OCC Barton Cup - 2009
(s/v Berrimilla) was the obvious choice for this, the most prestigious of the OCC’s awards, for his transit of the Northwest Passage aboard his Brolga 33 Berrimilla. Having circumnavigated the globe via both Cape Horn and the Northwest Passage Berrimilla can perhaps claim to be the first vessel to have done so. The transit through the Northwest Passage was also one of very few to be completed in one season.
Alex’s crew describes how she was on the helm in bad weather and was surfing down a big wave in 40–45 knots of wind when she realised something was wrong. She felt a nudge on the helm and then looked aft to see that Berrimilla’s stern was resting on the nose of the biggest whale she’d ever seen! They surfed the wave together until the whale finally disappeared astern – read the article for yourself in Flying Fish 2009/1!
Alex sent an e-mail from Kerguelen with his apologies for not being able to attend the awards presentation, but felt that with over 3000 miles still to go to Australia he was unlikely to get back in time. He asked the Commodore, Bill McLaren to accept the award on his behalf.
While at sea, Alex maintains a fascinating and instructive blog.