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NZ Sailor of the Year- 49er World Champions win on Golden Anniversary

by Yachting New Zealand on 29 Nov 2013
Pictured above from left: Sir Russell Coutts, Peter Burling, Brendan Drury (House of Travel) and Blair Tuke Yachting NZ

On the golden anniversary of the Award the prestigious 2013 House of Travel Sailor of the Year has gone to Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.

It has been a massive year for New Zealand sailing with an extraordinary three Olympic class world titles, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup title and the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup; the list of sailing achievements during 2013 was unprecedented and in many ways fitting for the golden anniversary celebration. In another year a number of this year’s contenders could easily have secured the Sailor of the Year title making it no easy decision for the panel of Awards judges.

Asked what it means to him to join the impressive roll call of sailors who have preceded them Blair Tuke says; 'It’s really special, there are a lot of really great people who have done amazing things in our sport. New Zealand is one of the top sailing nations, so the people on this trophy are some of the best sailors in the world so to have our names alongside them is pretty special and very humbling.'

He adds; 'it’s not why we do the sport, we do it because we love it and to try and win regattas but to get recognised and get the accolade - it feels really good.'

Burling and Tuke’s stack of victories within the twelve months preceding 31 September 2013 highlighted by the 49er European and World Championship titles, (both career firsts for the pair) plus their roles as skipper and tactician with the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup winning team was enough to edge out the other contenders for this year’s Award.

While Burling has been collecting Awards at this event for many years, including an impressive four-time winner of the Young Sailor of the Year (2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011), this is the first time he has secured the big one. He and Tuke will now have their place in New Zealand sailing history with their names engraved on the Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy.

At the end of the evening’s presentations Burling said; 'We’ve been in the mix a lot of times, but to actually get a world title under us this year and a really get a really good year and get given it over a couple of the others who have had amazing years as well, it’s been an amazing year for the sport and we’re really looking forward to the future.'

Explaining what comes next Burling says; 'We’re both doing the Sydney to Hobart on different boats on Boxing Day so that’s on the immediate future. It’s been a really busy time and we’re looking forward to some time off over the summer.'

Yachting New Zealand Performance Awards also went to Women’s 470 World Champions and winners of the 2013 ISAF Female Sailor of the Year Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, to 2013 49erFX World Champions Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech (just 21 and 20 years of age), to Emirates Team New Zealand for winning the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup as well as both New Zealand teams to podium at the inaugural Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.

Volvo Young Sailor of the Year 2013

20 year old Molly Meech, the younger of the 49erFX World Champion duo and just inside the age bracket, was named Young Sailor of the Year for 2013. The Young Sailor of the Year Award was introduced in 1996 and this is the first time in its 17 year history that someone this young has won and Olympic class world title.

Molly Meech, who represents the Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club, is ranked ISAF World number 1 in the new Olympic class along with helm and team-mate Alexandra Maloney. Going up against sailors with years of Olympic campaigning under their belt the young kiwis’ results have been quite outstanding throughout 2013 highlighted with the World Championship victory in France in September.

Zhik Emerging Talent Award 2013

Winner of the Emerging Talent Award in 2013 was Nick Egnot-Johnson, an up and comer from the Murrays Bay Sailing Club. Among Egnot-Johnson’s accomplishments in 2013 are the 2013 Australian Optimist National Championship title, winner of the Sir Peter Blake Memorial Trophy and first (out of 163) at the Optimist North Island Championships 2012).

B&G Coach/Official of the Year

The B&G Coach/Official of the Year Award went to joint winners Nathan Handley and Hamish Willcox, both key coaches behind the unprecedented success of the NZL Sailing Team at Olympic class regattas during 2013. Before this year New Zealand’s last World title in an Olympic class was in 2008 – and the 2013 World Champs’ haul of three gold medals and one silver is testament to the contribution made by both of these men.

Partridge Jewellers Golden Anniversary Special Prize

In a special one-off prize to celebrate the 50 year milestone of yachting awards in New Zealand Partridge Jewellers offered a special one off prize. Of four finalists Loretta Maloney, Mum of current Olympic campaigners Alexandra and Andy was announced the winner and collects a Partridge Jewellers timepiece or jewellery of her choice to the value of $5000 NZD in recognition of her selfless contribution.

'While living in Kerikeri, she would wake up in the early hours of Saturday mornings to prepare lunches before starting the three and a half hour drive down to Auckland for the regular weekend junior regattas' says son Andy. ' Now ten years later, she is at Pak’n Save or making sure the laundry is done ensuring we have clean gym clothes all week, you can be sure that mum is busy doing things that make our lives easier.'

The full list of Awards Winners in 2013…

House of Travel Sailor of the Year: Peter Burling & Blair Tuke (49er World and European Champions)
Volvo Young Sailor of the Year: Molly Meech (49erFX World Champion)
Partridge Jewellers Golden Anniversary Special Prize: Loretta Maloney
B&G Coach/Official of the Year: Nathan Handley and Hamish Willcox
President’s Award: Bay of Islands Sailing Week

2013 Zhik Emerging Talent Award Winner: Nick Egnot-Johnson
(2013 Australian Optimist National Champion, Winner of the Sir Peter Blake Memorial Trophy, first (out of 163) at the Optimist North Island Championships 2012)

2013 YNZ Performance Awards

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie – 2013 Women’s 470 World Champions
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke – 2013 49er World Champions
Emirates Team New Zealand – Winners of the 2013 Louis Vuitton Trophy
Full Metal Jacket Racing – second at the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup
Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski – Silver at the 2013 49er World Championship
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders – ninth at the 2013 Nacra 17 World Championships
Josh Junior – ninth at the 2013 Finn Gold Cup
Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech – 2013 49erFX World Champions
NZL Sailing Team with ETNZ – Winners of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup
Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox – seventh at the 2013 Men’s 470 World Championships

2013 YNZ Youth Performance Awards

2013 NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team – third country in the ISAF Nations Trophy at the 2013 ISAF Youth World Championships
Sam Barnett and Zak Merton – fifth in the Men’s 420 at the 2013 ISAF Youth World Championships
Abigail Goodwin and Olivia MacKay – sixth in the Women’s 420 at the 2013 ISAF Youth World Championships
Isaac McHardie and Micah Wilkinson – Gold in the SL16 at the 2013 ISAF Youth World Championships
Andrew McKenzie – sixth in the Laser Radial Boys at the 2013 ISAF Youth World Championships
Molly Meech – 2013 49erFX World Champion
Markus Somerville and Jack Simpson – Bronze in the 29er at the 2013 ISAF Youth World Championships

2013 YNZ Service Awards

Pieter Besuijen – Macandrew Bay Boating Club
Jan Dawson - RNZYS, Milford Cruising Club
Ian Fyfe – Queen Charlotte Yacht Club
Christine Hansen – Wakatere Boating Club
Tony Kendall – Buckland’s Beach Yacht Club
Peter and Fiona Marlow – Clarks Beach Yacht Club
Rod McCulloch – Gisborne Yacht Club
Bob Shaw – Worser Bay Boating Club
Tony Stevenson - Royal Akarana Yacht Club and Ponsonby Cruising Club
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