Australian Sailing Awards To Recognise Diverse Achievements
The first woman to solo circumnavigate Antarctica, an America’s Cup-winning skipper and a pair of youth world champions who made a remarkable sacrifice to pursue their Olympic dream are among an eclectic selection of high achievers announced as finalists for the Australian Sailing Awards.
Winners across a range of categories will be announced at a stylish ceremony at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney on November 3 that will incorporate the inaugural Australian Sailing Hall of Fame Induction.
Glenn Ashby, who skippered Team New Zealand to victory in the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in June, is a finalist for Male Sailor of the Year. Ashby will face stiff competition from 470 sailors Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan, who claimed their fourth World Championship together in July, as well as Rio 2016 Gold medalist Tom Burton, who continued to achieve in the Laser with second placings at the Aarhus World Championship Test Event and Laser World Championships.
Busy Australian Sailing Team member David Gilmour earned nomination through strong results in the 49er, notable achievements in the match racing M32 class, and his work coaching and mentoring Club sailors. Harry Price, 21, joins the finalists after his breakthrough year, which featured victory in the Youth Match Racing Championships and encouraging results at senior level.
The field for Female Sailor of the Year is equally diverse. Among the finalists is Lisa Blair, who spent 184 days at sea overcoming extreme conditions to circle Antarctica alone aboard Climate Action Now. Blair is assembling an all-female crew to compete in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in December.
In their first season together, Annabelle Davies and Madison Woodward took out the female section of both the US 29er National Championships and the 29er Open World Championships, earning a spot on the finalists list, while the experienced Heather Macfarlane excelled to be crowned the top female skipper at the World Tasar Championships.
Australian Sailing Squad members Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries join the finalists after a hectic year in which they won a Silver medal at the 470 Junior World Championships and showed potential with a 13th placing at their debut open World Championship.