Yet more trophies

More accolade for Olympic sailors at the Skandia Team GBR Awards Dinner and Presentations

Tuesday November 25th 2008, Author: Lindsay Bell, Location: United Kingdom
British sailors capped off a historic year in style at the third annual Skandia Team GBR Awards Dinner and Presentations at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, on Friday (21 November) with triple Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie picking up the top prize of the evening.

The 31-year-old Ainslie was crowned the British Olympic Association Athlete of the Year for sailing after his dominant year in which he took his fifth Finn world title and the European title as well as a third consecutive Olympic gold on the waters of Qingdao.

Both sailors and backroom staff were honoured at the black tie event, which reflected on the team’s achievements during 2008 and looked ahead to the challenges of 2012 as this the next Olympic cycle begins.

The evening got underway off with a drinks reception, with Trevor Hatton and Stuart Cotton of Accenture then unveiling the winners of the ‘Accenture Rewards and Recognition Programme’ for 2008.

Now in its third year, this incentive scheme encourages Skandia Team GBR sailors and support staff to vote to decide which of them had best displayed one of four of the team’s core values of ‘Passion’, ‘Committed to Excellence’, ‘Collaboration’ and ‘Fun’. Cash awards of £1,500 were up for grabs for the each of the four winners, and £500 for each of the runners-up.

RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park scooped the prize for ‘Passion’ for the second year in a row, while Pete Cunningham, head of the Sports Science team, was chosen as the person most ‘Committed to Excellence’ for the third successive year. Team Chef Eddie Stephens once again picked up the prize for ‘Collaboration’, while RS:X women’s coach Dom Tidey was deemed the most ‘Fun’ member within Skandia Team GBR.

Finn sailor Andrew Mills was the inaugural recipient of the Skandia Team GBR Development Squad Sailor of the Year, voted upon by the Development Squad sailors and support staff and awarded to the sailor deemed most talented and committed.

The coveted ‘Golden Funnel’ award for coaching excellence, with prize donated by Panasonic, was presented to Finn coach and award instigator Jez Fanstone via video message from New Zealand, while the evening also saw performance bonus cheques handed out by Stephen Park to sailors who’d medalled at major regattas during 2008.

Park, who said he was “both humbled and honoured” to have been chosen for the ‘Passion’ award for the second time, was quick to praise the efforts of the entire team towards British sailors’ historic success in 2008.

“It’s been a landmark year for British sailing, with our sailors once again proving the envy of the world, both at the Olympic Games and elsewhere on the world stage,” he said.

“I’m so proud of all the Skandia Team GBR sailors and support staff who really rose to the challenge when it mattered most, and who are already committed to delivering a world class performance once again at our home Olympic regatta at Weymouth and Portland in 2012.”

Full list of winners:
British Olympic Association Athletes of the Year:
Ben Ainslie (Finn)

Skandia Team GBR Development Squad Sailor of the Year:
Andrew Mills (Finn)

Accenture Rewards and Recognition Programme:
Winner: Stephen Park (RYA Olympic Manager)
Runner-up: Peter Bentley (Technical Projects Manager)

“Committed to Excellence”
Winner: Peter Cunningham (Senior Sports Science Officer)
Runner-up: Sarah Ayton (Yngling helm)

Winner: Eddie Stephens (Team Chef)
Runner-up: Chris Gordon (Physiotherapist)

Winner: Dom Tidey (RS:X women’s coach)
Runner-up: Simon Briscoe (Performance Analyst)

Golden Funnel Award, with prize donated by Panasonic:
Jez Fanstone (Finn coach)

Performance bonuses presented to:
Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb & Pippa Wilson – Yngling
(Gold – Olympic Games; Gold – World Championships; Gold – European Championships)

Iain Percy & Andrew Simpson – Star
(Gold – Olympic Games)

Ben Ainslie – Finn
(Gold – Olympic Games; Gold – World Championships; Gold – European Championships)

Paul Goodison – Laser
(Gold – Olympic Games; Gold – Laser European Championship)

Nick Rogers & Joe Glanfield – 470 Men
(Silver – Olympic Games)

Nic Asher & Elliot Willis – 470 Men
(Gold – 470 World and European Championships)

Bryony Shaw – RS:X Women
(Bronze – Olympic Games)

Stevie Morrison & Ben Rhodes – 49er
(Silver – 49er World Championships)

Andrea Brewster – Laser Radial
(Bronze – Laser Radial World Championships)

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