The Royal Cruising Club Open Awards 2017

From inspiring cruises to outstanding seamanship, the Royal Cruising Club has announced its annual award winners for the 2017 sailing season.

The Royal Cruising Club announced its highly regarded annual awards in January which ranged from recognition of a mid-Atlantic rescue by the Queen Mary 2 to an account of a cruise by windsurfer off the coast of Wales and in the Caribbean.

The Medal for Seamanship was jointly awarded this year to Mervyn Wheatley, a long-standing member of the Club, who has clocked up over 400,000 miles, including three Atlantic crossings in one year - singlehanded. He has been a round the world skipper in the Clipper Races. Bad luck overtook him in 2017 when, during his fourth OSTAR, he had to abandon his yacht, Tamarind. To his rescue came the Queen Mary 2 and this mighty ship was able to remove Wheatley to safety. For the seamanship shown by Mervyn Wheatley over the years, and for the display of seamanship shown by the QM2, the RCC jointly awarded this highly-prized medal to the Master and crew of the QM2.

The photograph shows Mervyn Wheatley sailing Tamarind .

In recognition not only of his sailing, journalism and authorship, the RCC awarded the Medal for Services to Cruising to Tom Cunliffe for his never-wavering support for the values of traditional seamanship which he has brought to a new generation of sailors.

Previous winners of the Medal for Seamanship, the Medal for Services to Cruising and the Tilman Medal may be seen by clicking on the link below.

The prize winners amongst the members reflect another year of highly ambitious cruising with the Club’s highest award, the Challenge Cup, going to Mike and Devala Robinson for the log of their voyage from South Africa back to Dartmouth which completed their circumnavigation. Other awards were given for voyages to the north east Pacific preceded by an overland cruise across the Rockies, and for more peaceful family cruises off the west coast of Scotland. David Southwood gave a particularly vivid account of the same storm which caused Mervyn Wheatley to abandon ship.

The RCC publishes its members’ logs annually as ‘Roving Commissions’ and they are available for sale to the public via the Club’s website where you may also view logs going back to 1883.

Paul Heiney Vice Commodore

January 2018