The 2011 Australian Yachting Awards recognising outstanding achievements in the sport of sailing over the last year. The event will be held this Friday evening at Sydney’s Luna Park.
Yachting Australia again received a long list of worthy nominees with 65 nominations for the eight categories.
Competition is set to be tight for the Male Sailor of the Year award with 18 nominations received. The finalists include 470 crew Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page, Etchells World Champion John Bertrand, 49er team Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, Farr 40 World Champion Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, Laser World Champion Tom Slingsby, Moth World Champion and 49er skipper Nathan Outteridge, and Rolex Sydney to Hobart overall winner Geoff Boettcher.
The Female Sailor of the Year Award will also be a tight contest between windsurfer Jessica Crisp, Laser Radial Masters World Champion Lyndall Patterson, and Laser Radial sailors Alexandra South and Krystal Weir.
The Youth Sailor of the Year Award will go to either Women’s Match Racing skipper Olivia Price, Australian Youth Sailing Team members Angus Galloway and Alexander Gough, Matthew Wearn or Ashley Stoddart, or International Cadet sailors Anton and Julian Sasson.
Finalists in the Sailor of the Year with a Disability Award include two representatives from Australia’s Special Olympics team, Allister Peek and Alyse Saxby, and two Skud 18 crews, Ame Barnbrook and Lindsay Mason, and Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch.
The winner of the Sport Professional Award will be either Sail Melbourne Event Development Manager Kate Allen, Australian Sailing Team Laser coach Michael Blackburn, Yachting Victoria Sport Development Manager Daisy Brooke or Yachting ACT Executive Officer Matt Owen.
There is a highly competitive field in the Sport Promotion Award with Yachting Victoria’s Go Sailing program, the Noosa Yacht and Rowing Club, the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria’s Gavin Wall and Sail Melbourne all vying for the award.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of sailing and there are four nominees in the Volunteer of the Year Award; Cherry Calcott from Western Australia, Victoria’s John Chatham, Dugald Henderson of Queensland and New South Wales’ Robert Starky.
There will also be three Lifetime Achievement Awards presented, with Gary Ticehurst being honoured posthumously, and Ian Kingsford-Smith and Jim Orrell also being recognised for their contribution to sailing.
Yachting Australia President David Gotze will also present the President’s Award.
Details of the category winners will be released on the Yachting Australia website, www.yachting.org.au
, following the event on Friday evening.