Excellence recognised at the 2018 World Sailing Awards in Florida
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 11:49 PM
Sarasota, Florida, USA - Held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, eight Awards were presented. The highlight of the Awards is the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards and Brouwer / Riou were recognised for their success in the Volvo Ocean Race and Kontides for winning consecutive World Championship titles.
Three news Awards were introduced in 2018. Corpus Christi Yacht Club claimed the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award, Dongfeng Race Team took the Team of the Year title and Ran VII - Fast 40 received the Boat of the Year Award.
Alongside Rolex World Sailor of the Year and the new Awards, Bryan Willis (GBR) received the Beppe Croce Trophy, Para World Sailing Manager Massimo Dighe the President's Development Award and L1 (FRA) took home the eSailing World Championship Trophy having won it earlier on in the day.
Carolijn Brouwer (NED) / Marie Riou (FRA) - Female Rolex World Sailors of the Year
Carolijn Brouwer (NED) and Marie Riou (FRA) became the first female winners of the Volvo Ocean Race in the 2017-18 edition, claiming the title after thousands of gruelling miles at sea. Ahead of the final race, Dongfeng Race Team's Brouwer and Riou were at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Brouwer was an experienced offshore racer with two Volvo Ocean Race editions completed, whereas Riou was a two-time Olympian in Match Racing and the Nacra 17. The two came together and worked in unison, making brave and bold decisions when they mattered. On the winner-takes-all 970-mile drag race from Gothenburg, Sweden to The Hague, The Netherlands, Dongfeng Race Team made the right call to move inshore and take a narrow leg win to seal the Volvo Ocean Race title. "This is a huge privilege," commented an elated Brouwer. "20 years ago I won it for the first time so to be able to say I won the prize again in a different discipline really shows how sailing is a diverse sport and that it goes across so many difference disciplines. To be able to achieve so much in different disciplines within our sport is a huge honour. "Being able to say that Marie and I were the first women to win the Volvo Ocean race is a special thing, we are part of history and it's definitely something that will stay forever."
France's Riou added, "I'm feeling great to win this prize tonight, especially with Carolijn. It's a team prize and it was such a great achievement for a year of hard work with the whole team."
Pavlos Kontides (CYP) - Male Rolex World Sailor of the Year
Cyprus' Pavlos Kontides is etched into the history books in his home nation, becoming the countries first Olympic medallist at the London 2012 Olympic Games. His success inspired the nation and since then he has continued to inspire nationally and globally with his achievements. The Laser sailor won his first World Championship title at the 2017 edition in Split, Croatia. Less than one year later he stood atop of the podium yet again. At the 2018 Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark he conquered again. After ten testing races, Kontides faced off against Matt Wearn (AUS) in the Laser Medal Race. Although Kontides finished a place behind the Australian in a tense final duel, he had enough points to give him a two-point victory and a second world title. Speaking on receiving the Award, Kontides said, "There are lot of great legends of our sport on that trophy. Since I was 14, I've been dreaming of winning that award. I used to write it on lots of pieces of paper that it's what I wanted. Maybe it sounded a bit too far away, maybe it was too big of a dream but here I am today. "I managed to achieve this from a really small island in the middle of the Mediterranean so I hope this achievement will inspire a lot of other young sailors to prove you should dream big and not be too scared to chase it. "Impossible is something you only have in your brain. Your brain is the biggest barrier but once you figure it out, it can be your biggest weapon and your biggest ally as well so just dream big and go for it."
Corpus Christi Yacht Club - Winner of the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award
The World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award celebrates the effective execution or ongoing delivery of high-impact, highly-replicable sustainability initiatives, aligned to the World Sailing Sustainability Agenda 2030. The Corpus Christi Yacht Club (CCYC) received the award for the work delivered at the 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA. Todd McGuire, 11th Hour Racing Program Director, presented event organisers Sandi Carl, Mark Foster and Elizabeth Kratzig with the iconic perpetual trophy that is made from recycled carbon fibre, from an America's Cup boat, and bioresin. Driven by the dedication of the CCYC volunteer Green Team, the Youth Worlds was the first World Sailing Championship with a focus on ocean conservation and sustainability. The Green Team implemented sustainable practices, reaching the Sailors for the Sea's Platinum Level of Clean Regattas. Creating educational opportunities and legacy programs, CCYC broke new ground, creating a benchmark for future World Sailing Championships to follow. They implemented many of World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030 initiatives, showcasing the dedication, hard work and power of volunteers.
Bryan Willis - Recipient of the Beppe Croce Trophy
Bryan Willis (GBR) is the one of the most experienced officials within the sailing community and received the Beppe Croce Trophy for his outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of the sailing. Since 1975, Willis has served the sport he loves, holding respected, senior positions within the Royal Yachting Association and at World Sailing. Willis has served as an International Judge since 1981, when the scheme first started and in 1986 he became an International Umpire as the scheme also began. He served on numerous committees within World Sailing and acted as Chairman of the Race Officials Committee as well as the Race Management Sub-committee. Furthermore he served as a member of the Racing Rules Committee and the Racing Rules Drafting Working Party. Alongside this, he was author of more than 20 publications related to the sport of sailing. Willis was directly involved in no fewer than eight America's Cups, three editions of the Whitbread / Volvo Ocean Race and numerous Class World Championships.
Dongfeng Race Team - Team of the Year Award Winner
Dongfeng Race Teams Charles Caudrelier, Carolijn Brouwer and Marie Riou were on hand to collect the Team of the Year Award, awarded to a crew of two or more sailors who personify ambition and resilience. Dongfeng Race Team won hearts and minds worldwide in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, taking an unexpected podium finish. At the 2017-18 edition, Charles Caudrelier assembled a team of world-class offshore ocean racers and Chinese sailors that were fully capable of becoming the first Chinese team to win the Volvo Ocean Race.
On the final leg, from Gothenburg, Sweden to The Hague, The Netherlands, Dongfeng Race Team went head-to-head with MAPFRE and Team Brunel knowing that whoever finished ahead would claim the title. Dongfeng Race Team made the right call to move inshore and take a narrow leg win to seal the Volvo Ocean Race title.
Ran VII - Boat of the Year Award Winner
The latest version of Niklas Zennstrom's success of boats named Ran, Ran VII received the Boat of the Year Award for its outstanding boat design, innovative concept and ground-breaking technological advancement. Designed by Carkeek design partner and launched on 13 April 2018, Ran VII is a pioneering boat with a unique boat shape and electric-powered sail drive system. Ran VII has won every race she has entered including the prestigious One Ton Cup where she scored an unprecedented six firsts and two second places. Ran VII utilises smart geometry to increase performance. The prototype electric sail drive system is technologically advanced and was developed for environmental purposes that will pave the way for future developments.
Massimo Dighe (ITA) - Recipient of the President's Development Award
The President's Development Award was awarded to Massimo Dighe, Para World Sailing Manager, for growing the discipline of the sport. On presenting the award, World Sailing President Kim Andersen commented, "We were all deeply saddened when we heard that the International Paralympic Committee were not going to include sailing in the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games but as a sport we have made great strides in promoting and growing the discipline. "The Paralympic Development Program has played a key part in allowing us to grow the number of nations. Tonight's award winner has helped more nations come into the sport and from having under 32 countries sailing at the World Championships in 2016 we had 37 in 2017 and 39 in 2018. "This is thanks to the hard work and passion of tonight's recipient, Massimo Dighe." Dighe joins a list of previous winners who have been integral in the development of their national sailing authority, increased the participation of the sport and developed a framework for future growth.
About the World Sailing Awards
The World Sailing Awards celebrate outstanding achievement and exceptional contributions to the sport of sailing. The highlight of the annual Awards night is the presentation of the ultimate recognition of excellence - the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award. The Awards night is the social highlight of the World Sailing Annual Conference and 2018 is set to be a ground-breaking edition with the introduction of the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award, the Team of the Year and the Boat of the Year. Alongside Rolex World Sailor of the Year and the new Awards, the Beppe Croce Trophy, President Development Award and eSailing World Championship Trophy will be presented.