ISAF Rolex (Olympic) Sailor of the Year Awards
Male: Mathew Belcher (AUS)
Female: Jo Aleh & Polly Powrie (NZL)
Having being nominated twice before in 2010 and 2012, it proved to be third time lucky for Mathew Belcher, the Australian Olympic and World champion in the 470 dinghy class, whose current winning streak stretches to an amazing 17 consecutive regattas.
“It’s a complete honour,” said Belcher during the awards ceremony held in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. “It's great recognition for this year and the efforts we’ve put in and the results we’ve achieved. I am very fortunate to have great support, from my coach Victor Kovalenko, crew and support staff.”
470 sailors were also rewarded in the female category of the Awards. The New Zealand pairing of Jo Aleh and Olivia ‘Polly’ Powrie are the current women’s Olympic and World champions in the Class.
“I’m a little bit shocked,” said Aleh. “There were some amazing nominees this year and we are delighted to be part of this. We feel honoured to be part of the group.” “We haven’t done this alone and we had some wonderful people behind us who have been truly supportive,” added Powrie.
The full list of nominees for the coveted and prestigious 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards were:
Mathew Belcher (AUS) – Men’s 470 World & Olympic Champion
François Gabart (FRA) – IMOCA World Champion & 2012-13 Vendée Globe Winner
Johnny Heineken (USA) – Kiteboarding World #1 & 2012 Men’s Course Racing World Champion
Paul Larsen (AUS) – Vestas Sailrocket 2 Outright Speed Record
Ian Williams (GBR) – Match Racing 2012 Match Racing World Champion - World #1 Open Match Racer for 16 consecutive releases starting in January 2012
Jo Aleh & Olivia Powrie (NZL) – Women’s 470 World & Olympic Champions
Deneen Demourkas (USA) – Farr 30 2013 World Champion – third consecutive title
Erika Heineken (USA) – Kiteboarding 2012 Course Racing World Champion
Raiya Al Habsi (OMA) – First Omani Woman To Sail in the Rolex Fastnet Race