Nominations are now invited for the 2008 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards, the most prestigious award of recognition in the sport of sailing. The list of nominees and winners since the first presentation in 1994 is an exceptional roll call of the world's top sailors from all disciplines of the sport.
There is only one male and one female ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, who will not only win the coveted Rolex timepiece and trophy, but receive true recognition of their achievement from their peers across the world.
Nominations can be made by anyone and the only criteria are that sailors must have performed an 'outstanding achievement in the sport' during the qualifying period of 1 September 2007 to 31 August 2008. Nominations should be sent in to ISAF by 10.00hrs (UTC) on Friday 5 September 2008 on the official form which can be found via www.sailing.org/worldsailor
A shortlist will be drawn up by ISAF from all of the nominations received at the ISAF Secretariat by the deadline and those sailors will go on to become the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2008 Nominees. The 126 ISAF Member National Authorities will then vote for one male and one female sailor who they believe merit the Awards.
The accomplishments of the sailors nominated each year are an inspiration - from windsurfers and dinghy sailors to offshore specialists, a nominee's achievements may be an exceptional series of regatta wins, a record breaking passage or a triumph against the odds. And, whilst there have already been some remarkable achievements in our sport since September 2007, with the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition rapidly approaching we are set to witness many more.
The winners will be announced at an Awards dinner on Tuesday 11 November in Madrid, Spain, host city for the ISAF Annual Conference. They will be presented with the unique marble and silver trophy depicting the globe, crowned with five silver spinnakers representing the continents, together with a personalized Rolex timepiece.
The past nominees and winners of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year include the highest achievers in the sport, with the winners' roll call reading:
2007 - Ed BAIRD (USA) and Claire LEROY (FRA)
2006 - Mike SANDERSON (NZL) and Paige RAILEY (USA)
2005 - Fernando ECHAVARRI; Anton PAZ (ESP) and Ellen MACARTHUR (GBR)
2004 - Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) and Sofia BEKATOROU; Emilia TSOULFA (GRE)
2003 - Russell COUTTS (SUI) and Siren SUNDBY (NOR)
2002 - Ben AINSLIE (GBR) and Sofia BEKATOROU; Emilia TSOULFA (GRE)
2001 - Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) and Ellen MACARTHUR (GBR)
2000 - Mark REYNOLDS; Magnus LILJEDAHL (USA) and Shirley ROBERTSON (GBR)
1999 - Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ (POL) and Margriet MATTHIJSE (NED)
1998 - Ben AINSLIE (GBR) and Carolijn BROUWER (NED)
1997 - Pete GOSS (GBR) and Ruslana TARAN; Elena PAKHOLCHIK (UKR)
1996 - Jochen SCHÜMANN (GER) and Lee-Lai SHAN (HKG)
1995 - Russell COUTTS (NZL) and Isabelle AUTISSIER (FRA)
1994 - Peter BLAKE (NZL); Robin KNOX JOHNSTON (GBR) and Theresa ZABELL (ESP)