Bert Terhart and S/V Seaburban awarded OCC’s Barton Cup for 2020
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Bert Terhart and S/V Seaburban awarded OCC’s Barton Cup for 2020

Bert Terhart and S/V Seaburban awarded OCC’s Barton Cup for 2020

Being named as this year’s recipient of the OCC’s Barton Cup is an incredible honour and profoundly humbling. It’s beyond imagining to have Seaburban listed among the extraordinary boats and sailors who have come before me. The Cup itself is easily argued as the highest, most prestigious award handed out to amateur sailors. Previous winners read as a who’s who of voyaging sailors. I am deeply indebted to the OCC and the SV Searburban Shoreteam for making the voyage possible.

The Ocean Cruising Club’s premier award, named after OCC Founder Humphrey Barton and donated by his adult children, twins Peter Barton and Pat Pocock, the Barton Cup was first presented in 1981. It recognizes an exceptional or challenging voyage or series of voyages made by an OCC member or members.

It is beyond imagining to have my name next to the likes of previous award winners such as Randall Reeves, Bill Hatfield, Susanne Huber-Curphey, Jeanne Socrates, Michael Johnson, and many more.

Again, I am deeply honoured, and I would like to thank the Ocean Cruising Club for this recognition and award.

Here is a link of the award page outlining previous winners:

Here is a link of my prize winner page:

Below is the Press Release:

Devon, UK, 23 January 2021 – Despite a pandemic raging throughout the year, the OCC
Awards Subcommittee has found numerous achievements to recognize in the cruising world.
Nominations are made by Full Members of the OCC, winners are selected by a highly
experienced team of bluewater cruisers, and selections are approved by the OCC General

The Club’s premier award, The OCC Barton Cup, which salutes an exceptional or
challenging voyage or series of voyages, goes to Bert ter Hart, s/v Seaburban. This nonstop, unsponsored, solo circumnavigation via the five Capes was conducted entirely without
the use of GPS or other electronic aids to navigation. The seven-month voyage is believed
to be a world record for the longest duration in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bert’s navigational skill and seamanship set a magnificent example to all distance sailors.
Bert was the recipient of an OCC Challenge Grant which was instituted to help support
particularly adventurous or environmentally conscious endeavours.

The OCC Award has two components – one rewards members who contribute valuable
services to the OCC and the other for anyone who contributes extraordinary service to the
cruising community at large. This year, the OCC Award recognises a group of members who
collectively provided immensely valuable services to both members and the cruising
community as a whole in response to the novel Coronavirus pandemic. The award
recognises the following individuals who jumped in to assist cruisers around the world as
borders closed and restrictions were imposed on foreign visitors often without warning while
cruisers were on passage:

• Vice Commodore Daria Blackwell
• Regional Rear Commodore Alex Blackwell
• Regional Rear Commodore Moira Bentzel
• Member Tim Goodyear
• Global Network Support Coordinator Fiona Jones
• Roving Rear Commodore Guy Chester

They co-ordinated, monitored, tracked, assisted virtually and arranged real time assistance,
to hundreds of sailors both in the Atlantic and the Pacific who were undertaking hazardous
voyages because of the pandemic and often with hurricane and cyclone seasons

These sailors included many OCC members but also many non-members only
Ocean Cruising Club Limited – a company limited by guarantee
Registered in England and Wales No 4919549
Registered Office: Westbourne House 4 Vicarage Hill Dartmouth DevonTQ6 9EWUK
Tel (UK) +44 20 7099 2678 Tel (US) +1 844 696 4480
too glad to have their help, often from countries not well represented amongst our members,
some of whom have incidentally joined the Club since. It goes without saying that the
reputation of the Club was also greatly enhanced as a result of their efforts.

It cannot be too highly emphasized what a tremendous and often literally life-saving job they did, coordinating too with official national rescue services in the USA, UK and the Azores.

Many sailors owe their gratitude. On 9 January 2021, The Royal Cruising Club recognised their
efforts by awarding the OCC their Medal for Services to Cruising.

The OCC Seamanship Award goes to OCC member Garry Crothers of Northern Ireland.
Garry lost an arm in a motorcycle accident. He found himself as a solo one-armed sailor in
St Martin when Covid-19 struck. He needed to get back to Northern Ireland for his
daughter’s wedding in September.

With no flights and no possible crew, he sailed solo nonstop directly to Derry, N.I., taking 37 days…the ultimate single-handed sailor. He is involved in sailing for people with disabilities (Sailability) and is a true role model and inspiration.
Garry was one of the sailors assisted by the group receiving the OCC Award, who were
checking in with him daily.

The OCC Lifetime Cruising Award 2020 is presented to Nick Skeates, a true cruiser’s
cruiser. Nick has been described as a ‘fantastic character full of soul, wisdom and
experience’. Nick has been an almost permanent liveaboard since leaving the UK in 1975
aboard his first Wylo, a Morgan Giles-designed 28-footer, at the age of 28. Two years later,
having sailed to New Zealand and back into the Pacific, he lost her on a reef near Fiji in poor

Back in NZ with almost no money he decided to design and build his next boat, Wylo II, a
32ft gaff cutter with steel hull and wooden deck, which he launched in November 1980. He
did nearly all the work himself, including making her sails. At least 160 sets of plans – some
of a slightly extended 35ft version – have been sold since then, with more than 50 boats
built. He remains a fount of knowledge for both plan purchasers all over the world and those
who simply drop by Wylo II at anchor (he shuns marinas) wherever they may see her.
Since 1980 Nick has made four circumnavigations aboard Wylo II, covering more than a
quarter of a million miles, and he has crossed the Atlantic more times than he can count.
Wylo II is very simple but extremely strong – at least one sistership has sailed around Cape
Horn– with an interior built mainly from recycled timber and a primus stove in the galley. Nick
still prefers to navigate by sextant, though he admits to carrying a GPS in reserve. In these
days of ever-larger cruising yachts with all the bells and whistles, Nick remains true to the
philosophy which has served him well for nearly 50 years.

The Vasey Vase recognises “an unusual or exploratory voyage made by an OCC member
or members” and, in an age of speedy circumnavigations, often in the higher latitudes and
frequently in pursuit of a place in the record books, Graham and Avril Johnson’s 18-year
voyage is ‘unusual’ and certainly merits this award. They have been frequent contributors to
the OCC’s flagship publication, Flying Fish, sharing their knowledge with all who follow.

Additional awards presented, the details of which can be found on the OCC website, include:
• OCC Jester Award to Jack van Ommen
• OCC Qualifier’s Mug to Sasa Fegic
• OCC Water Music Trophy to Kirk Patterson
• OCC Port Officer Service Award to Victor Langerwerf (Curacao) and Peter Café Sport
(Horta, Azores)
• OCC David Wallis Trophy to Dag and Ma Theresa Hoiland

Earlier this year, the Vertue Award, a regional US award, was presented to Regional Rear
Commodores Bill & Lydia Strickland.
Ocean Cruising Club Limited – a company limited by guarantee
Registered in England and Wales No 4919549
Registered Office: Westbourne House 4 Vicarage Hill Dartmouth DevonTQ6 9EWUK
Tel (UK) +44 20 7099 2678 Tel (US) +1 844 696 4480

For the official OCC Press Release: