Ocean Cruising Club offers 2013 youth bursary for Blue Water sailing

Blue Water medal winner Robin Knox-Johnston
.. .
The Ocean Cruising Club has introduced a bursary (scholarship or grant) programme, the aim of which is to foster the development of ocean cruising by enabling young people to gain experience of long distance sailing. The bursary will facilitate the introduction of youngsters to experienced sailors and contribute towards the costs of the voyage.

For 2013, two highly qualified members of OCC have volunteered their time and berths on their vessels for the programme. The OCC has commensurately committed a budget for two young sailors of any nationality between the ages of 18 and 25 to help defray the costs of participation. The OCC will fund two thirds of the applicant’s total cruise costs up to the maximum limit of the bursary.

Mark Holbrook, coordinator of the programme, says, 'This is a truly unique opportunity for young sailors to put some blue water miles on their sailing resumes while benefiting from the expertise of these very experienced OCC skippers who are willing to share their knowledge. Our results in the programme have been very encouraging. We are hoping to inspire a new generation of young people to sail beyond the horizon with confidence.'

The deadline for entry is 1 May 2013. Interested parties should email the OCC (secretary@oceancruisingclub.org) without delay. Further information about the programme is available online on the OCC website. The application form is available online as well. Completed forms should be mailed to the address shown on the application form or scanned and emailed to the club secretary. The selection of candidates is based on their experience and their personal statement of why they wish to participate.

About The Ocean Cruising Club:
The Ocean Cruising Club exists to encourage long-distance sailing in small boats. Every full member has made a 1,000-nautical mile offshore passage in a vessel of 70 feet or less; associate members are committed to the achievement of that goal. This standard distinguishes 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, 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.

Recognition of Achievement:
As members, we fly the 'Flying Fish' burgee to celebrate our own accomplishment and level of experience. As an organisation, we promote the achievements of our overall membership so that the Club will be recognised as the pre-eminent offshore sailing organisation in the world, with a unique body of knowledge, experience and expertise. We publish a record of member’s voyages in the 'Flying Fish' journal to commemorate their achievements and to provide information to all who are interested in voyages in small craft over the navigable waters of the world.

Through our Annual Awards, we recognise exceptional sailing achievement wherever we find it, inside and outside the Club. For more information about prior award recipients or membership, please visit http://www.oceancruisingclub.org/ where you can also visit the OCC Forum, view the Cruising Information Service, or peruse back issues of Flying Fish.