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The OCC Annual Awards Dinner

by Daria Blackwell 14 Apr 13:55 UTC
The OCC Annual Awards Dinner © Daria Blackwell

Ninety members were booked in for the dinner at Plas Menai, arriving from all directions, including as far away as Australia and British Columbia.

As Past Commodore Bill McLaren welcomed members and guests to Plas Menai, the cafe was transformed miraculously into an elegant venue. The Reverend Bob Shepton said grace and guests were seated.

The awards were announced in tranches between courses, leading up to the Club's premiere award, the Barton Cup. There will be detailed stories in the OCC Newsletter and in the Flying Fish, and a gallery of photos will be posted on the website.

Commodore Simon Currin gave an eloquent introduction to Bill Hatfield's exploits aboard s/v 'L'Eau Commotion', including prior attempts at solo non-stop circumnavigations that produced 'interesting outcomes'. Undaunted, Bill took off for a fourth circumnavigation attempt, but once again had a failure that forced a stop. Nevertheless, he completed his circumnavigation. Having come from Australia just for the weekend, when asked what he was planning next, he said without hesitation that he departs again shortly for yet another attempt. Perhaps we'll see Bill at the Awards dinner again.

José Azevedo of Peter Café Sport, great friend of the OCC, had flown in from the Azores with wife Maria for the event. At the AGM, a motion to elect José as Honorary Member of the OCC was approved and he was presented with a certificate. Later in the evening, José was presented with the OCC Events and Rallies Award for his role in the success of the OCC Rally to the Azores to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Peter Café Sport.

Lin Pardey, who could not be with us in person, sent a short video from New Zealand to thank the OCC for awarding Lin and Larry Pardey the OCC Lifetime Sailing Award. The video will reside in the Video Gallery on the OCC website and can be viewed following the link below.

Jenny Crickmore-Thompson told attendees about presenting the OCC Award and the Seamanship Award to Des Cason and Dustin Reynolds, respectively, in South Africa a few weeks ago.

Dick Guckel, who could not be with us in Wales, was also elected Honorary Member and received the OCC Award for his twenty years of service to the OCC, chiefly in managing the monthly eBulletin; he didn't miss one issue in all that time.

Agustin Martin flew in from the Canaries to collect his Port Officer Service Award, the second such award he received for the great care he delivers to OCC members visiting the Canary Islands.

Finally, it was announced that Bob Shepton won the Photographic Competition held during the weekend with a picture of his boat in the icebergs of Greenland (unfair advantage!).

The Day after the Awards Dinner

On the Sunday, 7th April, groups got together in local ventures such as mountain walks, visit to a deep mine, or just driving around Snowdonia. It was altogether an enjoyable, informative, interesting weekend and much of the credit must go to OCC Regional Rear Commodores Chris and Fi Jones of 'Three Ships' who did a superb job of organising.

Of those attending the weekend, 39 took part in 5 activities on Sunday, including:

  • Mountain walk up Y Garn in Snowdonia
  • Walk around Cwm Idwal in Snowdonia
  • Visit to Moelfe RNLI station with a walk on Llygwy Beach in Anglesey
  • Car tour of Snowdonia
  • Deep mine tour at Llechwydd slate mines
Twenty-four arrived at the Black Boy Inn in Caernarfon for an impromptu Sunday evening meal, continuing the reverie for one more night.

Next year, the AGM and Awards Dinner moves across the pond for the first time, tentatively landing in Annapolis, Maryland "the sailing capital of the world" on April 18-19, 2020. See you there!

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This article has been provided by the courtesy of Ocean Cruising Club.

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