SAILOR OF THE YEAR – America’s Cup sailors take four of the five places on the nominees list for the ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year Award (male).
Ben Ainslie (ORACLE TEAM USA, J.P. Morgan BAR), Nathan Outteridge (Artemis Racing), Loïck Peyron (Energy Team, Artemis Racing) and Tom Slingsby (ORACLE TEAM USA) are each nominated for the prestigious award.
While Peyron is being touted for his astounding, record-breaking circumnavigation, where he averaged 19.75 knots of boatspeed for 45 days, each of the other nominees is primarily being recognized for an Olympic gold medal performance at the Games this past summer.
Racing on home waters, Ainslie became the most decorated Olympic sailor in history by winning his fourth consecutive gold medal in the Finn class (to go with a silver medal at his first Olympic Games).
“It was a great feeling and a huge sense of relief, because to race in a home Olympics there were a lot of expectations,” Ainslie said. “Trying to get that fourth gold medal took quite a lot extra… But everyone was so excited about having the Olympics in London; it was a great event for the whole country.”
Outteridge, with crew Iain Jensen, dominated the 49er class, winning the gold medal with a race to spare and posting no finish outside the top ten in a very competitive field.
Slingsby was also masterful at the Olympic Games, winning four of the first five races in the Laser class to capture his gold medal without needing to sail the last race.
The presentation of the award will be made on Tuesday at the ISAF annual conference in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.