permits and no bending of COVIDE restrictions).

At the end of 2021, they returned to Antarctica, then sailed back up to Cape Horn and Chile, and on to the south Atlantic, with long passages to the Falklands, St. Helena, and Ascension Islands, before heading back to the Caribbean, completing their multi-year circumnavigation of South America.

Commodore Simon Currin stated, “We thoroughly admire the Schwartz family for their seamanship, as well as for their low key approach to their adventures, rare in today’s challenging times. They’re great ambassadors of the OCC and the cruising community in general and very deserving of this, our most coveted, award.”

Their blog Sailing Zephyros provides interesting reading.

The OCC Seamanship Award goes to the parties involved in the rescue of a participant in the Golden Globe Race (GGR 2022) in the Southern Ocean some 500 miles off the coast of South Africa: Tapio Lehtinen, Kirsten Neuschäfer, Capt. Naveen Kumar Mehrotra and the crew of the Darya Gayatri, and MRCC Cape Town.

Tapio Lehtinen set off his EPIRB, donned his survival suit, grabbed his ditch bag, and deployed his liferaft just before his Gaia 36 Asteria sank, within 5 minutes of beginning to take on water at the stern. He was rescued from his liferaft by fellow competitor Kirsten Neuschäfer (who was about 100 miles distant at the time of the sinking) and was transferred to the bulk carrier in 3m seas and 25kn winds. Kristen then resumed racing.

For more information, please visit the OCC website.

The Lifetime Cruising Award is shared for 2022 by two extraordinary sailors: Joanna (Asia) Pajkowska and OCC Founding Member Ian Nicolson.

Captain Asia Pajkowska is perhaps Poland’s most accomplished sailor. She has completed three circumnavigations. In 2019, at the age of 60, she completed her first solo nonstop circumnavigation on a borrowed boat, FanFan, sailing from Plymouth to Plymouth.

She has taken part in numerous short-handed and fully crewed bluewater race events, winning top honors in many and receiving numerous awards from the Polish Yachting Association (Polski Związek Żeglarski) and others.

On January 8, 2009, Joanna Pajkowska completed a solo trip around the world with just one stop (in Port Elizabeth, RSA) aboard the sailboat Mantra ASIA. The estimated distance was 25,000 nautical miles and the trip lasted 198 days; it was the fastest circumnavigation by a Polish yacht person.

In 2010-11, Joanna completed another circumnavigation on board Mantra ASIA, this time cruising together with her husband Captain Aleksander Nebelski. After a year and four months of cruising, they traveled about 22,000 nautical miles, touched every inhabited continent: the Americas, Australia, Asia, Africa, and in Europe, and visited 22 countries, stopping in more than one hundred places.

Captain Pajkowska for several years has sailed mainly in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea with a base in Poland. Frequently she sails as a mate on board STS Pogoria, taking part in an Education Under Sails STA program for young people. She also does yacht deliveries and is a charter skipper.

After her solo nonstop voyage around the world, Asia was awarded the First Prize and
Silver Sextant in the Rejs Roku (Sailor of the Year) competition for the third time,. She is the only Polish yachting person to receive this award three times. For her Solo 360 Nonstop circumnavigation, Cpt. Asia Pajkowska was also awarded the TransOcean Prize, the most prestigious German sailing award.

Ian Nicolson, who turned 94 in August 2022, is a highly-respected yacht designer and the UK’s most experienced surveyor. He continues to race his Maxi 1000 ST BRIDGET regularly, interspersed with singlehanded and family cruises on the west coast of Scotland.

He has also written 27 books with two more in the works, some 20 of which are still in print, not to mention having submitted numerous articles to OCC’s flagship publication Flying Fish over the years. He has also found time to be our Port Officer for the Clyde ever since the network was created in September 1959.

Ian began his design apprenticeship with Fred Parker in Poole, Dorset during the Second World War at a wage of £1/5/- (£1.25) per week, then served his journeymanship with ship and yacht builder John I Thornycroft Ltd (later Vosper Thornycroft plc). Judging from his CRUISING SIXTY YEARS AGO in Flying Fish 2014/1, Ian and his sister spent any free time sailing pretty well any boat they could get their hands on, some more seaworthy than others and always on a shoestring.

Ian’s qualifying passage for the OCC was made in 1952 aboard the 45ft ketch Maken, which he had crewed aboard from England although he chose the 3200 miles from Panama to San Francisco as his qualifying passage. See THE IAN NICOLSON TRILOGY for the full story, including his purchase of the part-completed 30ft St Elizabeth and his singlehanded passage in her back to the UK.

Following his return, Ian worked for noted designer Alan Buchanan and also became Yachts & Yachting magazine’s resident naval architect. Later he joined A Mylne & Co, set up in 1896 by Alfred Mylne I and the country’s oldest yacht design firm.

Although based in Scotland, Ian travelled throughout the UK and abroad to survey yachts. One of these was the J-Class 127 foot Shamrock V, as Ian is understood to be the last person in the UK licensed to survey yachts of composite construction (Shamrock V features mahogany planking over steel frames). He became senior partner at A Mylne & Co and took over the firm following Alfred Mylne II’s death in 1979.

In 2007 Ian sold the company to naval architects and design consultancy Ace Marine Ltd of Dunfermline, Scotland but, rather than take early retirement at a mere 79 years of age, Ian simply went freelance. Drawing on a lifetime of experience, Ian Nicolson & Partners offer a wide variety of design, survey, drawing, alterations and consultancy work, specialising in historic and traditional vessels up to 150ft (45m) in length.

Over the years Ian has also given regular lectures at three Scottish universities, and found the time to build five yachts for his family as well as numerous dinghies. Watch YouTube to see Ian in action.

More about the winners of additional awards can be found on the OCC website.
Vasey Vase: Lars & Susanne Hellman
Jester Award: Cal Currier
OCC Award (members): Jeremy Firth and Daria Blackwell
OCC Award (open to all): Patricia Dallas & David Sapiane and Russell Frazer
PO Service Award: Chris & Bill Burry, Peter Dodd, and Mike Hodder
Qualifier Cup: Ainur Mutiyeva
David Wallis Trophy: CAPSIZE! by Anthea Cornell Stock and SAILING AND DIVING THE MANY MOTU by Ellen Massey Leonard

Source: OCC

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