We are the Greatest - Skandia Team GBR Awards

by PR 
Britain’s Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson
British sailing’s Yngling World Champions Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson were crowned BOA Athletes of the Year at Skandia Team GBR’s second annual Awards Dinner and Presentations at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, on Friday (23 November).

The trio clinched the British Olympic Association’s prize for sailing performance after their dominant year on the water, in which they claimed podium finishes at every regatta they took part in, with the highlights coming at the World Championships and Olympic Test Events where they took gold to ultimately earn the RYA’s nomination for Beijing 2008.

Both sailors and backroom staff were honoured at the black tie event, which reflected on the team’s achievements during 2007 – a crucial Olympic qualification year in which they emerged as top nation at both the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais and the Olympic Test Event in Qingdao.

The evening kicked off with a champagne reception, courtesy of Champagne G H Mumm, with Peter Thomas and Philip Otley of Accenture then unveiling the winners of the ‘Accenture Rewards and Recognition Programme’.

Now in its second year, this incentive scheme encourages Skandia Team GBR sailors and support staff to vote to decide which of them had best displayed one of four of the team’s core values of ‘Passion’, ‘Committed to Excellence’, ‘Collaboration’ and ‘Fun’. Cash awards of £1,500 were up for grabs for the each of the four winners, and £500 for each of the runners-up.

RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park scooped the prize for ‘Passion’, while Pete Cunningham, head of the Sports Science team, was chosen as the person most ‘Committed to Excellence’ for the second year in a row. Team Chef Eddie Stephens won the prize for ‘Collaboration’, while Finn coach Jez Fanstone was deemed the most ‘Fun’.

The coveted ‘Golden Funnel’ award for coaching excellence – this year with prize donated by Panasonic – was presented to 49er coach Ian Barker via video message from the award’s creator Jez Fanstone in New Zealand, while the evening also saw performance bonus cheques handed out by Stephen Park to sailors who’ve medalled at World and European Championships and the Olympic Test Event this year.

'It’s been another fantastic year for Skandia Team GBR, with the sailors and support staff all really rising to the challenge under all the pressures that come with it being an Olympic qualification year,' said Park.

'I’m personally delighted to have won the ‘Passion’ award, but am equally pleased for all the sailors and staff who’ve been recognised for their untiring efforts throughout the year. It really is a massive team effort to keep Skandia Team GBR on top of the world and everyone should feel proud to have played their part in that.'

Full list of winners:

British Olympic Association Athletes of the Year:
Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb & Pippa Wilson (Yngling)

Accenture Rewards and Recognition Programme:

'Passion'
Winner: Stephen Park (RYA Olympic Manager)
Runner-up: Peter Bentley (Technical Projects Manager)

'Committed to Excellence'
Winner: Peter Cunningham (Senior Sports Science Officer)
Runner-up: Adrian Campbell (Sports Science Officer)

'Collaboration'
Winner: Eddie Stephens (Team Chef)
Runner-up: Olivia Risk (RYA Olympic Administrator)

'Fun'
Winner: Jez Fanstone (Finn coach)
Runner-up: Dom Tidey (RS:X women’s coach)

Golden Funnel Award, with prize donated by Panasonic:
Ian Barker (49er coach)

Performance bonuses presented to:

Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb & Pippa Wilson – Yngling
(Gold – ISAF World Championships; Gold – Olympic Test Event)

Stevie Morrison & Ben Rhodes – 49er
(Gold – ISAF World Championships; Gold – Olympic Test Event)

Iain Percy & Andrew Simpson – Star
(Bronze – ISAF World Championships; Bronze – Star European Championships)

Paul Goodison – Laser
(Gold – Laser European Championships; Gold – Olympic Test Event)

Shirley Robertson, Annie Lush & Lucy Macgregor – Yngling
(Bronze – ISAF World Championships)

Nick Rogers & Joe Glanfield – 470 Men
(Silver – Olympic Test Event)

Bryony Shaw – RS:X Women
(Gold – Olympic Test Event)

Christina Bassadone & Saskia Clark – 470 Women
(Bronze – ISAF World Championships)

Nick Dempsey – RS:X Men
(Bronze – ISAF World Championships)

Nick Thompson – Laser
(Bronze – Laser European Championships)
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