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Sailing - 23. September 2008.

ISAF and Rolex are proud to announce the Nominees for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2008.

The Nominees

September 22, 2008

ISAF and Rolex are proud to announce the Nominees for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2008.


ISAF received nominations from across the world representing all aspects of the sport in two categories - male and female - and the following 10 nominations have been shortlisted. The qualifying period is the year up until 1 September 2008 and all achievements during this time are taken into consideration.

ISAF and Rolex are proud to announce the Nominees for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2008.


The 2008 nominees are:

Female
Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB & Pippa WILSON (GBR)
Claire LEROY (FRA)
Elise RECHICHI & Tessa PARKINSON (AUS)
Alessandra SENSINI (ITA)
Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA)



The winners will be selected by the ISAF Member National Authorities, the national governing bodies for sailing around the world, who are now invited to vote for the one male and one female nomination who they believe most deserves the Award.

The winners will be announced at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards presentation and dinner which is being held on Tuesday 11 November 2008. The venue for the event is the stunning Quinta de Jarama in Madrid, Spain.

Each winner will be presented with the prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award Trophy and a distinctive Rolex timepiece.

The achievements of the 2008 Nominees are:

FEMALE NOMINEES

Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB & Pippa WILSON (GBR)


With one goal in mind for 2008 - Olympic gold, the talented British team of Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB and Pippa WILSON spent the lead-up to the Games proving to the world they were the number one Yngling crew by claiming a clean sweep of the highest graded events of the year.

Heading to Miami for the Yngling Women's World Championship in February 2008, AYTON, WEBB and WILSON were keen to start the Olympic year with a gold medal and they did just that, convincingly defending the World title they picked up in 2007 with a massive 39 points margin over the second place Australian team.

A return to Europe saw the team competing in Palma, Spain at the HRH Princess Sofia Trophy MAPFRE where they picked up a silver medal before travelling to Blanes, Spain for the Europeans, where once again they ended the regatta at the top of the podium. There were bronze medals at the next two ISAF Grade 1 events in Hyères and Medemblik before the team settled into Qingdao for the big one, the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition.

It was in wet, blustery conditions that the first ever Medal Race of an Olympic Games took place and the British Yngling team led by one point from their closest rivals from the Netherlands. In an extremely close race AYTON, WEBB and WILSON demonstrated once again their cool, calm style and supreme ability to make it count when it really matters. They controlled the race from start to finish and in securing the race victory they entered the record books as the first crew to win an Olympic Medal Race and with that, the first gold medal of the Competition. The ultimate dream was a reality; Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB and Pippa WILSON were the 2008 European, World and Olympic Champions.

1 - RYA Winter Challenge Match Racing, GBR - ISAF Grade 4 - Nov 2007
5 - Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA - ISAF Grade 1 - Jan 2008
1 - Yngling Women World Championship, Miami, USA - ISAF Grade W - Feb 2008
2 - HRH Princess Sofia Trophy MAPFRE, Palma, ESP - ISAF Grade 2 - Mar 2008
1 - Yngling Women European Championship, Blanes, ESP - ISAF Grade C1 - Apr 2008
3 - Semaine Olympique Française, Hyères, FRA - ISAF Grade 1 - Apr 2008
3 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, NED - ISAF Grade 1 - May 2008
1 - 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, Qingdao, CHN - ISAF Grade W - Aug 2008

ISAF World Sailing Rankings position at the end of the nomination period (3 September 2008) - # 1

ISAF World Sailing Rankings # 1 from 3 October 2007 to 6 February 2008 and 9 April to 3 September 2008


Claire LEROY (FRA)

2007 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, French skipper Claire LEROY continues to dominate women's match racing. In 2008 LEROY notched up another five ISAF Graded event wins, defended her World Champion title and maintained her seat at the # 1 position on the ISAF World Match Race Rankings where she has been since 4 May 2005.

Her first victory in 2008 came in February when she secured the RYA Women's Winter Challenge. She then clinched the New Zealand Women's title in Auckland and the Harken Women's International Championship in Australia before returning to Auckland for the 2008 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship. The successful defence of her title was shared with crew member Elodie BERTRAND and new crew mates Marie RIOU and Claire PRUVOT.

After the Worlds it was back to Europe and another gold medal at the ISAF Grade 1 Match Cup Sweden in Marstrand followed by a silver medal in Calpe, Spain at the ISAF Grade 1 International Women's Match Race Criterium. This remarkable young skipper continues to prove her ability to dominate her field of women's sailing.

8 - IV Open de España, Calpe, ESP - ISAF Grade 2 - Sep 2007
2 - Brasil Women's Cup, Vitoria, BRA - ISAF Grade W - Nov 2007
12 - Brasil Sailing Cup, Vitoria, BRA - ISAF Grade W - Nov 2007
1 - RYA Women's Winter Challenge, GBR - ISAF Grade 2 - Feb 2008
1 - New Zealand Women's Match Racing Championship, Auckland, NZL - ISAF Grade 2 - Mar 2008
1 - Harken Women's International Match Racing Championship, CYCA, AUS - ISAF Grade 2 - Mar 2008
1 - ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship, Auckland, NZL - ISAF Grade W - Apr 2008
1 - Match Cup Sweden, Marstrand, SWE - ISAF Grade 1 - Jun 2008
2 - XI International Women's Match Race Criterium, Calpe, ESP - ISAF Grade 1 - Aug 2008

ISAF World Match Race Rankings position at the end of the nomination period (30 July 2008) - # 1

Elise RECHICHI & Tessa PARKINSON (AUS)

Well known faces from the ISAF Youth Worlds, this young team showed their intent at the 2008 470 World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, where they picked up their first bronze medal of the year. Hitting the European graded event circuit, they posted some mixed results before once again making the results count where it mattered with another bronze at the ISAF Grade C1 European Championships in Italy.

But it wasn't bronze that this team was after when they got to Qingdao for the Olympic Sailing Competition. Gold was the colour they dreamed of and their win was convincing. One of just four crews who won a gold medal with no previous Olympic experience, RECHICHI and PARKINSON went into their Medal Race with an 18 point lead over their nearest rivals, the three time World Champions from the Netherlands.

They sailed a tactical Medal Race to ensure the Dutch team could not steal their gold medal away and crossed the finish line to secure an Australian 470 double for coach Victor KOVALENKO. At just 21 years old RECHICHI and PARKINSON were the youngest gold medallists at the Olympic Sailing Competition and look set for a bright future.

24 - Sail Melbourne International Regatta, Melbourne, AUS - ISAF Grade 1 - Jan 2008
3 - 470 World Championships, Melbourne, AUS - ISAF Grade W - Jan 2008
15 - Semaine Olympique Française, Hyères, FRA - ISAF Grade 1 - Apr 2008
9 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, NED - ISAF Grade 1 - May 2008
3 - 470 European Championships, Riva del Garda, ITA - ISAF Grade C1 - Jun 2008
1 - 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, Qingdao, CHN - ISAF Grade W - Aug 2008

ISAF World Sailing Rankings position at the end of the nomination period (3 September 2008) - # 6


Alessandra SENSINI (ITA)

Alessandra SENSINI entered the record books in 2008 when she became the first woman to win four Olympic medals in sailing.
At the age of 38, SENSINI has been a force to be reckoned with on the windsurfing circuit for decades and continues to demonstrate her outstanding skill by adapting seamlessly to new equipment as the sport develops and maintaining the extreme physical fitness demanded by the discipline.
She began her 2008 season with a gold medal at the 2008 RS:X World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, her second title in the class since the inaugural World Championship in 2006. After a solid series including five race wins, SENSINI was on equal points with fellow veteran windsurfer Barbara KENDALL from New Zealand, but the Italian sailed a clinical Medal Race to secure her fourth windsurfing world title.

Back to Europe and SENSINI picked up another gold medal at the HRH Princess Sofia Trophy MAPFRE in Palma, Spain and 20th at the Europeans in Brest, France. On to Qingdao for the Olympic Sailing Competition and SENSINI had her sights set on the podium again. An impressive series of results, not finishing a race outside the top ten, SENSINI flirted with the top of the leaderboard throughout the opening series. Going into the Medal Race she had to put two competitors between herself and the Chinese sailor and duly put in a true champions performance to convincingly win the race. The action unfolding behind SENSINI gave YIN the gold medal but SENSINI was delighted with her historic achievement of a 4th Olympic medal by adding the silver to her gold medal from Sydney in 2000 and bronze medals from Athens in 2004 and Atlanta in 1996.

2 - RS:X New Zealand National Championships, Auckland, NZL - ISAF Grade 3 - Dec 2007
1 - RS:X World Championships, Auckland, NZL - ISAF Grade W - Jan 2008
1 - HRH Princess Sofia Trophy MAPFRE, Palma, ESP - ISAF Grade 2 - Mar 2008
20 - RS:X European Championships, Brest, FRA - ISAF Grade C1 - May 2008
2 - 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, Qingdao, CHN - ISAF Grade W - Aug 2008

ISAF World Sailing Rankings position at the end of the nomination period (3 September 2008) - # 6

Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA)

Anna Tunnicliffe has been a quiet but dominant presence in the Laser Radial fleet for some time and set out in pursuit of her Olympic dream four years ago. Her determination and discipline has seen her pick up medals from four ISAF Grade 1 events in 2008 and seen her top the ISAF World Sailing Rankings for more than half of the nomination period.

TUNNICLIFFE's consistency was the key to her success at the Olympic Sailing Competition and with only one race finish lower than sixth she was in great shape to claim her first Olympic medal after the opening series. One of TUNNICLIFFE's great strengths is her ability to read the wind shifts and shine under pressure, which she demonstrated to perfection to pull off a magnificent comeback in the Laser Radial Medal Race.

Challenging for the gold medal were two other sailors and a poor start for TUNNICLIFFE saw her back in ninth place at the start of the second lap with her dreams of glory over. TUNNICLIFFE was not giving up without a fight and read the shifts perfectly to battle her way back through the fleet to third by the final mark. With the wind decreasing on the final leg, the fleet compressed but TUNNICLIFFE fought on, finished the race in second place and clinched her first Olympic gold medal.

4 - US Women's Match Racing Championship, Detroit, USA - ISAF Grade 3 - Sep 2007 (Match Racing)
6 - Rolex Osprey Cup, St Petersburg, USA - ISAF Grade 1 - Oct 2007 (Match Racing)
9 - Sail Melbourne International Regatta, Melbourne, AUS - ISAF Grade C1 - Jan 2008
2 - Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA - ISAF Grade 1 - Jan 2008
3 - Sail Auckland, Auckland, NZL - ISAF Grade 1 - Feb 2008
6 - Laser Radial Women's World Championship, Auckland, NZL - ISAF Grade W - Mar 2008
2 - Semaine Olympique Française, Hyères, FRA - ISAF Grade 1 - Apr 2008
1 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, NED - ISAF Grade 1 - May 08
14 - Kiel Week, Kiel, GER - ISAF Grade 1 - Jun 2008
1 - 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, Qingdao, CHN - ISAF Grade W - Aug 2008

ISAF World Sailing Rankings position at the end of the nomination period (3 Sep 2008) - # 1

ISAF World Sailing Rankings # 1 from 3 October to 19 December 2007 and 9 April to 3 September 2008


ISAF World Match Race Rankings position at the end of the nomination period (30 July 2008) - #2

ISAF World Match Race Rankings #1 from 26 September to 24 October 2007 and from 25 June to 30 July 2008.

For further information please contact:

ISAF

Tel: +44 (0)2380 635111
Email: worldsailorawards@isaf.co.uk

Key Partners (KPMS)
Tel: + 41 32 724 2829
Email: info@regattanews.com
Web: www.regattanews.com

Links

ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards

www.sailing.org/worldsailor

International Sailing Federation (ISAF)
www.sailing.org/worldsailor

regattanews
www.regattanews.com

Rolex
www.rolex.com

Notes for Editors

International Sailing Federation


The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is the world governing body for the sport of sailing.

ISAF is made up of over 120 Member National Authorities (MNAs), who are its principle members, and responsible for the decision making process that governs the sailing world.

There are currently more than 90 ISAF International, Recognized and Classic Yacht Classes, ranging from the smallest being the Optimist dinghy to the largest, the 60 foot multihull.

Sailing

Sailing is a lifetime sport enjoyed right across the world.

The sport encompasses a massive range of disciplines and events including Olympic sailing, offshore sailing, windsurfing, match racing, team racing, fleet racing and disabled sailing.

Sailing first joined the Olympic programme at the Paris 1900 Olympic Games. Sailing was back on the Olympic programme for the London 1908 Olympic Games and has been a part of every Olympic Games since.
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