Ben Ainslie Victorious
Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Lijia Xu (CHN) were named ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year for 2012 on Nov. 6, in Dublin, Ireland. The 130 Member National Authorities of ISAF picked the winners from the short-list of five male and four female sailors.
The 35-year-old Ainslie now has four World Sailor of the Year awards to add to his four Olympic gold medals (and one silver). At the ceremony, Ainslie said:
“Winning the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year award is a huge honour, especially for everyone who has helped me. There is a huge team in the background from family, friends, coaches and sponsors who helped make it happen. It is an honour to be part of such a group of exceptional sailors who were put forward for this award.”
Click here to read more about Ainslie’s gold medal at this year’s Olympics.
Daniel Forster photo
The 25-year__-old Xu (above) became the first Chinese sailor to win an Olympic Gold medal in a dinghy this year, in the Laser Radial class. Xu said:
“Sailing has given me the chance to chase my dreams and the stage to show my potential. It has provided me with the opportunity to see, feel and explore the world. Sailing leads me to a path of a better life, a life full of vitality, excitement and joyful experiences.”
The other nominees were:**
Mathew Belcher & Malcolm Page (AUS) – Men’s 470 – London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallists, 2011 and 2012 World Champions & 2011-12 ISAF Sailing World Cup Champions
Nathan Outteridge & Iain Jensen (AUS)** – 49er – London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallists & 2011 and 2012 World Champions
Loïck Peyron (FRA) – Outright Around the World Record
Tom Slingsby (AUS) – Laser – London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist & 2011 and 2012 World Champion
Tamara Echegoyen, Angela Pumariega and Sofía Toro (ESP) – Women’s Match Racing – London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallists
Helena Lucas (GBR) – 2.4mR – London 2012 Paralympic Gold Medallist and 2011-12 ISAF Sailing World Cup Champion
Saskia Sills (GBR) – RS:X – ISAF Youth Sailing World Champion & European Youth Champion
Click here to read more about the awards on the ISAF website.