Two Britons also up for female prize
Ben Ainslie has been nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year – an award he has won on three previous occasions.
Ainslie, who won his fourth Olympic gold medal this summer, scooped the honour in 1998, 2002 and 2008, as well as being unsuccessfully nominated in 2004 and 2011.
However, he is not the only Olympic gold medallist up for the award this time.
He will be up against all of Australia’s victorious sailors, who, like Ainslie, won world titles as well as Olympic titles in 2012.
Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page are up for the award together having won 470 gold, as are Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, who won the 49er at the Games.
Rounding out the Olympians is 2010 world sailor of the year Tom Slingsby, who won Olympic and world titles in the Laser class.
Frenchman Loïck Peyron, who skippered Banque Populaire V to the Jules Verne Trophy for the round-the-world record, is the final nominee for the award, which last year was jointly won by Spaniards Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez.
In the female prize, last year won by Anna Tunnicliffe of the USA, Helena Lucas, Britain’s first Paralympic sailing champion, is nominated, as is world and European youth windsurfing champion Saskia Sills.
Dame Ellen Macarthur and Shirley Robertson are the only British women to win the award and standing in the British duo’s way this time are the Spanish team of Tamara Echegoyen, Angela Pumariega and Sofio Toro, who won Olympic match racing gold.
Lijia Xu, China’s gold medallist in the Laser Radial, is also nominated.