sail-world.com -- ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award – Aussies head to Ireland
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award – Aussies head to Ireland
Mon, 5 Nov 2012
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award is being held tomorrow, Tuesday 6th November, in Ireland, where Australia’s London 2012 Olympic Games gold medal winning sailors have made their way to Dublin, for the announcement of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year.
Mathew Belcher, Malcolm Page, Nathan Outteridge, Iain Jensen and Tom Slingsby have all traveled to Dublin with the announcement to take place at a dinner on Tuesday evening.
The three gold medal winning crews are all in the running for the prestigious award, with 2012 being the first time that Australia has had three finalists.
Australia’s 470 men’s, 49er and Laser crews will face tough opposition for the award with Great Britain’s four-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie and French round-the-world sailor Loick Peyron also finalists.
The 2012 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year dinner will be the first time that the five gold medallists have been together since stepping off the plane in Sydney following London 2012.
All three Australian crews have had a successful year, winning their respective 2011 and 2012 World Championships and of course gold at London 2012.
Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page have had a great run over the last year, winning eight straight regattas. Their winning run started at the 2011 Australian 470 Championship before claiming their second 470 World Championship together at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.
In May 2012 Belcher and Page made it three 470 World Championships in a row, before winning their first event in Weymouth, the Sail for Gold Regatta. At the London 2012 Olympic Games the pair was at the pointy end of the fleet all week, winning gold. Page created history by becoming the first Australian sailor to win two Olympic gold medals.
This year is the second time that Belcher and Page have been in the running for the Award, after being finalists in 2010.
Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen have been at the front of the 49er fleet since teaming up in 2009 and this continued in the last year, winning five of the six regattas they contested.
Outteridge and Jensen won the opening round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, Sail Melbourne, before heading to Western Australia where they claimed their second 49er world title in three years at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.
Then at the 2012 49er World Championship in Croatia Outteridge became the first sailor to win four 49er world titles, the pair’s third together.
They made it a fifth straight win on Olympic waters a month later before continuing this success at the venue with gold at London 2012, wrapping up the win before the final race.
This is the third time that Outteridge has been a finalist for the Award, following on from 2009 and 2011, while it is Jensen’s first.
Australia’s third finalist is five-time Laser World Champion Tom Slingsby. Slingsby’s year started in similar fashion to his countrymen, with success in Melbourne and Perth.
Slingsby next had success at the 2012 Laser World Championship in Germany, winning before the final race in light conditions.
He then returned to Weymouth and made it a fifth straight victory there, ensuring he would head into London 2012 undefeated on Olympic waters. At London 2012 Slingsby created history, winning Australia’s first ever individual sailing gold medal. Heading into the medal race Slingsby was guaranteed at least a silver medal but gold was the only thing on his mind, finishing ahead of his Cypriot opponent.
Slingsby became the first Australia to ever win the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award in 2010.
The winner is expected to be announced by 9am AEDT on Wednesday 8 November.