Green and Cian lead match racing
Sponsored by DaimlerChrysler and Richemont (who own Cartier), the Laureus Sports Awards is a massive affair. Rather like the OSCARs the sports awards have an academy including many sports icon such as John McEnroe and Boris Becker, swimmer Mark Spitz, cricketers Viv Richards and Ian Botham, the footballer Pele, Daley Thompson, Bobby Charlton, skier Alberto Tomba, etc. Yachting was represented in the academy by the late Sir Peter Blake.
The awards ceremony itself takes place tonight in Monte Carlo's Grimalda Forum. Last year's winners including Michel Schumacher, Jennifer Capriati, Goran Ivanisevic and Sir Peter Blake who posthumously won the Lifetime Achievement Awards and the Sport for Good Awards. This year among the nominees are the likes of Lance Armstrong, Ronaldo and Tiger Woods for World Sportsman of the Year, Marion Jones, Paula Radclifee and Serena Williams for the World Sportswoman of the Year, Ferrari and the European Ryder Cup Team for the World Team of the Year, plus others for the World Sportsperson of the year with a disability award, world newcomer of the year award, world alternative sportsperson of the year award and the world comeback of the year award (including Ronaldo and Pete Sampras).
Aside from being a lavish back-patting exercise for the international sports industry, alongside the Awards runs the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation which funds projects to deal with many social issues around the globe, from AIDs, to child soldiers to gangsterism, etc.
At a dinner last night an auction was held to raise money for this Foundation with prizes such as Michael Jordan's vest, a game of tennis doubles with John McEnroe and Boris Becker, a round of golf with Gary Player, the opportunity for 10 people to be flown to New York for the launch of the new McLaren engined Mercedes SLR this December.
Around 350,000 Euros was raised from the auction and this figure is expected to be substantially increased once the personal donations from the evening has been totted up.
Meanwhile alongside these events, there runs a golf and tennis tournaments - and a regatta.
This year the sailing is taking place in Swan 45s (last year it was in Swans, but of differing sizes...) and the skippers taking part including the Islers, Alinghi's three time Olympic medallist Jochen Schuemann, GBR Challenge's Andy Green, Mascalzone Latino's Paolo Cian and French match racer Thierry Peponnet.
After the first day of racing held here in the inevitable light Mediterranean conditions off the Meridien Beach Plaza hotel, Andy Green and Paolo Cian were joint leaders, having won three of the four races they sailed - Green losing to Peter Isler and Cian to JJ Isler.
Unfortunately due to a crew issue on Cian's boat, the crunch match between Green and Cian was never sailed.
Today the competitors will discover which of them has won first prize - a Mercedes CLK200 Cabriolet.
1. Andy Green 3-1 (of four races)
1. Paolo Cian 3-1 (of four races)
3. Thierry Peponnet 3-2 (of five races - lost to Green and Cian)
4. Jochen Schuemann 2-3 (of five races - lost to Green, Cian and Peponnet)
5. Peter Isler 2-3 (of five - lost to Schuemann, Cian and Peponnet)
6. JJ Isler 1-4 (won against Cian)