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Sailing - 03. October 2009.

Nominations for Rolex Sailor of the Year

ISAF received nominations for the 2009 Awards from across the world for sailors representing all aspects of the sport. In deciding the nominees, the achievements of sailors made during the qualifying period of 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2009 are taken into consideration. There can be only one winner in the female categorie, and we are delighted to announce the names of those sailors now vying for the coveted and prestigious 2009 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award.

The 2009 nominees are:

Sam Davies (GBR)
Hilary Lister (GBR)
Blanca Manchón (ESP)
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)

The achievements of the 2009 Nominees are:

Female Nominees

Sam Davies (GBR)

Thirty boats crossed the start line of the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe but only 11 completed the gruelling round the world race. One of those was 34-year-old Sam Davies aboard her IMOCA 60 Roxy. After 95 days, 4 hours, 39 minutes and 1 second, Davies was the third sailor to cross the finish line at Les Sables d'Olonne after sailing an epic 27,420 miles. (Davies missed out on the podium by just over one hour following the time compensation given to Marc Guillemot for diverting to assist in the evacuation of an injured competitor.)

Sam Davies has been deeply involved on the professional offshore sailing scene for many years. Perfectly at ease at sea, she took on her first Vendée Globe with relish and stole the hearts of sailing fans the world over through her daily video, photo and journal reporting. The extreme hardships of the race place enormous demands on the skippers and Davies demonstrated prudence when required but also a steely determination to attack the race course. Davies was one of the few sailors who covered more than 400 miles in one day and on 18 December she diverted her course to go to the aid of fellow competitor Yann Eliès who had suffered a broken leg.

Since finishing the Vendée Globe, Davies has teamed up with rival skipper Dee Caffari and an all girl crew to claim the Round Britain and Ireland monohull record aboard Aviva in 6 days and 11 hours. She has also joined the Artemis Ocean Racing team and faced her first test as skipper in the notorious Rolex Fastnet Race. Leading the IMOCA 60 fleet around the Rock, Davies and crew were narrowly beaten to second place.

IMOCA 60 - Roxy (skipper - solo)
4 - 2008-2009 Vendée Globe - Roxy - 95 days, 4 hours 39 mins and 1 second, average speed 12 knots, distance 27,470.2nm - Nov 2008-Feb 2009

IMOCA 60 - Aviva (crew)
Round Britain and Ireland Record, Monohull, Women - 6 days, 11 hours, 30 minutes & 53 seconds - Aviva skippered by Dee Caffari with 2 other crew - average speed 11.5 knots - distance 1,787 nm - 15-22 Jun 2009

IMOCA 60 - Artemis Ocean Racing (co-skipper, crewed)
4 - Artemis Challenge, Round the Isle of Wight, GBR - Aug 2009
2 - Rolex Fastnet Race, IMOCA 60 fleet, GBR - Aug 2009

Hilary Lister (GBR)

The achievement of Hilary Lister is inspirational. Diagnosed with a degenerative disease at the age of 11, Lister was confined to a wheelchair when she was 15. She is now a quadriplegic, only able to move her head, mouth and eyes. When she was introduced to sailing in 2003 she was given a new lease of life and her passion for the sport developed quickly. In 2005 she sailed solo across the English Channel, in 2007 circumavigated the Isle of Wight and the Round Britain challenge was a dream in the making.

On 31 August 2009 Lister's dream was reality when she became the first disabled woman to sail solo around Britain. Lister began her record attempt in June 2008 but had to suspend her sail due to bad weather and technical issues. In May 2009 Lister resumed from Plymouth, sailing clockwise before returning home to Dover in August. Lister's journey was a series of day sails of between 30 and 50 miles and with over 40 stops the team were able to showcase the adventure and raise awareness of disabled sailing along the way.

Lister sails her Artemis 20 using a 'sip and puff' system of tubes to control the steering and sails. Seated in a custom seating module that maintains her body position and comfort, Lister controls everything, including setting the sails and steering the boat, with her breath.

Artemis 20 (solo) Clockwise Circumnavigation of Britain - May-Aug 2009

Blanca Manchón (ESP)

There is tough competition amongst the Spanish RS:X sailors and Blanca Manchón has demonstrated her style with a podium finish at all of the events she has entered this year.

The ISAF Sailing World Cup kicked off in Melbourne, Australia in December 2008 and Manchón laid down an early marker of her intent with an emphatic victory, picking up seven race wins from the eleven race series to win the gold medal.

As the tour moved on to Miami, Manchón claimed the bronze medal before a trip to Buzios, Brazil for the RS:X South American Championship where she picked up another bronze medal. Returning to the World Cup series for its third event in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Manchón was back on the top of the podium. Her performance in Palma, with six race wins, also secured her the 'Absolute Winner' trophy, presented to the sailor with the best results across all the classes.

A bronze medal in Hyères was quickly followed up by another gold at the fifth event of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik. The next event for the RS:X fleet was the European Championship in Israel and here Manchón dominated from day one. Leading the event from the outset, the gold only slipped away from her as heatstroke took hold, affecting her results. Advised by doctors not to sail she refused to be defeated, just needing to finish the last race to secure the silver.

With five events of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, Manchón had achieved a fantastic 96 points from a possible 100 and had extended an almost unbeatable 34 point lead.

1 - Sail Melbourne, Melbourne, AUS - ISAF Grade 1 - Dec 2008
3 - US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA - ISAF Grade 1 - Jan 2009
3 - RS:X South American Championships, Buzios, BRA - ISAF Grade C1 - Mar 2009
1 - Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE, Palma de Majorca, ESP - ISAF Grade 2 - Apr 2009
3 - Semaine Olympique Française, Hyères, FRA - ISAF Grade 1 - Apr 2009
1 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, NED - ISAF Grade 1 - May 2009
2 - RS:X European Championship, Tel Aviv, ISR - ISAF Grade C1 - Jun 2009

Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)

Anna Tunnicliffe is an athlete of the highest order and a world class ambassador for sailing. The depth of her talent is illustrated by her success in a variety of boats and disciplines. Since winning the gold medal in the Laser Radial at the Beijing Olympics, Tunnicliffe has succesfully combined the one-person Laser Radial with match racing in her training and competition schedule. Tunnicliffe's first event after her Olympic win was the US Women's Match Racing Championship. Victory in Rochester qualififed Tunnicliffe and her team to represent the USA at the ISAF Nations Cup Regional Final where they picked up another victory. Between these events, Tunnicliffe switched disciplines and headed to Spain for the Snipe Women's World Championship where she finished second overall.

After winning the gold medal at the Laser Radial North Americans and silver at the Laser Midwinters east, Tunnicliffe was back on the match racing scene, competing at the ISAF Nations Cup Final in Porte Alegre, Brazil. The team won the bronze medal.

Back in the Laser Radial, Tunnicliffe set out to win the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup. In December she got off to a flying start in Melbourne clinching her first victory and since then she has not looked back. Two more gold medals in Miami and Hyères, bronze in Kiel and no result lower than sixth, Tunnicliffe had set herself up with an unassailable lead in the overall standings.

Laser Radial
1 - Sail Melbourne International Regatta, Melbourne, AUS - ISAF Grade 1 - Dec 2008
1 - US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA - ISAF Grade 1 - Jan 2009
1 - Women's Laser Radial North American Championship, Florida, USA - ISAF Grade 1 - Feb 2009
2 - Laser Midwinters East, Clearwater, USA - ISAF Grade 1 - Feb 2009
6 - Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE, Palma de Majorca, ESP - ISAF Grade 2 - Apr 2009
1 - Semaine Olympique Française, Hyères, FRA - ISAF Grade 1 - Apr 2009
5 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, NED - ISAF Grade 1 - May 2009
3 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, GER - ISAF Grade 1 - Jun 2009
3 - Laser Radial Women's World Championship, Karatsu, JPN - ISAF Grade W - Aug 2009

2 - Snipe Women's World Championship, Roquetas al Mar, ESP - Sep 2008

Match Racing
1 - US Women's Match Racing Championship, Rochester, USA - ISAF Grade 3 - Sep 2008
1 - ISAF Nations Cup Regional Final (N America & Caribbean), Charleston, USA - ISAF Grade 2 - Nov 2008
3 - Carlos Aguilar Memorial Match Race, St Thomas, ISV - ISAF Grade 3 - Dec 2008
3 - ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final, Porte Alegre, BRA - ISAF Grade 1 - Mar 2009
1 - NYYC Women's Match Racing Regatta, New York, USA - ISAF Grade 2 - May 2009
6 - Knickerbocker Cup, Manhasset Bay, USA - ISAF Grade 2 - Aug 2009

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