Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Santi Lange and Mills-Clark
Wednesday, November 9, 2016 11:29 AM
It is never enough simply to possess talent, although there was plenty of that in clear evidence as the sailing world gathered in Barcelona to celebrate the achievements of some of its finest athletes; those individuals who have delivered outstanding performances throughout the past twelve months, all in the pursuit of excellence.
The winners of the 2016 Rolex World Sailors of the Year were announced at an impressive awards ceremony held at the 18th century Casa Llotja De Mar, in the presence of some 500 guests:
Male Winner: SANTIAGO LANGE, ARGENTINA
Santiago Lange provided Rio 2016 with the fairy tale storyline of the Olympic Games as he won gold with Cecilia Carranza Saroli in the Nacra 17. At 54-years-old, six-time Olympian and two-time bronze medal winner, Lange was the oldest sailor competing, but his story goes beyond his age. Just one year prior to the Games Lange was diagnosed with cancer and had to have a lung removed. Making the start line of the competition was an achievement in itself for the resilient Argentinean. Lange showed what is possible when passion is backed by courage and determination.
"This is a very emotional moment in a very long sailing career. It is a win for 'us' because I could not have done it without Cecilia. I want to thank all the other nominees, they are athletes I really admire. Only the very best win gold medals at the Games, and I have a lot of respect for all the other nominees."
As reward for his achievement, Lange was recipient of a specially engraved Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 and a marble and silver trophy depicting the globe, crowned with five silver spinnakers representing the continents.
Female Winners: HANNAH MILLS & SASKIA CLARK, GREAT BRITAIN
Spurred on by missing out on London 2012 gold in the 470 Class, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark set about the Rio Games in determined fashion. They were near flawless in their build up. Gold at the 2015 Sailing World Cup Final, silver at the 2015 World Championships and two 2016 World Cup golds proved Mills and Clark were a force to be reckoned with. Once at Rio the British pair kept their focus on the task ahead. Only a disaster in the Medal Race could separate them from gold. That was never going to happen. Clark and Mills finished what they had started and wiped clean the disappointment of London.
Saskia Clark commented afterwards: "It is totally overwhelming to win this award, to see the names of previous winners, the legends of sailing in the room with us. We really weren't expecting this." Hannah Mills was equally elated: "The whole basis of our campaign was teamwork, our bond. To cap our year with winning this award is absolutely incredible.
Marking their triumph, Mills and Clark both received engraved Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 37s and the same marble and silver trophy as Lange
At the beginning of the memorable evening, HM King Constantine, World Sailing President of Honour, remarked that these awards were "in recognition of an achievement that has been many years in the making. Every sailor on the nominee list has the ability to inspire the next generation and strengthen the legacy that our sport and every sport needs."
The Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards, sponsored by Rolex since 2001, are the most prestigious awards of recognition in the dynamic sport of sailing.
ROLEX WORLD SAILOR OF THE YEAR AWARDS
Since the awards inception in 1994, the trophy has proudly accumulated the names of those who have demonstrated unparalleled endurance, performance and accomplishment in sailing.
Competition for the 2016 Awards was truly remarkable, with five outstanding female and five equally exceptional male candidates short-listed from a field nominated by the public at large.
The eventual winners were determined by compiling votes from an online public ballot, the Member National Authorities and from guests present at the gala awards ceremony.
ABOUT WORLD SAILING
World Sailing is the world governing body for the sport of sailing, officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Founded in 1907, World Sailing's vision is for a world in which millions more people fall in love with sailing; inspired by the unique relationship between sport, technology and the forces of nature; we all work to protect the waters of the world.
World Sailing is made up of 142 Member National Authorities, the national governing bodies for sailing around the world and 114 World Sailing Class Associations.
ROLEX AND YACHTING
Rolex has always sought to associate with activities that, like itself, were motivated by passion, excellence, precision and team spirit. Naturally, Rolex gravitated toward the elite world of sailing, forming an alliance that dates back to the late 1950s. Today, Rolex is Title Sponsor of some 15 major international events.
From leading offshore races, such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, through to the highest-level one-design competition at the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, spectacular gatherings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup, as well as the brand's support of World Sailing, the international governing body of the sport, and its close relationships with the most prestigious yacht clubs around the world, including the New York Yacht Club (US) and the Royal Yacht Squadron (Cowes, UK), Rolex is driven by a passion for excellence and a great appreciation for yachting that furthers the strong ties that bind these two worlds in their shared pursuit of perfection.
Leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, introduced in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities, as well as philanthropic programmes.