Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

ISAF honors the wunderkind—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 7 Nov 2012
London 2012 - Olympic Games - day 8. Finn medal Race. Ben Ainslie Carlo Borlenghi/FIV - copyright
Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Lijia Xu (CHN) were named the male and female ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year at the ISAF annual meeting, which is currently taking place in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. Ainslie, it will be remembered, won his fourth Gold medal this summer at the 2012 London Olympics, while Xu took Gold in the hypercompetitive Women’s Laser Radial class. Impressively, this is Ainslie’s fourth time receiving ISAF’s highest honor, while it’s Xu’s first time in ISAF’s international limelight.





'Winning the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year award is a huge honor, especially for everyone who has helped me,' said Ainslie, who this summer became the most decorated Olympic sailor of all time. 'There is a huge team in the background from family, friends, coaches and sponsors who helped make it happen. It is [also] a huge honor to be part of such a group of exceptional sailors who were put forward for this award.


Xu was understandably equally overcome with emotion and excitement at earning this internationally coveted award. 'Sailing has given me the chance to chase my dreams and the stage to show my potential,' said Xu, who became the first Asian sailor to win an Olympic Gold. 'It has provided me with the opportunity to see, feel and explore the world. Sailing leads me to a path of a better life, a life full of vitality, excitement and joyful experiences.' Get the full media report on the ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year Awards, inside this issue.





Closer to home, Gary Jobson, outgoing President of US Sailing, recently announced the appointment of Ben Richardson as the chairman of the Olympic Sailing Committee, replacing Dean Brenner in this volunteer role. Richardson, himself a highly decorated sailor, will work closely with Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing, in crafting the path forward for American Olympic dreams.


'Like every American sailor I want to see us return to the podium at Rio 2016,' said Richardson. 'Just as important to me is that we can look back in 12 years and say that our successes at the 2024 Games were a direct result of the improvements to our development system that this committee identifies and implements over the next four years.' Get the full scoop, inside.


And in offshore sailing news, the seventh edition of the nonstop, around-the-world-unassisted Vendee Globe Race is set to begin on Saturday, with an experienced field of 20 skippers competing for what is arguably one of the world’s hardest adventures, sailing-related or otherwise. Inside, get the latest scoop on this year’s contenders, their germane experiences, as well as a look at their odds of standing atop the podium after battling through what will no doubt be some seriously hard yards.


Speaking of nonstop sailing but of the much shorter variety, Rhode Islanders Dan Flanigan and Max Kramers won the inaugural Around Jamestown Record, circumnavigating the Narraganset Bay island in a mere 1:47:24 aboard their 18-foot Hobie Tiger, earning both bragging rights and Flanigan’s weight (196 pounds) in Mount Gay Rum. 'The Around Jamestown Record was created with the idea that it will be a community event for all the sailors who spend a great deal of time on Narragansett Bay and I’m excited to see this first year go so well,' said Race Director Hugh Piggin. As far as their bounty, Flanigan and Kramers were confidant that the over surplus wouldn’t be a problem, and the two are already preparing to defend their title next year.





Also inside, get the latest rankings from the Melges 24 class, check in with Paul Larsen’s Vestas Sailrocket 2 project, and learn about the Global Ocean Race’s evolutions. And finally, don’t miss Sandra van der Borsch’s great image gallery of Artemis Racing’s launch and christening. Not only are the images great, but they also provide great insight into the different design concepts that are being employed for the first-generation AC72s. Enjoy!


May the four winds blow you safely home,

Southern Spars - 100Wildwind 2016 660x82T Clewring J-class

Related Articles

Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug
Rio Olympics - Fourth gallery of images the fearsome Niteroi course
Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds. believe it or not the sea conditions were worse inshore as the fleet encountered the backwashed Atlantic rollers
Posted on 12 Aug
Rio 2016 - Third image gallery of 470's braving the Atlantic Ocean
Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds
Posted on 12 Aug
Gladwell's Line - The challenges of Guanbara Bay
The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer course, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest of the 2016 Sailing Olympics. Over shadowed by a 1300ft tall granite and quartz mountain in the shape of a sugarloaf, the bay suffers from dramatic windshifts, and huge variance in wind pressure.
Posted on 11 Aug
Rio 2016 - Fresher breezes expected inside and outside on Day 3
Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Two of the fleet scheduled to race outside on the Atlantic Ocean course off Copacabana Beach, while the 470 Men and Women will race inside on Guananara Bay.
Posted on 10 Aug