Vote for overall winners now goes to secret ballot

The finalists of the 2008 Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year and Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year awards have been announced.

The vote for overall winner now goes to the members of the Yachting Journalists’ Association in a secret ballot.

The winner of each award will be revealed at two ceremonies during the London Boat Show, January 2009.

Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year finalists include:
· Dag Pike who, at 75 years of age, became the oldest person to win the Round Britain Power Boat Race and the only person to win the event twice;
· The 2008 Olympic Sailing Gold Medallists – Ben Ainslie (Finn class), Paul Goodison (Laser class), Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson (Star class), and Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson (Yngling class), who between them won 4 gold medals helping gain the highest results seen for Great Britain in yachting history
· Jim Saltonstall who had a major influence on the racing coaching of the Olympic winners in their formative years.

Finalists for the Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year include
· Frances and James Peters, who both won gold medals in separate boats at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship
· Elliott Hanson, who this season has become World Champion, National Champion, Inland Champion and Winner of the Nationwide Travellers series in Toppers
· Martin Evans, the Under 17 European Champion in the Laser Radial Youth Worlds
· Alex Hovden, who overcame adversity to make it into the Challenger Transition Squad for possible selection to the 2012 Paralympic squad.

Winners of both awards will be voted for by the Yachting Journalists’ Association (YJA). The Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 13 January 2009 at The Painted Hall, the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

The Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year will be announced at 4.00pm, Saturday 10 January 2009 at the London Boat Show on the Main Stage. RYA Regional Winners will also be presented with their awards at this ceremony.

RYA Regional Winners are:

Yorks and Humberside – Dean Crangle
Northern Ireland – Oliver Loughead
North-west – Elliott Hanson*
East – Charlotte Sissons
South – (Joint winners) Frances and James Peters*
Wales – (Joint winners) Bleddyn Mon and Tom Humphries
North-east – Luke McGill
Scotland – Lorenzo Chiavarini
West Midlands – Adam Parry
East Midlands – Mathew Brown
South-east – Jack Daly
South-west – Will Pepworth
Thames Valley – Alex Hovden*

* Also finalists for the Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year award.