ODTAA Cup

The ODTAA Cup was awarded for the first time in 2018.

This cup was presented to the OGA by the President, Alistair Randall. It had been noted that the tight award criteria for many trophies meant that people worthy of recognition in the OGA might well not qualify because their achievements fell outside any of the tight trophy definitions. This cup is therefore in the gift of the President and GMC and is intended to allow recognition to a member for a contribution to the OGA that is not covered by another trophy. This achievement should preferably be sailing based and not necessarily a single occasion or indeed in one year. There should be no requirement for it to be awarded every year; it is there to fill a gap.

ODTAA is the name of a book by John Masefield (Sea Fever) and the letters stand for One Damn Thing After Another. The solid silver cup is from the family of Alistair and of Clare Thomas whose Uncle Teddy had a succession of boats called ODTAA; ODTAA IV was a fine Silver motorboat. Alistair also called his company ODTAA.

The first winner of the ODTAA Cup was Ellie Howlett in recognition of her long term contribution to the reputation of the OGA, just by doing what she does and setting a fine example.

Winner, 2018: Eloisa Howlett, skipper, 'Ellen', East Coast Area

Rory Howlett submitted a nomination for his wife:

"I would like to nominate my wife Eloisa Howlett for a seamanship award. There are several reasons for this. She is the only young woman that I know of that helms and skippers a class 1 topmast Essex smack and has done so from a very early age. This is no mean feat in itself particularly in a world dominated by very competent older men. Whilst doing this she not only runs the entire boat but also is a fantastic mother to 2 very young children (3 and 1). These children have completed a full season of sailing in 2018 including cruising and racing and have loved every minute of it. This is solely due to the competence and exceptional seamanship of their mother ensuring the safety of the boat and the children at all times. A prime example of this would be during the OGA East Coast Race this year.

The race was undertaken on the 44ft Essex smack 'Ellen'. Some of the crew were unfamiliar with the boat and both the children were on board. Elly successfully managed to be first over the start line for the working boats, finshed the race as the first placed lady helm, 3rd in class (Slow working boats) and beat all of the fast working boats on corrected time. She managed to do all of this whilst instructing unfamiliar crew, getting Henry involved in sail changes and had Edith asleep on her lap for half the race.

To me seamanship is about using skill, knowledge and experience to process large amounts of information, assess environmental conditions in real time and make solid decisions to ensure the safe and enjoyable completion of a boats voyage. In my view Elly has these skills in bucket loads and demonstrates it regularly as anyone who knows her will agree. She should be awarded this trophy to recognise her achievements and to demonstrate to other members from all regions of the OGA what can be achieved through dedication, time served at the tiller, the love for a boat as well as sailing in general. If she were to be awarded this accolade she would be completely overwhelmed, embarrassed and probably cry a bit. Her family would be enormously proud of her (although we are anyway) but most importantly it would be a symbol of recognition from her peers which she truly deserves. She would probably insist that she was not deserving of an award for just getting on with her hobby and enjoying life but I for one would have to whole heartedly disagree".

Rory Howlett, East Coast Area