• Dodo’s Delight caught in the ice pack, Bylot Island 2001. Bob Shepton Collection/OCC.
    Dodo’s Delight caught in the ice pack, Bylot Island 2001. Bob Shepton Collection/OCC.
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Devon, UK, 12 August 2019 – The Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) has established a Challenge Grant to encourage ambitious expeditions for environmental conservation or challenging oceangoing adventures and is now accepting applications for the 2020 season. The OCC Challenge Grant programme consists of two categories, the Conservation/ Environmental Grant and the Adventure Grant.

The Ocean Cruising Club membership has had a long tradition of adventurous ocean sailing and marine conservation activities. Whether high latitudes voyaging, non-stop solo circumnavigating, sampling ocean waters, or researching threatened species, OCC members’ adventures and conservation efforts, documented in its flagship publication The Flying Fish, have helped sailors dream big and plan exciting and meaningful voyages.

Now, with decades of storied history, the OCC continues to support these endeavours and is proud to stand behind the individuals and their projects which seek the betterment of the sailing community and maritime environment. Champion of the concept, Commodore Simon Currin, was encouraged by the endorsement of the Board, Committee and members. “I believe that these Grants, when combined with the OCC support that comes with them, will be a potent stimulus to teams and individuals planning exciting projects and adventures for 2020 and beyond. I am delighted that the OCC has chosen to become a patron of conservation and adventure worldwide.”

The OCC Challenge Grant encompasses two categories: the Conservation or Environmental Grant and the Adventure Grant. Grants are intended to help with project costs and range from £250 to £3,000, depending on the size and scope of the project.

Project lead, Baxter Gillespie notes, “The applications will be reviewed and judged by members of OCC who have experience in planning and executing major expeditions and projects such as high latitude firsts, mid-ocean scientific research, and remote island refuse reclamation. Their assessment of candidates’ goals and qualifications will be based in an extraordinary depth of expertise. I encourage candidates to apply as early as possible to secure consideration as we have a limited number of grants each year.”

The OCC Challenge Grant – Conservation

The OCC’s Conservation grant is for members looking to make a difference with a specific conservation or environmental project that is centred around the ocean, marine or maritime environment.

Conservation projects should:
· Be related to the ocean, maritime or marine environments
· Have measurable, high impact yet achievable goals
· Incorporate best practices for sustainability
· Improve the marine conservation and/or conservation practices
· Demonstrate “Leave No Trace” practices
· Demonstrate a plan for long-term success
· If possible, engage members of the community to ensure the sustainability of the project
· If possible, have local and national conservation manager endorsement and appropriate local/national licensing where necessary.
· Have a realistic budget
· Incorporate the best ethical practices

The OCC Challenge Grant – Adventure

This grant is for sailors in pursuit of world-class sailing and sail exploration objectives. Adventure Grants are intended to more significantly contribute towards total expedition costs.

Adventure Grant Goals:
The Adventure Grant seeks to fund individuals planning expeditions to remote areas, featuring unexplored areas, difficult sailing routes, challenging multi-sport exploits, or similar world-class pursuits.

For details on how to apply, please visit the OCC Challenge Grant page on the website.

- Daria Blackwell

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