ISAF and Rolex have announced the Nominees for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2013.
ISAF received nominations for the 2013 Awards from across the world for sailors representing all aspects of the sport. The nominees are put forward based on achievements made during the qualifying period from 1 September 2012 to 31 August 2013.
Only one nominee wins in both the male and female categories. The names vying for the coveted and prestigious 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award are:
Mathew Belcher (AUS) – Australian gold rush
François Gabart (FRA) – Macif Attack
Johnny Heineken (USA) – King of the Kites
Paul Larsen (AUS) – Rocket man
Ian Williams (GBR) – Man of the match
Jo Aleh & Olivia Powrie (NZL) – Conquering Kiwis
Deneen Demourkas (USA) – Farr too good
Erika Heineken (USA) – Queen of the Kites
Raiya Al Habsi (OMA) – Trail blazing Omani
The achievements of the 2013 nominees are:
Mathew Belcher (AUS)
London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Mathew Belcher dominated the men’s 470 fleet with crew Malcolm Page in the lead up to the Games and has not stopped there. After a short break, Belcher announced a new campaign for 2016 with crew Will Ryan and returned to competition in December 2012 at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne. Success was immediate and a winning streak that started in November 2011 continued into 2013. Three ISAF Sailing World Cup wins, the European title and his fourth consecutive 470 World Champion title takes Belcher’s amazing winning streak to 17 consecutive regattas.
2013 World Champion – fourth consecutive title
Unbeaten since November 2011 securing 17 consecutive regatta victories
François Gabart created Vendée Globe history on 27 January 2013 as he became the youngest skipper to win the race, smashing the race record on the way. At an average speed of 14.7 knots it took Gabart 78 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes and 40 seconds to cover 27,512.07 miles shaving 6 days and 53 minutes off the previous race record. Vendée Globe victory also gave Gabart points towards claiming the IMOCA World Champion crown becoming the first sailor to win the title and the Vendée Globe in the same year.
IMOCA World Champion
Winner 2012-13 Vendée Globe
Johnny Heineken has taken Kiteboard Course Racing to another level and established himself as the man to beat. The only problem is, no one has been able to achieve that over the qualification period as Heineken holds a perfect record. In a 153-boat fleet at the 2012 IKA Course Racing World Championship in Cagliari, Heineken dominated the field, stylishly winning all five races in the Final Series. Two out of three Medal Race wins handed Heineken his second successive title, sharing the peak of the podium with sister and Female ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Nominee Erika Heineken.
2012 Men’s Course Racing World Champion
Paul Larsen (AUS)
Dreams of sailing the fastest boat on the planet worked their way through Paul Larsen’s mind when he set out on his journey in 2002. Years of designing, testing and perfecting came to a climax in Walvis Bay, Namibia when sailing Vestas Sailrocket 2; Larsen broke the 500 metre speed record three times, obliterating it on his final run. 59.23 knots was followed by 59.37 knots before Larsen broke the 60 knot barrier to sail the course at 65.45 knots, 10 knots faster than the previous record of 55.65 knots set by Kiteboarder Rob Douglas in 2010.
Vestas Sailrocket 2
Outright speed record
Ian Williams (GBR)
Ian Williams (GBR) lifted the ISAF World Match Racing Championship for the fourth time in 2012 surpassing three-time victors Russell Coutts, Chris Dickson and Ed Baird to draw level with Peter Gilmour (AUS). Williams is a formidable force on the match racing scene and held the World #1 Ranking spot for 16 consecutive releases. After five events of the 2013 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, Williams is on track to take a fifth title and become the most decorated ISAF Match Racing champion.
2012 Match Racing World Champion
World #1 Open Match Racer for 16 consecutive releases starting in January 2012
Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie (NZL)
Affectionately known as Team Jolly, London 2012 Women’s 470 Olympic Champions Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie announced their Rio 2016 intentions early in 2013 and success followed thereafter. Three regatta victories in a row set them on their way to a silver medal at the Open European Championship before they took an emphatic gold medal at the 470 World Championship in La Rochelle, France.
2013 World Champions
Deneen Demourkas (USA)
Deneen Demourkas is a Farr 30 sailor through and through. As well as looking after the day-to-day running of the Class as President she is a force to be reckoned with on the race course. In a class dominated by men Demourkas is a talented helmswoman. At the 2013 Farr 30 Worlds in Rhode Island, USA she steered Groovederci to victory and in a nail-biting final race became the first triple Farr 30 World Champion.
2013 World Champion – third consecutive title
Erika Heineken (USA)
At the 2012 IKA Course Racing World Championship in Cagliari, Italy Erika Heineken was untouchable, matching her younger brother and Male ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Nominee Johnny Heineken. Speed combined with finesse and a desire to claim her first World Championship title culminated in an impressive score card. Heineken notched up 11 race victories in the 42-strong fleet and only three second place finishes blighted a near faultless week for the American as she claimed gold.
2012 Course Racing World Champion
Raiya Al Habsi (OMA)
From great opportunities, come great moments. Raiya Al Habsi was given the chance to join Oman Sail Women’s Programme in 2011 and ground-breaking moments were the result. Al Habsi is part of a steadily emerging all-female Omani sailing team competing in the Farr 30 and J/80 classes and at the same time promoting sport, fitness health and lifestyle to women in Oman. In August 2013 Al Habsi stepped into the history books when she became the first Omani woman to compete in the Rolex Fastnet Race sailing the Omani flagship MOD70 Oman Air-Musandam.
First Omani Woman To Sail in the Rolex Fastnet Race
The winners are selected by the ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs), the national governing bodies for sailing around the world. The MNAs are now invited to vote for the male and female nominee they believe most deserves the Award.
The winners will be announced at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards presentation and dinner, taking place on Tuesday 12 November 2013. The venue for the event will be at the El Bander Hotel, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.
Each winner will be presented with the prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award Trophy and a distinctive Rolex timepiece.