Sailing superstars

Team New Zealand's Peter Burling has won Male World Sailor of the Year award, and Marit Bouwmeester has won Female World Sailor of the Year.

New Zealand sailor Peter Burling has won the World Sailor of the Year award for a second time, beating out team mate and skipper Glenn Ashby.

The victory follows a year where he played a key role in Team New Zealand winning the America’s Cup.

It follows his victory in 2015, which he claimed alongside Kiwi 49er teammate Blair Tuke, putting Burling alongside Sir Russell Coutts as New Zealand sailors to have won the award more than once.

The awards ceremony was held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, but Burling could not attend due to his commitments with Team Nobel, who are currently participating in the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.

“It’s a massive honour again and it’s been an amazing year for the sport,” Burling said via a video link.

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Dutch sailor Marit Bouwmeester took out the Female World Sailor of the Year.

Bouwmeester is currently the holder of three major titles; the Olympic, Worlds and European Laser Radial Championships.

She beat out other nominees Sarah-Quita Offringa, Tara Pacheco and the team of Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze.

“I’m just a girl from Friesland, north of Netherlands,” she commented.

“I have always had big dreams and I didn’t just want to go to the Olympics but I wanted to win a gold medal and dominate the sport of sailing, being the best sailor there is. People laughed at me because at that time, I wasn’t even ranked in the top 20.

“I guess if you enjoy what you do and if you work hard and stay dedicated then dreams do come true. I want to spread the message to the young and the old, to follow their dreams.”

For the first time in 2017, the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards were incorporated into the inaugural World Sailing Awards.

sailing.org

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