Bill Marden

The Rambler Medal - 2008

Once again the OCC has redefined the term ‘short’, awarding the Rambler Medal to Bill Marden for his singlehanded 4000 mile voyage from the Azores to Barbados via the Cape Verde Islands aboard his 52ft cutter Fancy Free – at the age of 85!

Bill made a point of completing the voyage in as simple a manner as possible with no self-steering devices, a minimum of sail, no bottled water, no soft drinks, no beer, no pills and no bread. One hot meal a day sufficed, based on rice, cornmeal, flour and fresh eggs and making pancakes in place of bread. After experiencing 60–70 knot winds, losing the wind generator rotors and the bilge pump, dealing with a blown out jib and a fouled propeller, and watching 100 of his fresh eggs crash to the floor, Bill reached Barbados after 40 days at sea. Bill’s account of the voyage appeared in Flying Fish 2008/1 under the title Once was Enough.