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Emirates Team New Zealand takes top award in Volvo Yachting Excellence Awards

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 13 Nov 2021 23:20 PST 14 November 2021
Emirates Team New Zealand cross the finish to successfully defend the America's Cup - AC36 - Race 10 - March 17, , Auckland, New Zealand © Richard Gladwell, / nz

Emirates Team New Zealand was hands-down favorite to win the premier award at the Sailor of the Year and to the surprise of no-one took away the top award.

Various COVID lockdown restrictions currently in place in New Zealand prevented interprovincial travel and restriction on numbers and groups, and a video presentation replaced what is usually a gala function and dinner at Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Instead, the Volvo Yachting Excellence Awards were broadcast on social media from the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, and was hosted by 2021 America's Cup commentator, Jesse Tuke.

Despite being virtual, the awards followed the usual format with Service and Achievement Awards being announced for various groups and individuals.

The top Awards for Official of the year went to Megan Kensington; Young Female Sailor of the Year to the 29er crew of Lucy Leith and Lizzie Shapland; and Young Male Sailor of the year to Laser Radial Sailor Caleb Armit.

Olympic bronze medalist, and world champion windsurfer, Aaron McIntosh won Coach of the Year in recognition of his third Olympic Gold Medal as a windsurfer coach for The Netherlands.

Emerging Talent awards were made to: Tessa Clinton, Will Leech, Nicola Hume and Sean Kensington

Female Sailor of the Year was awarded to Erica Dawson, who represented New Zealand in the Nacra 17 Mixed Multihull event at Tokyo2020, and being one of two female sailors with the NZSailGP team.

Male Sailor of the Year was awarded to Andy Maloney for his win in the 2021 Finn Gold Cup, and as part of the Emirates Team NZ sailing crew for the win in the 36th America's Cup.

The Sporting Achievement of the Year was awarded to the four America's Cup teams for the way they assisted and rallied around American Magic after their capsize in Race 3 of Round Robin 2 of the 2021 Prada Cup.

In accepting the Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy on behalf of Emirates Team New Zealand, Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Shoebridge said: "In a lot of ways I think it was our most complete team effort, and the best America's Cup victory we have had so far. It is the accumulation of years of work to get to that point."

"We were particularly proud of this win, having come up with a completely new concept of a boat - a very technical boat - of which our design team of 25 did a great job. The overall team of 150 people, designed, built and sailed the boat in such a great fashion in the end. We were up against tough opposition. Even though there were only three challengers. They were very strong and focused opposition. We think New Zealand Yachting is in a very good space at present - very strong. And when New Zealand yachting is strong, we're strong."

"We also now see that there are other pathways for people to be involved in the sport - not just being on the boat, but also the technology and boat building side - which is particularly pleasing," he concluded.

2021 Volvo Yachting Excellence Awards
SeaLogs Official of the Year: Megan Kensington
Yachting New Zealand Coach of the Year: Aaron McIntosh
Lawson's Dry Hills Presidents Award: Pleasant Point Yacht Club
Yachting New Zealand Sustainability Award: Live Ocean
North Sails Sportsmanship Award: All the teams and individuals, led by Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa, who assisted in the rescue and support of American Magic after their serious capsize during the 2021 America's Cup
Lucke Young Leadership Award: Vaughan Bamford
Aon Emerging Talent Award: Tessa Clinton, Will Leech, Nicola Hume, Sean Kensington
NZL Sailing Foundation Young Female Sailor of the Year: Lucy Leith and Lizzie Shapland
NZL Sailing Foundation Young Male Sailor of the Year: Caleb Armit
Zhik Female Sailor of the Year: Erica Dawson
Zhik Male Sailor of the Year: Andy Maloney
Orbit World Travel Sailor of the Year: Emirates Team New Zealand

Service Awards supported by Boating New Zealand: David Austin (Yachting New Zealand), Richard Brown (Murrays Bay Sailing Club), Doug France (Kerikeri Cruising Club), Gary Hill and Ian Young (Windfoil New Zealand, Wakatere Boating Club), Wayne Huang (Bucklands Beach Yacht Club), Wayne Keen (Naval Point Club Lyttelton), Jonathan Kline (Mercury Bay Boating Club), Anna Leslie (Macandrew Bay Boating Club), Jamie Sutherland (New Plymouth Yacht Club), Brendan Tourelle (Sailability Auckland, NZ Hansa Class Association), Brian Trubovich (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron).

Cruising Award supported by Wichard, on Safety at Sea: Andrew Ventura

Youth Performance Awards supported by Harken: Amelia Angus & Carrington Brady (Wakatere Boating Club), Caleb Armit (Murrays Bay Sailing Club), Brayden Hamilton & Seb Menzies (Wakatere Boating Club & Murrays Bay Sailing Club), Sean Herbert (Manly Sailing Club), Rebecca Hume (Murrays Bay Sailing Club), Lucy Leith & Lizzie Shapland (Murrays Bay Sailing Club), Blake McGlashan & Jack Frewin (Murrays Bay Sailing Club & Howick Sailing Club), Mason Mulcahy & Cam McGlashan (Murrays Bay Sailing Club), Greta Pilkington (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron).

Yachting New Zealand Performance Awards: Jo Aleh (Takapuna Boating Club), Peter Burling & Blair Tuke (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club, Kerikeri Cruising Club), Erica Dawson (Murrays Bay Sailing Club, RAYC)
Emirates Team New Zealand (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron), Alastair Gifford, Max South, Frankie Dair (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron), Josh Junior (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Worser Bay Boating Cub, Weiti Boating Club), Knots Racing - Nick Egnot Johnson, Zak Merton, Sam Barnett, Bradley McLaughlin (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron), Liv Mackay (Napier Sailing Club), Andy Maloney (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Murrays Bay Sailing Club), Sam Meech (Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club), Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (Wakatere Boating Club and Murrays Bay Sailing Club), Lukas Walton-Keim (Takapuna Boating Club).

For the previously published winners list and backgrounds Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

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