Please select your home edition
Edition
ABS22M-SW-1456x180-Banner-Top-3

Rolex Sailors of the Year - Mens and Womens Winners announced

by World Sailing 2 Dec 2021 15:15 PST 2 December 2021
Women's 470 Gold for Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Olympic gold medalists Hannah Mills MBE (GBR) and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) were voted female 2021 Rolex World Sailor of the Year on Thursday 2 December in a virtual ceremony streamed live from the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, UK. Australia's Tom Slingsby has won the male 2021 Rolex World Sailor of the Year in celebration of his achievements in three competitive classes over the past two years.

Mills and McIntyre claimed gold in Tokyo in the 470 class, a victory which made Mills the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time. This was her second Olympic gold, repeating her victory from Rio 2016 with her new partner. McIntyre won her first gold medal in Tokyo and followed in the footsteps of her father, Michael, who won gold at the 1988 Games in Seoul. The pair received 37% of the votes, making them the clear choice for this year's female Rolex World Sailor of the Year award.

Slingsby secured 29% of the votes after defending his Moth World Championship, winning 13 of the 14 races, securing back-to-back 2019 and 2021 title wins. He has also set the standard in the global SailGP circuit, earning the season 1 title as Team CEO and Skipper of TeamAustralia, which is also currently top of the series leaderboard with just two events remaining in season 2. He capped a fantastic year on the water by being part of the crew of 'Comanche', winners of the 2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race.

A record-breaking 40,000 votes were cast this year to honour the achievements of sailors across all disciplines.

Speaking live at the awards ceremony, Hannah Mills, who is also a sustainability ambassador for the International Olympic Committee said, "I am completely blown away. The line up this year was absolutely incredible. I am so proud of Eilidh for everything she put into this Olympic campaign, she was the absolute best teammate. I am really honoured. I feel privileged to be a female in sailing right now, there are so many opportunities out there. I really hope to be a part of forging the pathway for female sailors of today and for the future. It is inspirational to be part of a federation like World Sailing who take sustainability so seriously and I feel so lucky to be involved in such an amazing sport."

Eilidh McIntyre added, "I just want to say thank you to Hannah, and everyone for voting for us and for all of your support. We wouldn't be here without all of the amazing women pushing us."

Tom Slingsby said, "This is a huge honour for me. Thank you to everyone who voted. I remember when I was 15 years old, I wrote down my career goals and it was to win the Olympic Gold medal, win the America's Cup and win World Sailor of the Year. I am very fortunate, this is the second time I have won the World Sailor of the Year award. I am so lucky to be in the position I am and to get these amazing opportunities. Congratulations to all the other guys, there were some unbelievable sailors nominated this year."

World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award

The World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award went to the Sail Africa Youth Development Foundation for increasing the participation of ethnically diverse and female sailors in Durban, South Africa. In the time since launching, the number of girls racing has increased and podium positions have improved year on year. Sailing is now a much more multicultural sport.

The programme has doubled as a life skills initiative, ensuring positive sustainable outcomes around alleviating poverty, reducing inequality, developing education and creating environmental awareness. The foundation won the Ethekwini Maritime Cluster Award for Empowering Youth in 2017 and was profiled as part of this year's World Sailing Steering the Course program.

The 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award celebrates the effective execution or ongoing delivery of high-impact, highly replicable sustainability initiatives that work to protect and restore the health of the ocean, and are aligned with the World Sailing Sustainability Agenda 2030. The award is open to National Federations, sailing clubs, event organizing committees, individual sailors, or any other sailing-related organizations.

The Sail Africa Youth Development Foundation will receive a 10,000 USD prize from 11th Hour Racing to fund their continued sustainability efforts as well as the iconic trophy made from recycled carbon fibre from an America's Cup boat, infused with bio resin.

Nigel Milln, Chairman of Sail Africa, said, "This award really means a lot to us and Sail Africa. Our focus on racing sustainability and looking after our oceans is a huge benefit to Africa and to smaller development bodies like ourselves. It gives encouragement to the rest of the world that together we can make a difference. We are contributing to the newly-developed South Africa and giving enthusiasm and confidence to the people through sailing. It is an amazing thing that sailing does for everybody and we are very grateful to be a part of it."

Todd McGuire, managing director, 11th Hour Racing, said, "Congratulations to the four finalists of the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award. You were chosen from a highly competitive group of non-profit organisations, teams, individuals, events, sailing classes, and manufacturers. You are the innovators within the sailing industry, focused on the sustainability of our sport and restoring the health of our ocean."

Quanhai Li, World Sailing President, said, "Sailing is blessed with so many talented, determined and accomplished athletes. The accomplishments of this year's nominees are truly inspirational and every one of the sailors on the shortlist deserves to win Rolex World Sailor of the Year. My congratulations go to Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre, and Tom Slingsby. We look forward to seeing what you do next.

"I would like to also draw special attention to Sail Africa Youth Development Foundation, winner of the 11th Hour Sustainability Award. This has been a life-changing project and ensures that under-represented communities have the opportunity to take part while showing that the sport prioritises responsible development and inclusion. The potential for this project to be replicated is huge and it will make a lasting difference to the sport and to the world."

Related Articles

2022 is a crucial year for World Sailing's mission
To see sailing reinstated for 2028 Los Angeles Paralympic Games 2022 is set to be a crucial year for Para Sailing as the international federation, World Sailing, pursues its ambition to see sailing reinstated for the 2028 Los Angeles Paralympic Games. Posted on 15 Dec 2021
Voting open for World Sailing Awards
Rolex World Sailor of the Year and more awards too The World Sailing Awards 2021 - celebrating the outstanding achievements and exceptional contributions to sailing - is now open for online voting! Posted on 18 Nov 2021
eSailing Nations Cup champions crowned
A huge weekend saw two major tournaments come to a close The eSailing Nations Cup final saw France take on Great Britain in the live virtual final, while the eSailing World Championship featured the ten qualifiers in a winner take all. Posted on 11 Nov 2021
World Sailing commits to 'Race To Zero' campaign
One of the founders of the UN's Sports for Climate Action Framework Sailing joins thousands around the world in pledging to be net zero by 2050, aligning sport with the goals of the Paris Agreement and accelerating efforts to address climate change. Posted on 6 Nov 2021
Women's Match Racing World Championship 2021
Match in Pink takes the title with perfect score in Cherbourg France's Pauline Courtois, bronze medallist at the 2019 Women's Match Racing World Championships, on Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team took gold in emphatic style at this year's World Championships on home waters in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. Posted on 3 Nov 2021
2021 Women's Match Racing Worlds preview
Cherbourg event features Olympic and America's Cup champions The 2021 Women's Match Racing World Championship, featuring Olympic and America's Cup champions, is set to take over Europe's second largest artificial harbour - Cherbourg-en-Cotentin in Normandy, France - from tomorrow (Thursday, 28 October). Posted on 27 Oct 2021
World Sailing kick-starts reinstatement bid
For the Paralympic Games in Los Angeles 2028 World Sailing, the international federation for the sport of sailing recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), today officially kick-started their campaign for sailing to be reinstated at the Paralympic Games in Los Angeles (USA) in 2028. Posted on 26 Oct 2021
Sustainability Award nomination closes this Friday
Submit your nominiation for the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award There are less than five days remaining to submit nominations for this year's World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award, the highest recognition of success in marine sustainability. Posted on 12 Oct 2021
Steering the Course gets underway
The Southern Hemisphere edition of the global women's sailing festival started Friday The Southern Hemisphere edition of Steering the Course, World Sailing's global women's sailing festival started Friday. Following the success of the first edition in the Northern Hemisphere, it is now the turn of countries, classes and sailing clubs. Posted on 2 Oct 2021
Analytics for broadcasters, commentators and fans
World Sailing and long-time partner SAP recently collaboration World Sailing and long-time partner SAP recently collaborated to provide rights-holding broadcasters, their commentators and fans around the world with insights into real-time data and analytics from SAP Sailing Analytics during sailing competitions Posted on 1 Oct 2021
Hyde Sails 2021 - Basic FOOTERASB21-SW-1456x180-Banner-Bottom-3RS Sailing 2021 - FOOTER