Please select your home edition

Slingsby and Darmanin reprise top honours at 2020 Australian Sailing Awards

by Michael Martin 22 Oct 22:18 PDT 23 October 2020
Tom Slingsby at the 2019 International Moth World Championship © Martina Orsini

Tom Slingsby and Lisa Darmanin have taken out top honours at the 2020 Australian Sailing Awards, with the Olympic-medal winning athletes being crowned Male Sailor of the Year for the fourth time and Female Sailor of the Year for the third time respectively.

London 2012 gold medallist Slingsby had a stand-out year, helming the victorious Australia SailGP Team and winning the 2019 Moth World Championships in Perth. "I'm extremely humbled by this," Slingsby said. "I'm fortunate that I got some great sailing in at the end of 2019. I love sailing. I do the moths purely because I love the sport of sailing."

Tokyo Olympic selection Darmanin is still focussed on the tough year of training ahead despite the challenges of the past year. "2020 is not the year I had planned, but I am sure that is the same for many out there," Darmanin said. "It has been a pretty good twelve months with back-to-back worlds and qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics which we are going to have to wait another year for. We are training hard and we hope to bring home gold for Australia next year."

Darmanin, along with cousin and skipper Jason Waterhouse, claimed back-to-back bronze medals at the two Nacra 17 World championships held during the awards nomination period.

This has been an unusual year for sailing, and the world, and due to CODIV-19 a physical award ceremony was unable to be held. To honour the past year's top achievers, winners have been announced online throughout this week with videos recognising each winner's accomplishments.

Victoria's huge 2020 Summer of Sailing delivered 27 national and world championship events and the efforts of those involved were acknowledged at this year's awards.

The Volunteer of the Year Award was won by James and Chris Mitchell from Sandringham Yacht Club for their efforts over the summer. The husband and wife were recognised for their efforts as the driving force behind five Laser regattas including three World Championships. "We are pretty thrilled about this," James said of receiving the award, "but we didn't do it alone." Chris went on to explain, "The size of these events required the commitment from many, many people. They needed a strong knowledge of the sport and a good sense of humour, ownership and belonging for what we were doing. Thanks to every person who shared this vision alongside James and me.

"Chris and I are both from sailing families and we have been involved with the Laser Class for over forty years and that will continue until I learn how to sail on properly!" James said.

Another Sandringham Yacht Club member to take home a prize was Official of the Year Stephen Aulich. The International Race Officer was in a key position for more than ten national and international events while continuing to officiate weekend racing at his home club.

Royal Geelong Yacht Club took out multiple awards, claiming Club of the Year and the Sport Promotion Award after hosting seven national and world championships as well as their annual Festival of Sails event during the Summer of Sailing.

Paris 2024 Olympic hopeful Scott Whitehead took out Youth Sailor of the Year representing the new Olympic Kite Foiling class. "I've really enjoyed my journey into the sport and I'm really excited to keep pushing towards my potential for the 2024 Olympic Games and beyond," Whitehead said.

The SheSails Award, in its second year, was won by Clare Alexander as the organiser of The Women's Regatta hosted by Double Bay Sailing Club and other initiatives. "Changes are happening today," Alexander said. "More and more women are putting sailing on their bucket list."

There were some return winners in other categories too with Wynyard Yacht Club stalwart Chris Symonds taking Para Sailor of the Year for the second year running. "I'm very honoured to receive this award," Symonds said. "Winning is not so much as an individual as I have a huge team behind me, and I want to thank them." Matt Allen AM from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia won his second consecutive Offshore Sailor of the Year Award and the Australian Sailing Team's Single-Handed Lead Coach Michael Blackburn took out Coach of the Year for the fourth time in the last five years.

Full list of Award Winners:

Male Sailor of the Year
Tom Slingsby OAM - Gosford Sailing Club

Female Sailor of the Year
Lisa Darmanin - Manly 16' Skiff Sailing Club

Para Sailor of the Year
Chris Symonds - Wynyard Yacht Club

Youth Sailor of the Year
Scott Whitehead - Townsville Yacht Club

Offshore Sailor of the Year
Matt Allen AM - Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

Sport Promotion Award
Royal Geelong Yacht Club

Sports Professional Award
Jack Buchan - Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club

Sustainability Award
Ocean Crusaders - Ian Thomson & Annika Thomson

SheSails Award
Clare Alexander - Double Bay Sailing Club

Volunteer Award
James & Chris Mitchell - Sandringham Yacht Club

Club of the Year
Royal Geelong Yacht Club

Official of the Year
Stephen Aulich - Sandringham Yacht Club

Coach of the Year
Michael Blackburn - Australian Sailing Team

Instructor of the Year
Diane Kelsey- Townsville Sailing Club

SOLAS Trust Bravery Award
Christian Charalambous

President's Award
David Tillett AM

Lifetime Achievement Award
Gordon Ingate

Related Articles

Getting back OutThere this summer
Brendan "Fev" Fevola hit the water as a part of OutThere Sailing 'Bring a Friend' campaign Last weekend AFL Legend Brendan "Fev" Fevola hit the water at Sandringham Yacht Club with his daughter as a part of Australian Sailing's OutThere Sailing 'Bring a Friend' campaign. Posted on 24 Nov
Squad members among AIS Scholarship recipients
Two members will receive funding as part of a pilot AIS Education Scholarship program Two young members of the Australian Sailing Squad are among 40 athletes who will receive funding as part of a pilot AIS Education Scholarship program, an initiative designed to ease the financial burden on athletes who are undergoing education Posted on 15 Nov
Kellett awarded Australian Sailing Life Membership
Prominent offshore sailor and sailing administrator Prominent offshore sailor and sailing administrator David Kellett AM has been awarded Australian Sailing Life Membership. David is the twelfth person in the organisation's seventy years to be awarded this honour, and the first since 2016. Posted on 12 Nov
Australians successful in World Sailing elections
One of the key contributors to the world of sailing Australia has firmed its place as one of the key contributors to the world of sailing overnight, with the election of Sarah Kenny as a Vice President of World Sailing and Daniel Belcher who will represent Oceania on the World Sailing Council. Posted on 2 Nov
Australian Sailing welcomes AIS investment
Funding for the Australian Sailing high-performance program will roll forward Australian Sailing has welcomed yesterday's announcement from the Australian Institute of Sport which confirmed funding for the Australian Sailing high-performance program will roll forward at financial year 2020/21 levels until 30 June 2022. Posted on 29 Oct
2020 Inductees to Australian Sailing Hall of Fame
Acknowledging exceptional performance and contribution The Australian Sailing Hall of Fame acknowledges exceptional performance & contribution at highest level by an individual or a team, both past and present, covers all disciplines of sailing, including those in supporting roles such as coaches & designers. Posted on 27 Oct
Trailblazing Gold
20 years on from Australia's first Paralympic sailing gold medal After Australia's Olympic sailors turned Sydney Harbour into a golden pond at the 2000 Games, the Australian Paralympic sailing team of Noel Robins OAM, Jamie Dunross OAM and Graeme Martin OAM were under pressure to perform. Posted on 22 Oct
Riding the waves: Nacras camp in Ballina
Whales, dolphins, pelicans, and sailing Throughout the course of Autumn and Winter, the Australian Sailing Team has used many venues up and down the East Coast of Australia as training grounds. Posted on 16 Oct
Sydney 2000 and its sailing legacy
Olympians talk about their most cherished memories The Sydney 2000 Olympics is up there as one of the of the great moments in Australian sailing history. Against the backdrop of Sydney Harbor the Australian Sailing Team delivered most successful Olympic performance yet, claiming an impressive four medals. Posted on 28 Sep
Australian Sailing launch Discover Sailing
This campaign focuses on sailing's major points of difference Australian Sailing are excited to release their new Discover Sailing marketing campaign - "Welcome to our Playground". Posted on 16 Sep
SOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90 BottomOfficial-Collection-Red 728x90 BOTTOMETNZShop-TEAMSHOP-728x90 HR Bottom