The OCC Seamanship Award 2023

While we were checking our emails in the morning of 2nd of February, Astrid mumbles more to herself: »I think we have won an award.« In any case, it’s a great thing to be awarded, but who should honour us with an award and why? So I started to read my emails too. And there it was, the email of the OCC sent by Simon.

Astrid and Martin,

I’m delighted to inform you that you have been given an OCC Award.

Best wishes and congratulations,


What? … First we checked the sender and CCs. Some of the names we knew and the email address of the Flying Fish magazine was clear. If this email did not come from the OCC, it must be something like a »deep fake email« 🧐. So we opened the attached PDF and there it was written in black and white.

„OCC Seamanship Award 2023“

„OCC Seamanship Award 2023“

Meanwhile a few days have passed, but it still feels unreal to have been awarded. The OCC seamanship award has been given to us for how we have dealt with the rigging problem during our trip from the Cape Verdes to the Caribbean in January 2023. We are no professionals and it was indeed an adventure for us and certainly an adventure that we would not want to have again. It was extraordinary to us, but we never would have thought, that our adventure on the Atlantic turns out to be so extraordinary that we win the OCC Seamanship Award.

We are just a normal sailing couple who have indeed had some bad luck. And we did everything we could to avoid becoming a case of maritime distress.
If you start sailing offshore you surely think about such a situation. But nevertheless such kind of problems remain somehow unreal. You read about such cases, but they remain far away and are simply problems of others.
When we realised that we had a severe problem, our hearts stopped beating for a second. To realise such a problem and above all its consequences is a process. The intermediate shroud on the port side had began to strand. 765 miles west of the Cape Verdes with 1320 miles to go. Not the best place to face such a problem.

Luckily we had running backstay which we could use to stabilise the mast. To climb the mast in the middle of the Atlantic was at the upper limit. Perhaps a little beyond. In the end we had to do it four times and we did it as a well-rehearsed team. It wouldn’t have worked alone. But read our article we wrote for the Flying Fish: Atlantic crossing – it could have been easier

At first we were only allowed to rejoice on our own, but now the official press release is also out.

„OCC News“

„OCC News“

OCC News
Here the official press release: OCC Awards 2023

And in-between we have booked flights to Liverpool. The award will be presented to us at the OCC Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on the 20th of April.
We are still somewhat speechless and very grateful. Receiving the OCC Seamanship Award is simply a great honour.