Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 6

Rolex ISAF World Sailor of the Year- Awards to Australian and Kiwis

by Sail-World on 13 Nov 2013
Jo Aleh, Polly Powrie and Matt Belcher - 2013 Rolex ISAF World Sailor of the Year, Oman © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo http://www.regattanews.com

The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards, the highest award a sailor can receive in recognition of his/her outstanding achievements by the world of sailing, were awarded today to Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (NZL) and Mathew Belcher (AUS) at a gliierting dinner at Turtle Beach, Sultancy of Oman.

Having being nominated twice before in 2010 and 2012, it proved to be third time lucky for Mathew Belcher, the Australian Olympic and World champion in the 470 dinghy class, whose current winning streak stretches to an amazing 17 consecutive regattas.

'It’s a complete honour,' said Belcher during the awards ceremony held in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. 'It's great recognition for this year and the efforts we’ve put in and the results we’ve achieved. I am very fortunate to have great support, from my coach Victor Kovalenko, crew and support staff.'

Belcher has been dominant in the Men’s 470 and his unbeaten run started in November 2011 with Malcolm Page and with Page went through to London 2012 where the crew won the Gold medal in the Mens Two-handed event. They split after the Olympics and Belcher teamed up with Will Ryan and just months later they won the 2013 World Championship in the class in La Rochelle, France. Belcher’s winning run stands at 17 straight events, 'To be able to do it with two different crews has been really rewarding and it really shows the depth we have in the Australian 470 system and also our preparations and planning to constantly to perform.

'I don’t like to think too much about it [the streak]. It’s surprised myself and a lot of people around us.

'We did eight events in 2012 counting up to the Olympics with those pressures and trying to prepare for the games and then having a new crew and doing nine events we’ve had an intense programme from the Games.'



470 sailors were also rewarded in the female category of the Awards. The New Zealand pairing of Jo Aleh and Olivia ‘Polly’ Powrie are the current women’s Olympic and World champions in the Class.

'I’m a little bit shocked,' said Aleh. 'There were some amazing nominees this year and we are delighted to be part of this. We feel honoured to be part of the group.' 'We haven’t done this alone and we had some wonderful people behind us who have been truly supportive,' added Powrie.

Podium finishes at World Championships are not uncommon for the Kiwi pair but the 2013 World Championship win was their first world title. 'It’s been a pretty big year for us,' said Aleh before the Rolex Awards 'We went into it to try and do it a bit differently and we did some different events. It’s been a very busy year and we’ve fitted in a lot. We’re pretty happy that we finally won that World Championship, that was really good and been learning all year and having fun.

Powrie added, 'We were super happy to win and there was a lot of relief we’d finally managed to do it. We’d done a few 470 Worlds before that and to finally tick it off, for us that was our goal this year and we’re happy we achieved it.

'Next year will probably be a bit different as this year was a bit busy so we’ll have to tone things down and concentrate more on 470 sailing and obviously we’ve got Olympic selection next year and that’s a massive hurdle to get through. From there it’s a similar program with World Championships and World Cups through to Rio.'

Aleh and Powrie join a select group of New Zealand sailors comprising Sir Peter Blake, Sir Russell Coutts and Mike Sanderson who have previously won the Rolex ISAF World Sailor of the year award. The Womens 470 crew are the first to win the prestigious award for achievements in Olympic sailing.


The winners of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards were decided by vote by the Member National Authorities (MNAs) of ISAF following a worldwide selection process that began with an open invitation for nominations.

Two awards, one for a female sailor/crew and one for a male sailor/crew, were presented to the individuals who are deemed to have most distinguished themselves during the qualifying period from 1 September 2012 to 31 August 2013.

Past recipients of the Awards, which were launched in 1994, have been drawn from the diverse disciplines of the sport: Olympic dinghy and keelboats, single-handed ocean racing, transatlantic record breaking, match-racing, America’s Cup and windsurfing are all represented.

In addition to the magnificent ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Trophy, each winner is presented with a Rolex timepiece.


The full list of nominees for the coveted and prestigious 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards were:

Male

Mathew Belcher (AUS) – Men’s 470 World & Olympic Champion
François Gabart (FRA) – IMOCA World Champion & 2012-13 Vendée Globe Winner
Johnny Heineken (USA) – Kiteboarding World #1 & 2012 Men’s Course Racing World Champion
Paul Larsen (AUS) – Vestas Sailrocket 2 Outright Speed Record
Ian Williams (GBR) – Match Racing 2012 Match Racing World Champion
World #1 Open Match Racer for 16 consecutive releases starting in January 2012

Female

Jo Aleh & Olivia Powrie (NZL) – Women’s 470 World & Olympic Champions
Deneen Demourkas (USA) – Farr 30 2013 World Champion – third consecutive title
Erika Heineken (USA) – Kiteboarding 2012 Course Racing World Champion
Raiya Al Habsi (OMA) – First Omani Woman To Sail in the Rolex Fastnet Race



Bakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearSchaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr