There are just four days left to cast your vote for the 2015 Yachting Journalists’ Association’s prestigious Yachtsman of the Year award.

‘It’s been called “The Knighthood of Yachting” by one of our previous winners, Geoff Holt,’ says Paul Gelder, chairman of the Yachting Journalists’ Association. ‘It’s been won several times by those two great knights of the helm – Sir Ben Ainslie and last year’s winner, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.’

This year is the Diamond Jubilee of the award, first presented in 1955 to cruising sailor Eric Hiscock for his three-year circumnavigation with wife, Susan, in their 30ft wooden sloop, Wanderer III (the only boat to have twice won America’s Blue Water Medal, under both sets of owners).

The award, sponsored this year by, was established in 1955 by the late Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot, newspaper tycoon and sailor Sir Max Aitken, who handed over the management of the award to the YJA in 1979.

The roll call of previous winners includes Dame Ellen MacArthur, Chay Blyth, Pete Goss, Tracy Edwards and the late Sir Peter Blake.

Members of the public can nominate their yachting heroes and up-and-coming talent with a second category for Young Sailor of the Year. You can nominate in one or both categories, which salute British sporting excellence in power or sail – like breaking a world record, a phenomenal win, overcoming adversity, or showing exceptional courage. Winners are selected from a shortlist voted on by YJA members.

This year marks the second year of sponsorship of the awards by, a division of Dominion Marine Media. President Ian Atkins, commented: ‘We’re delighted to be part of this historic event and expect 2015’s nominations will be of an extremely highly calibre.’

Nominations close Friday, October 30.  The winners for each Award will be announced at a gala lunch on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at Trinity House, London.

Note: The Young Sailor of the Year will not have reached their 19th birthday before 31st December, 2015 and will hold, or be eligible to hold, a British passport.

Click here to find the online nomination form.

YJA Awards_Ian Atkins (President, Sir Robin Knox-Johnson (Winner Yachtsman of the Year), Bob Fisher (Chairman, YJA)

Yachtsman of the Year awards

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was named British yachtsman of the year at the Yachting Journalists’ Association (YJA) awards 2015


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