Sailors announced for January's Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year

Friday December 14th 2007, Author: Eloise Jakeman, Location: United Kingdom
Finalists of Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year this year include disabled sailor Geoff Holt, who achieved his “Personal Everest” in 2007 by sailing around the UK single handed; Skandia Team GBR members, World and Pre Olympic Champions Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson, who are World Ranked Number One and are the only team from any class, and any nation, who have finished top three at every ISAF grade 1 event this year; Mike Golding who risked his own life to rescue fellow competitor Alex Thompson in the Velux 5 Oceans race in appalling Southern Ocean conditions, thus ruining his own chances of winning the race; and Sir Robin Knox Johnston who completed the Velux 5 Oceans race at the age of 68, thirty-eight years after his original (the first non-stop) solo circumnavigation of the world. This ranks Sir Robin as one of the oldest competitors ever to complete this feat.

Finalists in the young sailor category include Alistair Masters, an RYA Youth Squad 15 year old who has dominated domestic and international competition in the Techno 293 junior windsurfing class, and has won two gold medals and one silver at the last three world championships; Holly Scott, winning crew member of Mirror World Championship 2007, who with her skipper (Anna Mackenzie), was the first all-girl team to win the title; Topper World Champion Michael Wood, who devotes hours of his private time to train other youngsters in the RYA West Zone Squad; Tom Gillard, the first RYA Team GBR sailor to win the 420 European Championships in Medemblik; and Laurence Greenough, who has overcome adversity to enter the RYA South West Topper Zone Squad.

Winners of both awards will be voted for by the Yachting Journalists’ Association (YJA). Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year will be announced at the awards ceremony on Tuesday 15 January 2008 at The Painted Hall, the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.
Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year will be announced at 4.15pm, Saturday 12 January at the Collins Stewart London Boat Show on the Main Stage. RYA Regional Winners will also be presented with their awards at this ceremony.

RYA Regional Winners include:
Yorks and Humberside - Tom Gillard
Northern Ireland - Tiffany Brien
North West - Rob Partridge
East - Katrina Curtis
South - Chris West
Wales – Joint Winners - Bleddyn Mon
Wales – Joint Winners - Tom Humphries
North East - Michael Matthews
Scotland - Ben Wilcox
East Midlands - George Hand
South East - Chloe Martin
South West - Laurence Greenough
Thames Valley - Imogen Stanley

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