Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Two time Olympic champion Martine Grael awarded the Magnus Olsson Prize

by Mange Olsson Memorial Foundation 31 Dec 2021 06:57 PST
Leg 9, from Newport to Cardiff, day 2 on board Team AkzoNobel. Martine Grael and Chris Nicholson on deck in the white out. Visibility is with boats close by but out sight the crew try to keep the focus and make gains. 21 May, 2018. © Konrad Frost / Volvo AB

The Mange Olsson Foundation has announced Martine Grael is the 2021 winner of its prestigious Magnus Olsson Prize.

Awarded annually to an individual who has made an indelible contribution to the world of sailing, previous recipients include Torben Grael, Sir Ben Ainslie, Stan Honey, Santiago Lange, Grant Dalton, Carolijn Brouwer and Peter Burling.

Martine Grael, from Brazil, is one of the best skiff-sailors in the world and won the gold medal in 49erFX in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (2016) and in Tokyo (2020).

"My clearest memory with Magnus comes from the Volvo Ocean Race in 2008-2009 when he was the skipper of Ericsson 3 and my father (Torben Grael) was skipper on Ericsson 4," Grael said. "During the hospitality sailing at one of the stopovers, Magnus took some clients out and I managed to grab a ride on the boat. He was such a personable and upbeat guy who made a genuine connection with his crewmates and the sponsors on board for the day. Of course, I've heard so many stories about his as well, and it seems he made everyone feel special."

With a father who has competed and won at the top levels of the sport, it was natural for Martine to try her hand at sailing. After a few youth events in the 420 class, she graduated to Olympic class sailing in the 470 class, ahead of the London Olympic Games, but couldn't qualify for the regatta.

"After the disappointment of not qualifying for London, I decided to change classes to the 49er where I have stayed until today," Grael said. "I have competed on the international circuit in the build-up to the Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games. These were great years - performing at all the test events and winning several podiums at the world championships.

"After the gold medal in Rio me, and my 49er teammate Kahena Kunze, decieed that we needed a distraction. And since the 14-15 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, with the all-women Team SCA that made a big impression on me, I had been looking for an opportunity to move into offshore racing."

In the very next edition of the event in 2017-2018, Martine got a chance as a crew member on Team AkzoNobel - and she became the first Brazilian woman to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race.

"That was a perfect way to re-charge, by facing a new challenge in one of the iconic events of our sport. I learned so much - not just about sailing but also about myself. The Ocean Race pushes you to find new limits. And after that I turned straight back into campaigning for what would become my second Olympic gold medal in Tokyo."

At the age of 30, Martine Grael has the track record of being a true winner and has demonstrated the strength to deliver a top performance when it matters most across several disciplines of the sport of sailing. With a winning mindset and a caring approach, she is an inspiration to people of all ages in Brazil and across the world. Just like Mange, her ongoing dedication and love for the sport of sailing is helping to grow the sport and make a positive difference.

Related Articles

The Ocean Race teams up with Acronis
Providing innovative cyber protection for The Ocean Race's business infrastructure Acronis, a global leader in cyber protection with dual headquarters in Schaffhausen, Switzerland and Singapore, will be the Official Cyber Protection Partner of the iconic round-the-world sailing competition, The Ocean Race. Posted on 20 Jan
The Ocean Race - One year to go!
Leg one of The Ocean Race 2022-23 will start on January 15, 2023 Leg one of The Ocean Race 2022-23 will start on January 15, 2023, from Alicante, Spain. Posted on 16 Jan
The Ocean Race announces Official Timing Partner
The countdown is on and Ulysse Nardin will be responsible for all race timings With just one year to go to the start gun for leg one, the countdown is on and Ulysse Nardin, the pioneering Swiss watch manufacturer, has become the official timekeeper of the Race. Posted on 14 Jan
The Ocean Race 2022-23 stopover dates announced
Dates for all eight stopovers, as well as a new Fly-By past Kiel, Germany, have now been confirmed Dates for all eight stopovers, as well as a new Fly-By past Kiel, Germany, have now been confirmed for 14th edition of The Ocean Race Posted on 20 Dec 2021
The Ocean Race discovers microfibres are rife
European study finds that Baltic Sea has the highest levels New research from the world's toughest sailing race has found microplastics, and in particular microfibres, to be prevalent across the length and breadth of the continent. Posted on 15 Dec 2021
Start date confirmed for The Ocean Race 2022-23
Two race fleets will assemble in Alicante, the Spanish home of the Race Two race fleets will assemble in Alicante, the Spanish home of the Race, for the winter holiday period in 2022 before a mid-January 2023 start for leg one of the around the world race. Posted on 24 Nov 2021
The Ocean Race is in the Race to Zero
Joining hundreds of leading sports organisations The Ocean Race is joining hundreds of leading sports organisations across the world in making bold commitments to drastically reduce its impact on the environment. Posted on 20 Nov 2021
The Ocean Race: Two stopovers dropped
The next edition of The Ocean Race will feature the longest Southern Ocean leg in its history. Auckland and China have been dropped as stopovers for the next edition of The Ocean Race. The course for the crewed race around the world has been updated and it includes an epic crossing of the Southern Ocean - the longest leg in the history of the Race Posted on 4 Nov 2021
Relay4Nature arrives in Glasgow
For global climate conference COP26 Nature's Baton, the symbol of Relay4Nature, has been welcomed at the landmark event by Vel Gnanendran, Director for Climate and Environment, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office. Posted on 1 Nov 2021
1,000 miles offshore race announced for July
Third annual Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy to include brand-new "A Thousand Miles Race" A 1,000 miles offshore Atlantic race and two new official race records are among the exciting additions to the 2022 Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy, which will take place next year in Cascais, Portugal. Posted on 31 Oct 2021
Zhik 2021 Dec Choice of Champions FOOTERArmstrong-A-Wing-728x90 gif BOTTOMDoyle Sails 2020 - By Sailors For Sailors 728x90 BOTTOM