November 1, 2017: PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO - In just one week (7 November), some of the biggest names in sailing will be celebrated in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at the inaugural World Sailing Awards evening.
The World Sailing Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of the world's leading sailors and recognises the exceptional contributions made by those who have devoted their time and effort to further the sport.
Hosted by sailing broadcaster, Alec Wilkinson, and two-time Olympic medallist and two-time Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Sofia Bekatorou, the highlight of the evening will be presentation of the ultimate recognition of excellence – the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award.
"Rolex Men's and Women's Sailor of the Year awards" - photo credit © Rolex | World Sailing
The 2017 World Sailing Awards will also feature the presentation of the Beppe Croce Trophy and President's Development Trophy.
Nominees for the Rolex World Sailor of the Year feature sailors drawn from the America's Cup, Vendee Globe, Windsurfing, Offshore and Olympic Class racing, highlighting the breadth and depth of the sport.
The Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards is the most prestigious award of recognition in the dynamic sport of sailing. Since the awards' inception in 1994, the trophy has proudly accumulated the names of those who have demonstrated unparalleled, performance, endurance and accomplishment in sailing.
The winners will be decided by World Sailing's Member National Authorities, attendees on the night and the voting public.
On Saturday 4 November at 18:00 CST, the public will be invited to cast their vote on sailing.org for who they believe is the worthiest recipient of the coveted male and female Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award.
Voting will be open for a period of 72 hours and will close just hours before the announcement is made – 18:00 CST on Tuesday 7 November.
The names vying for the coveted Rolex World Sailor of the Year are:
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) - 2017 Laser Radial World Champion
Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) - 49erFX World Cup Series Champions
Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU) - Pro Windsurfers Association World Tour Freestyle and Slalom World Champion
Tara Pacheco (helmed by Fernando Echavarri) (ESP) - Nacra 17 World Cup Series Champions
Glenn Ashby (AUS) - America's Cup winning Skipper
Peter Burling (NZL) - America's Cup winning Helmsman
Thomas Coville (FRA) - Singlehanded Round the World Record holder
Armel Le Cleac'h (FRA) - 2016-2017 Vendée Globe winner
Ahead of the announcement of the male and female Rolex World Sailor of the Year, the recipients of the President's Development Award and Beppe Croce Trophy will be announced.
The President's Development Award is awarded to an individual for their work or involvement in developing the sport of sailing nationally or internationally. Previous winners have been integral in the development of their national sailing authority, increased the participation of the sport and developed a sustainable framework for future growth.
The Federazione Italiana Vela presented the trophy to World Sailing in memory of Beppe Croce, World Sailing President from 1969–1986. The Beppe Croce Trophy is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of sailing. The Beppe Croce Trophy roll of honour is an impressive one, including multiple Olympic medallists, racing rules gurus and designers.