Wildwind Sponsored Y&Y Awards 2017 Winners Announced
After thousands of votes cast by readers of Yachts & Yachting magazine, the Wildwind sponsored 2017 Yachts & Yachting Awards were presented Thursday 12 January at the London Boat Show.
The event was held on the London Stage and was extremely well attended by sailing’s best and brightest.
Yachts & Yachting Editor, Georgie Corlett-Pitt, kicked off proceedings in front of a packed crowd, looking back at a spectacular year, which has seen innovations in kit and boats and some stellar performances from sailors and classes alike.
A combination of public vote and an expert panel of judges select the winners, which often sees an extremely tight battle for the top spot in all categories. This year, however, saw a number of clear winners. Perhaps the biggest winning margin went to the first winner of the night in the Event of the Year category. Ultimately it was the ‘greatest show on earth’ that took the win, the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio, for whom ISAF Vice President, Gary Jobson accepted the award on behalf of the many 100s of people who had worked long and hard to put together a standout Olympic competition this summer.
Another winner by a significant margin came next in the Racing Performance of the Year Award which went to Giles Scott for his impressive gold medal win at the Games in Rio. Giles is currently out in Bermuda training with Land Rover Ben Ainslie but sent his father, John Scott to receive the award on his behalf. “I’m not sure if Giles made the right call in asking me to say a few words as there is the danger I reveal some secrets about Giles in his absence,” commented John. “In seriousness Giles has asked me to mention his Coach Matt Howard who was instrumental in Giles winning his medal.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly in an Olympic year it was something of a golden night for athletes at the Games and the evening was rounded out with the acceptance of the British Marine Sailing Award which went to the British Paralympic Team for their many years of service to sailing. Britain’s four-time Sonar representative, Hannah Stodel received the trophy on behalf of the team. “It’s a real honour to receive this award on behalf, of myself, John [Robertson], Steve [Thomas], Alexandra [Rickman], Nikki [Birrel] and Helena [Lucas],” she said. Stodel also took the opportunity to emphasise the importance of Paralympic sailing as a whole and encouraged attendees to get behind the campaign to reinstate sailing in the Paralympic Games for 2024.
It has truly been a year of evolution for the marine industry and nowhere was this better reflected than in the Keelboat and Dinghy of the Year categories. The Melges 40 canting keeler is the largest boat the company has produced but also seems to include many features indicative of the direction of movement of design in the high-performance keelboat field. Meanwhile, the 2020 Olympic hopeful the foiling version of the Nacra 17 picked up the dinghy of the year award, a clear indication of the evolution of dinghy sailing in the last few years.
Yachts & Yachting magazine is now looking forward to reporting on the impressive feats, boats and kit in the year ahead. Below is the full list of winners from the Yachts & Yachting Awards 2017.
Kind thanks go to the Yacht & Yachting Awards sponsors: Astins Trophies, British Marine Sailing, Chart Art, Cream Cornwall, Clyde Challenger Clipper Yacht, Dream Yacht Charter, Marlow Ropes, Musto, Pantaenius Motor and Yacht Insurance, Plas Heli, Sea Sure, Tip Top Sail Laundry, Topsail Insurance, TridentUK, Wildwind.
Achievement of the Year - British Youth Sailing Team (EUROSAF Nations Cup winners)
Photo of the Year - Harry Kenney (Herbert)
Racing Performance - Giles Scott
Event of the Year - Olympic and Paralympic Games
Amateur Sailor - Katie Nurton
Performance Boat (Sportsboat) - Seascape 24
Performance Boat (Keelboat) - Melges 40
Dinghy of the Year - Foiling Nacra 17
Pro Sailor - Rob Greenhalgh
Youth Sailor - Emma Wilson
Equipment Innovation - Harken Spinnaker Retrieval Wheel
Kit Innovation - Musto BR2 Race Lite Jacket
British Marine Sailing Award - British Paralympic Sailing Team
Club of the Year - Ullswater YC
Lifetime Achievement - Mark Turner