Who do you think should be named Britain’s top Yachtsman and Young Sailor of the Year?
The Yachtsman of the Year Awards public nomination process is now open.
The launch reception hosted by Premier Marinas at the Southampton Boat Show was attended by past award winners and Yachting Journalists’ Association (YJA) members.
Nominations for these two prestigious YJA awards, which are sponsored by boats.com, can include those involved in dinghy sailing, windsurfing, offshore and ocean racing, short-handed and long-distance cruising and from the world of powerboating.
The awards provide an opportunity for the public to put forward their yachting heroes and celebrate the achievements of up-and-coming talent.
Barry Pickthall, chairman of the YJA encourages the yachting community to make their nominations.
He said: ‘Don’t rely on someone else to name your yachting hero or rising star to be considered for the 2016 boats.com YJA Awards. Nominating couldn’t be simpler.’
Nominations can be made online at www.boats.com/nominate or by posting back one of nomination cards being distributed throughout this week’s Southampton Boat Show, to Yacht Clubs across the country, and from any Premier Marinas site across the south of England.
This year’s awards are expected to attract a particularly high calibre of nominations following Team GB’s success at the Rio Olympics, where they finished at the top of the sailing medals table.
Other popular nominees will undoubtedly include Sir Ben Ainslie and his Land Rover BAR America’s Cup crew who lead the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, and Richard Carr, Steve Curtis MBE and Paul Sinclair following their victory in the Annual Cowes-Torquay powerboat race.
Ian Atkins, president of boats.com added: ‘There have been some incredible feats in yachting throughout the year; we’ve watched speed records tumble and our national teams top podiums not just in Rio, but around the world. Every sport needs its heroes to inspire future generations and we are delighted to support the yachting community in the selection of theirs.’
Past winners of the Young Sailor of the Year Award have gone on to achieve success at the highest level of yachting, including Dame Ellen MacArthur and Sir Ben Ainslie.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, a four time winner of the Yachtsman or the Year Award said: ‘These are yachting’s top accolades, and quite apart from recognising the successes achieved by British yachtsmen and women under sail and power, the Young Sailor of the Year Award gives enormous inspiration and encouragement to tomorrow’s World Champions.’
Nominations are welcomed until Sunday 16 October 2016. The winners for each Award will be announced at a gala lunch on Tuesday 10 January 2017 at Trinity House, London.
Ian Walker, current holder of the Yachtsman of the Year Award said: ‘I first made the shortlist as an individual nominee for the Yachtsman of the Year Award in 1994, so I was delighted and privileged to have finally won it in January 2016. As a nation, Britain consistently produces performance excellence in yachting which makes this award so coveted. To make the final short list is an achievement in itself; I’ll be watching this year’s nominations unfold with great interest.’
This year’s awards mark the third year of boats.com’s sponsorship of the YJA’s Yachtsman of the Year awards.
About the awards
Established in 1955 by Sir Max Aitken, Battle of Britain pilot, chairman of Express Newspapers and himself a leading yachtsman in both sail and power, the Yachtsman of the Year Award is now established as one of the top yachting honours. The Young Sailor of the Year Award was first awarded in 1993.
The Yachting Journalists’ Association (YJA) represents more than 260 specialist marine journalists, photographers, TV and radio presenters across the major sailing and boating regions in the world. It aims to promote greater awareness of all aspects of leisure boating through the professional services of its members.
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