Glenn Ashby, who skippered Emirates Team New Zealand to victory in the 35th America’s Cup this year, has been named as a finalist for the prestigious Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award.
The Olympic medallist and multiple World and Australian Champion was nominated from an elite field along with fellow finalists Peter Burling of New Zealand, who was Ashby’s helmsman aboard Team New Zealand, and French long distance sailors Thomas Coville and Armel Le Cléac’h. The winner will be announced at the World Sailing Awards in Mexico on 7 November.
Ashby, one of Australia’s most successful sailors, grew up in landlocked Bendigo learning to sail on a lake. He has come a long way since then, becoming recognised as a multihull specialist.
In June, Ashby provided the inspiration behind Team New Zealand’s comprehensive 7-1 win over Oracle Team USA, as well as driving the design team towards formulating a winning product.
This was redemption for Team New Zealand, who were defeated by Oracle Team USA in 2013, after giving up an 8-1 lead.
Australian Sailing President Matt Allen described Ashby as an outstanding sailor with great instinct and “an unbelievable knack for getting the most out of the boat and his crew”.
Ashby won a Silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, he is a 15-time World Champion across three multihull classes as well as a 10-time Australian A Class Champion. He is a dual America’s Cup winner, having served as head coach of BMW Oracle in 2010. He was named Australian Sailing’s Male Sailor of the Year in 2006.
If Ashby wins the Rolex World Sailor of the Year, he will become just the fourth Australian to win the award, after James Spithill (2014), Mat Belcher (2013) and Tom Slingsby (2010).
The Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards represents the highest form of recognition in sailing.