Giles Scott

British World Champions make World Sailor award shortlist

Written by RYA | 01 October 2014

British Finn and kiteboard World Champions in the running for coveted world award

World and European Champion and world number one sailor Giles Scott will have his eyes on one more prize this year, having been named today in the shortlist for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards for 2014.  

Scott is one of five male nominees for the coveted award, with the three female nominees also including British kiteboard racing World Champion Steph Bridge.  

Launched 20 years ago, the awards are recognised as the pinnacle award a sailor can receive in recognition of his or her outstanding achievements by the world of sailing.

They are presented every November to one male and one female sailor, with this year’s glittering ceremony taking place in Palma de Mallorca, on the evening of Tuesday 4 November.  

The 27-year-old Scott has dominated the Finn class over the past 12 months, since his return to the Olympic heavyweight dinghy following a stint with the Luna Rossa America’s Cup team.  

He was quick to stamp his authority in the fleet, taking a EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup win in La Rochelle last October to kick-start his winning run, which now extends to seven key international regattas, nine in total, including victory at the World Championship last month in Santander.

Scott’s form also saw him win the European Championships and the Rio Test Event, taking unassailable winning margins into the final day medal races.  

Other shortlisted male nominees are Australia’s 470 duo Mat Belcher and Will Ryan, New Zealand 49er pairing Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, America’s Cup-winning skipper James Spithill (AUS) and USA’s Bill Hardesty, 2014 Etchells World Champion and 2013 Melges 20 World Champion.  

“It’s very flattering to be named alongside some amazing sailors in the Awards shortlist,” the Portland-based Scott admitted.

“I’ve had a fantastic season since my return to the Finn this time last year, and this nomination is recognition not only for that, but for me is also a ‘thanks’ to my family, my coach, my teammates and all the guys in the British Sailing Team who have all helped and supported me.”  

Scott continued: “It would be a huge honour for my name to appear on the trophy alongside some legends of our sport, but it’ll be a tough call to choose between such different sailors who have all done amazing things within their own disciplines. 

“I’m really looking forward to the evening, whatever the outcome!”

Exmouth’s Steph Bridge joins two other nominations on the female shortlist, earning her place with a dominant performance at the 2014 Formula Kite Racing Worlds to retain her Women’s Course Racing World crown – her fourth in total.  

Bridge will be up against France’s RS:X windsurfing World Champion Charline Picon, and Brazil’s 49erFX World Champions Martine Grael and Kahene Kunze for the women’s World Sailor of the Year honour.

The ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs) – the national governing bodies for sailing around the world – will now be invited to vote for the one female nominee and one male nominee whom they feel deserves the honour of receiving the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award 2014 on 4 November.

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