OPEN AWARDS MADE BY THE ROYAL CRUISING CLUB
As well as awarding medals, cups and trophies to its own members the RCC has three medals which can be awarded to members and non-members in recognition of exceptional achievements. These are usually awarded annually and the winners are presented with their medals at a function attended by RCC members, normally at a dinner in London. These awards are not open to general application but potential candidates are identified and put forward by RCC members to the Committee.
The awards are:
The Royal Cruising Club Medal for Seamanship. Founded and endowed by Mr Meredith Fitzwalker Wren in 1949 for an act or acts of outstanding seamanship. It is awarded to yachtsmen or women of any nationality by a Judge or Judges appointed by the Committee of the Royal Cruising Club for the purpose.
2016 Winner - Not awarded this year.
The Tilman Medal. This medal is awarded in memory of Bill Tilman, an RCC member who delighted in combining cruising in high latitudes with mountaineering. It is awarded by the Committee of the Royal Cruising Club for an outstanding voyage in Arctic or Antarctic waters or in other remote places in high latitudes. The Committee takes into account objectives and achievements of exploration and of mountaineering.
2016 Winner - Nikolai Litau. The Tilman Medal is the highest of the Awards given to persons outside the Club. The qualifications are demanding, as Tilman would have expected, and to be awarded this medal is recognised throughout the sailing world as a major achievement.
It goes this year to a true High Latitudes sailor. He navigated the first ever yacht through the infamously tricky North East Passage in 1998/9, for which he was awarded our Medal for Seamanship. But his connection with the Club goes back to 1992 when he piloted the RCC yacht, Wild Goose, with its skipper the late Miles Clark, through the inland waterways from the White Sea to the Black Sea.
In 2001 he sailed from St Petersburg to Antarctica, returning via the Pacific and the North West passage and there have been many such voyages since. They are too numerous to list here, but he is the holder of the world record having taken his boat to 83 degrees North. He has recently returned from a complete circumnavigation of the Arctic via the NW and NE passages on the yacht Northabout.
This adds up to 10 Arctic voyages and 3 Antarctic voyages totalling 150,000 miles.
With no hesitation, we award Nikolai Litau the RCC's Tilman Medal.
The Medal for Services to Cruising. This medal was founded in memory of Jocelyn Swann and can be awarded by the Committee of the Royal Cruising Club to any person, club, corporate body or company who, in the opinion of the Committee, has rendered outstanding services to yacht cruising.
2016 Winner - Graham and Fay Cattell. Those who provide trusted navigational information make cruising simpler and safer for all of us.
For the last 25 years, Graham and Fay Cattell have worked tirelessly to ensure that there is not one corner of the Baltic Sea for which the latest information is not available.
They are ruthless in seeking out data, and famous for being sticklers for accuracy, and their work for the Cruising Association's Baltic Section has made it the premier source for sailors heading in that direction. they have an unrivalled knowledge of all nine Baltic countries and have explored them all either by sea, air, or on land.
Having come ashore a few years ago, their explorations continue in their camper van, clocking up thousands of miles every year, still seeking out the latest information to share with us all. Their contribution to the RCC Pilotage Foundation's shortly to be published guide, The Baltic Sea, has been enormous.
This has been a full time occupation for them for many years, always without reward. In recognition of their work, and with grateful thanks, we award them the Royal Cruising Club's Medal for Services to Cruising.
Previous RCC Prizewinners