Our Chief Executive Mark Todd was the inaugural winner of the MCA Award for Command Commitment to Sail Training.
We were also one of the charities chosen by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to benefit from the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund.
In January 2016, our previous vessel John Laing was named Sail Training Vessel of the Year by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and the Association of Sail Training Organisations.
In December 2018, Ocean Youth Trust South’s Staff Skipper, Peta Koczy, won the title of Young Sail Trainer of the Year 2018. This is a worldwide award for a young professional sail trainer under the age of 25, to encourage and recognise high-performing individuals who deliver sail training to young people at sea.
In February 2019, Holly Vint – who had come up through the OYT South system, initially sailing with us as a young person before qualifying as a watchleader and then a First Mate, and working for us full-time through the 2018 season – won the ASTO / Maritime Coastguard Agency award for the Best Potential Sail Training Skipper. This award is open to sail trainers who have not yet started skippering large sail training vessels and the award certificate says: “Awarded to the sea staff member who shows the best potential, not just for command ability and seamanship but also for the capability of fulfilling the youth development aims of Sail Training.” In November 2020, Holly Vint succeeded Peta Koczy as OYT South’s Staff Skipper.
At the 2022 UK Sail Training conference, OYT South won the Social Media Star trophy, designed to reward the UK Sail Training organisation that had had a big impact on social media over the previous couple of years. We were recognised for regular posts from voyages and refit, including pictures and videos, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, plus the regular voyage track posts, sharing and retweeting things from other members of the sail training community, a real effort to keep connected through social media during lockdowns, and some major campaigns including the fundraising Virtual Voyage, and #SailToWellbeing.
In January 2024, a member of OYT South’s team was once again awarded the title of Best Potential Sail Training Skipper at the Association of Sail Training Oranisations conference. Prolific’s Staff Mate Lauren Mackenzie first sailed with us at the age of 16 and spent the next few years working her way up through the volunteer ranks while finishing school and university. On graduating in 2022, she decided to sail full-time and passed her RYA Yachtmaster exam and OYT South first mate assessment at the age of 22.
We also have some exceptional sailors among our volunteers. In 2024, volunteer relief skipper / first mate Andrew Wilkes was awarded the prestigious Tilman Medal by the Royal Crusing Club, for outstanding achievement in high latitude sailing.