Ed Wright picks up BOA’s Athlete of the Year Award for sailing

And more from Friday night's RYA awards dinner

Monday October 18th 2010, Author: Lindsey Bell, Location: United Kingdom

Britain’s sailors celebrated yet another bumper year in style at the fifth annual Skandia Team GBR Awards Dinner, held at the DeVere Hotel, Wokefield Park, on Friday with Finn sailor Ed Wright collecting the top prize of the evening.

The 32-year-old picked up the British Olympic Association’s Athlete of the Year Award for sailing after earning a silver medal at the European Championships in Split in May before his consistent approach saw him add the overall World Cup series title for the second year in a row to his expanding collection. Just three weeks later Wright then clinched his first ever World Championships title at the Finn Gold Cup in San Francisco rounding of an impressive season for the Bournemouth star.

Both sailors and support staff were honoured at the event, celebrating the team’s achievements during 2010 which saw a total of 47 medals won at World and European Championships and 32 podium positions at major ISAF Sailing World Cup events.

The first prize winners of the evening were announced by Stuart Cotton of team silver sponsor Accenture, who unveiled the winners of the ‘Accenture Rewards and Recognition Programme’ for 2010.

Now in its fifth 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 ‘Collaboration’, ‘Fun’ 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.

Team Physiologist Adrian Campbell and Strength and Conditioning coach Steve Gent jointly picked up the overall prize for ‘Collaboration’, while Head Physiologist Chris Gordon was chosen as the person most encompassing ‘Fun’ within the team.

Giles Scott was voted as the most ‘Gold Driven’ of the team, chosen for his outstanding gold medal winning performance at Skandia Sail For Gold, the most pressured event of the season, then continuing his form to pick up bronze at the Finn Gold Cup a couple of weeks later.

Finn sailor Mark Andrews was crowned Skandia Team GBR Development Squad Sailor of the Year, having been voted upon his peers as the sailor deemed most talented and committed.

The ‘Golden Funnel’ award for coaching excellence, was given to Laser coach Chris Gowers 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 2010.

“The evening is all about giving recognition to everyone who has delivered medals for STGBR through the year. It’s the sailor’s and support staff’s once in a year opportunity to really let their hair down and celebrate that great success they’ve had through the course of this year,” Park explained.

“We’ve had a fantastic spread of medals across all Olympic and Paralympic classes this year - at European and World Championships level we’ve won medals in 12 of our 13 events so we’re doing well.

“In terms of 2012 we’ve put down a good ground work, we’ve just got raise that final hurdle to make sure that those medals are going to be gold,” he concluded.

Full list of winners:

British Olympic Association Athlete of the Year: Ed Wright (Finn)

Skandia Team GBR Development Squad Sailor of the Year: Mark Andrews (Finn)

Accenture Rewards and Recognition Programme:

Joint winners: Adrian Campbell (Physiologist) / Steve Gent (Strength and Conditioning Coach)

Development Squad winner: Mark Andrews (Finn)

Winner: Chris Gordon (Head Physiotherapist)
Runner-up: Stuart Bithell (470)
Development Squad winner: Mark Andrews (Finn)

“Gold Driven”
Winner: Giles Scott (Finn)
Runner-up: Luke Patience (470)
Development Squad winner: Alison Young (Laser Radial)

‘Golden Funnel’ Award for Coaching Excellence
Chris Gowers (Laser coach)

Performance bonuses presented to:

Team Macgregor – Women’s Match Racing
(Gold – ISAF Women’s Match Racing Worlds, Silver – European Championships)

Alexandra Rickham & Niki Birrell – SKUD
(Gold – IFDS World Championships)

Stevie Morrison & Ben Rhodes – 49er
(Gold – 49er Series, Bronze – European Championships, Bronze – Sail For Gold)

Iain Percy & Andrew Simpson – Star
(Gold – World Championships)

Luke Patience & Stuart Bithell - 470
(Bronze – European Championships, Bronze – Sail For Gold)

Giles Scott – Finn
(Gold – Sail For Gold, Bronze - World Championships)

Hannah Stodel, John Robertson, Steve Thomas – Sonar
(Silver – IFDS World Championships)

Ed Wright – Finn
(Gold – World Championships, Silver – European Championships)

Paul Goodison – Laser
(Silver - European Championships, Silver – Sail For Gold)

Chris Draper & Peter Greenhalgh – 49er
(Gold – European Championships)

Nick Thompson – Laser
(Silver – Laser World Championships)

Bryony Shaw – RS:X
(Bronze – Sail For Gold)

Nick Dempsey – RS:X
(Bronze – Sail For Gold)

Megan Pasco – 2.4mR
(Bronze – IFDS World Championships)

Charlotte Dobson – Laser Radial
(Silver –European Championships)

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