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The Ocean Cruising Club Celebrates 60th Anniversary
with Record Gatherings Around the World

Unlike other sailing clubs that hold one annual cruise, the Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) has been celebrating its 60th Anniversary literally all year round with events taking place on multiple continents and venues to which members arrive mostly by sea after crossing oceans to get there. In a unique effort to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its founding, the OCC has hosted no fewer than 16 gatherings on 3 continents as well as the Caribbean and New Zealand, covering both sides of the Atlantic, the Pacific, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Baltic. There are at least seven more events to come before the year is over! “If the gatherings in the Caribbean are an indicator of all the great events that took place around the world, then much fun was had by many OCC members who share the common bond of sailing across oceans in small boats,” commented Vice Commodore Peter Whatley, who attended the Caribbean Rally.

In addition, as part of the 60th Anniversary celebrations, five Founder Members (Derrick Allen, Harvey Loomis, Colin Mudie, Ian Nicolson, and Bill Wise) and four Port Officers (Derrick Allen, Dick Davidson, Alfredo Lagos, and Ian Nicolson), each of whom had dedicated more than 50 years of service to OCC, were honoured at the Annual Awards Dinner and AGM held in London aboard HQS Wellington.  “We were very pleased that four of the five living Founder Members were able to attend and regale us with stories of the days when Hum Barton and his chums got OCC off the ground in 1954,” said Commodore John Franklin, who also instituted the inaugural OCC Seamanship Award. The event was attended by 115 members and guests from as far away as Vancouver, Canada.


The Flagship Rally led by Commodore John Franklin to the Baltic was a massive undertaking, visiting nine countries in six weeks and covering some 3230M.  Regional Rear Commodore Jenny Crickmore-Thompson, who was the key organiser of the Rally said, “Six weeks go by very quickly when you’re having fun, and the Baltic Rally this season was no exception!  The ambitious schedule could not have been managed without the expert assistance of our Port Officers in every main destination.” 


The Ocean Cruising Club will be highlighting the benefits of joining the OCC at a stand at the Southampton Boat Show in September. The space was kindly donated by our long-time supporter Topsail Insurance. Please stop by EO29 to meet the Commodore and the many adventurous members who will be staffing the stand throughout the show.  



Partial List of OCC 60th Anniversary Events


(Additional details and high resolution photos for specific events are available upon request)


Regional 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinners

  • OCC Anniversary Dinner Whangarei, NZ April – 26 members and guests aboard 15 vessels
  • OCC Anniversary East Anglia Dinner in April - 14 members and 4 guests
  • OCC Anniversary Dinner Marmaris, Turkey April  – 13 members and guests aboard 7 vessels
  • OCC Anniversary Dinner in Chaguaramas, Trinidad April – more than 20 members
  • OCC Annual Dinner and 60th Anniversary Celebration, April, London UK aboard HQS Wellington, headquarters of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, with 115 members and guests in attendance
  • OCC Solent Meet May – 8 boats, 50+ at dinner at Gin’s Farm, and 30 the next day at Royal Yacht Squadron
  • OCC Dartmouth Barbecue in Aug  – 14 people, 3 boats


Flagship Rallies for the OCC’s 60th Anniversary Year

  • OCC Anniversary 3-Day Caribbean Celebration (12-14 March 2014) in Prince Rupert Bay, Dominica, with dinner at Fort Shirley, a day of hiking, and a market visit and cookery demos by Martin Carriere – 19 yachts, 40 members and guests were led by Roving Rear Commodores Dr John and Christine Lytle
  • The OCC Baltic Rally (5 June-27 July) Schlei (Kiel Canal) to St Petersburg, ending in Stockholm,  visiting Germany, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Russia and Sweden. Some 3000 miles of sailing were covered within the Baltic by 15 boats from 5 countries and more than 40 crew led by Commodore John Franklin with countless events managed by Regional Rear Commodore for Great Britain Jenny Crickmore-Thompson and Port Officers in each locale. One boat was even shipped from New Zealand to take part.
  • The Pacific Northwest Region OCC Rally July 3-12 in Bamfield in Barkley Sound 90 miles west of Victoria on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  The rally coincided with the annual Music-by-the-Sea Festival in Bamfield. Twelve boats came from Victoria, Vancouver and Washington, led by Regional Rear Commodore Tony Gooch with a total number of people at 30. Three great potluck dinners were held with great music.
  • The OCC East Atlantic Rally 5 Aug-30 Nov consisting of distinct connecting legs that end in the Caribbean or return to Europe via the Azores was organized by Terry O'Brien, with Dan Hogarth of "Eschaton" volunteering to run an SSB Net for the Rally.

·         Leg 1 – Finisterre to Baiona, Spain (7 yachts) 18 yachts: 7 from UK, 3 from Ireland, 3 from USA, 1 from Germany, and 4 Spanish with an average of 60 persons coming to each of the 13 events that compose the Rally.

·         Leg 2-   Spain and Portugal – 16 yachts – BBQs, sightseeing, flare demonstration

·         Leg 3 – Portugal to the Madeiras (12) Canaries (11)  and Cape Verdes (6)

·         Leg 4 – Rally to the Caribbean

  • OCC Anniversary Maine Rally, an annual event organized by Regional Rear Commodores USA NE Doug and Dale Bruce, enjoyed unprecedented success in Celebration of the 60th Anniversary Year, with 130 people (35 boats plus land travellers) attending the opening party in Southwest Harbor at the B&B of Port Officer Susi Homer, and 23 boats with 50 members and guests (including 6 from the UK and 1 from Singapore) attending the 4-day cruise

Regional Joint Rallies & Events

  • In June, Mid-Chesapeake Rally, in which OCC and Fishing Bay Yacht Club came together to celebrate milestone anniversaries, hosted 26 boats and 61 people led by Bob Franz, Regional Rear Commodore USA SE
  • OCC and RTYC Balearics Meet in Mahon, Menorca, (June 21) organized by Port Officers David and Susie Baggaley who greeted some 20 visitors and thanked the RTYC for granting OCC members reciprocal privileges at their clubhouse in London
  • OCC Raft Up and Gathering in Crookhaven Ireland during the ICC 85th Anniversary Cruise 5-12th July with 10 OCC members and 25 crew attending the dinner led by Regional Rear Commodore for Ireland John Bourke
  • OCC West Country Meet 23-24th August in Falmouth at the Royal Cornwall YC and the River Fal had 48 members and guests to dinner, some 7 or 8 boats

Still to come: 

  • OCC Dinner Turkey Meet  Bozburun, Turkey 12 September 2014
  • OCC Dinner Ireland  at the Kinsale Yacht Club in Kinsale, Ireland 26th September 2014
  • OCC Southern Chesapeake Dinner 26th October 2014
  • OCC Pot Luck Dinner Opua NZ 28th November 2014
  • OCC Meet up in Fiji December
  • OCC BBQ Totara North, NZ 6th December 2014
  • OCC South African Meet, December - 10 boats on circumnavigations are planning to meet up with Commodore John Franklin and Regional Rear Commodore Jenny Franklin in Capetown SA


Photos and captions – Select OCC 60th Anniversary Events


OCC Mid-Chesapeake Rally at Fishing Bay Yacht Club


OCC 60th Anniversary Rally in Dominica




Roving Rear Commodores Christine and
John Lytle and Port Officer Jesse James
singing Happy Birthday to the Flying Fish in Trinidad.



Dan Alonso holding the OCC Seamanship Award, presented for the first time in the 60th Anniversary Year at the Annual Awards Dinner by Commodore John Franklin (right)



The OCC 60th Anniversary Annual Dinner aboard the HQS Wellington in London


The OCC Pacific NW fleet anchored in Barkley Sound, British Columbia


April OCC Gathering in Whangarei, NZ


The Flying Fish displayed at Customs, Fort Konstatin, Russia during
the flagship 60th Anniversary Baltic Rally

About the Ocean Cruising Club

OCCThe Ocean Cruising Club exists to encourage long-distance sailing in small boats. A Full Member of the OCC must have completed a qualifying voyage of a non-stop port-to-port ocean passage, where the distance between the two ports is not less than 1,000 nautical miles as measured by the shortest practical Great Circle route, as skipper or member of the crew in a vessel of not more than 70ft (21.36 m) LOA; associate members are committed to the achievement of that goal. This standard distinguishes the OCC from all other sailing clubs. It’s not about what you are or who you know, but simply what you have done, that matters. Our membership as a whole has more experience offshore than any other sailing organisation – in the number of circumnavigators, in the range of extraordinary voyages members have completed, and in the number of solo sailors, and female sailors among our ranks. This is what sets us apart from other organisations, even as it draws us together as a group. We bring the spirit of seafaring to our association by always being willing to assist any fellow sailor we meet, either afloat or ashore.

With a central office in the UK, though it has no physical clubhouse, the OCC is, in a way, the “home port” for all of us who have sailed long distances across big oceans. With 48 nationalities and Port Officers in as many countries, we have a more diverse membership and a more international reach than any other sailing organisation. Our Port Officers and Regional Rear Commodores represent the frontline interaction with our existing members and the recruitment of new members.




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