RYA awards

Paul Goodison picked up the top prize at Friday's gala evening

Monday November 23rd 2009, Author: Lindsey Bell, Location: United Kingdom
Britain’s sailors celebrated their bumper year in style at the fourth annual Skandia Team GBR Awards Dinner, held at the DeVere Hotel, Wokefield Park, on Friday, with Laser star Paul Goodison collecting the top prize of the evening.

The 31-year-old picked up the British Olympic Association’s Athlete of the Year Award for sailing after adding the World and European titles this year to his Olympic gold from Beijing, and remaining unbeaten in five of the six regattas he sailed in during 2009.

Both sailors and support staff were honoured at the event, celebrating the team’s achievements during 2009 which saw a total of 52 medals won at World and European Championships and ISAF Sailing World Cup events.

The first prize winners of the evening were announced by Trevor Hatton of team silver sponsor Accenture, who unveiled the winners of the ‘Accenture Rewards and Recognition Programme’ for 2009.

Now in its fourth year, this incentive scheme encourages Skandia Team GBR sailors and support staff to vote to decide which of them had this year best displayed one of three of the team’s core values of ‘Passion’, ‘Committed to Excellence’ and ‘Gold Driven’. Cash awards of £1,500 were up for grabs for the each of the four winners, and £500 each for the runners-up and the top-voted Development Squad sailor in each category.

Head Physiotherapist Chris Gordon picked up the overall prize for ‘Passion’, while Pete Cunningham, head of the Sports Science team, was chosen as the person most ‘Committed to Excellence’ for the fourth successive year, jointly claiming the prize this time with the team’s Technical Projects Manager Peter Bentley.

Nick Dempsey was voted as the most ‘Gold Driven’ of the team, chosen for his focus and determination in bouncing back from his fourth place in Beijing last year to claim the World Championship title in home waters in September.

RS:X Youth World Champion Izzy Hamilton was crowned Skandia Team GBR Development Squad Sailor of the Year, having been voted upon her peers as the sailor deemed most talented and committed.

The ‘Golden Funnel’ award for coaching excellence, was presented to Finn coach Matt Howard while the evening also saw performance bonus cheques handed out by RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park to numerous sailors who’d medalled at major regattas during 2009.

“The evening is really the one opportunity we take every year to celebrate the success of all our fantastic sailors – and indeed the support staff – but particularly the sailors,” explained Park on the significance of the evening for Skandia Team GBR.

“We’re often not very good at that – we spend the majority of the other 364 days of the year focusing on the little differences between winning and losing and trying to fill that gap. But this is the one day a year we say let’s let our hair down, let’s celebrate the great success and also reward those who’ve brought home the medals and done such a fantastic job for Great Britain.

“We’ve ended the year on a high, and we’ve ended the year successfully and have certainly reinforced our position as being the top Olympic Classes sailing nation in the world.”

Full list of winners:

British Olympic Association Athlete of the Year: Paul Goodison (Laser)

Skandia Team GBR Development Squad Sailor of the Year: Izzy Hamilton (RS:X)

Accenture Rewards and Recognition Programme:

Winner: Chris Gordon (Head Physiotherapist)
Runner-up: Harvey Hillary (49er coach)
Development Squad winner: Alison Young (Laser Radial)

“Committed to Excellence”
Winners: Peter Cunningham (Head Sports Scientist) & Peter Bentley (Technical Projects Manager
Development Squad winner: Alison Young (Laser Radial)

“Gold Driven”
Winner: Nick Dempsey (RS:X)
Runner-up: Paul Goodison (Laser)
Development Squad winner: Mark Andrews (Finn)

‘Golden Funnel’ Award for Coaching Excellence
Matt Howard (Finn coach)

Performance bonuses presented to:
Alexandra Rickham & Niki Birrell – SKUD
(Gold – IFDS World Championships)

Paul Goodison – Laser
(Gold – World Championships; Gold – European Championships)

Luke Patience & Stuart Bithell - 470
(Silver – 470 World Championships)

John Pink & Rick Peacock – 49er
(Silver – 49er World Championships)

Nick Dempsey – RS:X
(Gold – RS:X World Championships)

Iain Percy & Andrew Simpson – Star
(Star European Championships)

Paul Brotherton & Mark Asquith – 49er
(Silver – 49er European Championships)

Ed Wright – Finn
(Bronze – Finn European Championship)

Nick Thompson – Laser
(Bronze – Laser World Championships)

Bryony Shaw – RS:X
(Bronze – RS:X European Championships)

Helena Lucas – 2.4mR
(Bronze – IFDS World Championships)

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