Finalists declared

Australian Sailing Awards finalists have to wait just one more month until the winners are revealed, with new inductees to the Sailing Hall of Fame.

05 October 2022


The finalists of the 2022 Australian Sailing Awards have been announced, with clubs, volunteers and Australian Sailing Team stars all in the running for recognition at the nation’s peak sailing awards.

In the Male and Female Sailor of the Year categories, finalists include world champions, Olympic gold medalists and Kiel Week champions.

Reigning ILCA 7 Olympic champion, Matt Wearn OAM, is a finalist in the Male Sailor of the Year category, having placed second at the Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta in Palma in April.

Tom Slingsby OAM has also been recognised as a finalist, with significant international wins across three classes during the awards season.


Chris Symonds, the 2021 Hansa 303 Doubles World Champion, rounds out the category and has been recognised for his significant achievements by being named as a finalist for both Male Sailor of the Year and Para Sailor of the Year categories.

Having previously won Female Sailor of the Year in 2012, Nina Curtis is no stranger to the Australian Sailing Awards. She’s been recognised once again as a finalist in the category for her winning results at multiple SailGP events during the season.

Zoe Thomson is the second of the finalists, having placed first in the ILCA 6 class at Sail Melbourne in January and finishing sixth at Kiel Week.

Mara Stransky is the third finalist included in the Female Sailor of the Year category, with a current world ranking of three and the 2022 Kiel Week trophy under her belt.

Albert Park Yacht Club is the first of the finalists recognised in the Club of the Year category, having demonstrated an inclusive and positive culture, run numerous community programs and doubling their number of coaches in the awards period.

Another club successfully running a variety of inclusive community programs, Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron has hosted three national championship and eight state championship events in the last 12 months.

Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club is the last of the finalists in the Club of the Year category, leading keelboat participation in NSW and successfully running a Sailing Academy which operates on-water six days a week.

The Volunteer of the Year category is also hotly contested this year, with several incredible nominations whittled down to just three – a near impossible task.

Peter Kinsman (VIC), Jennifer Potter (TAS) and Andy and Alison Byne (WA) have all been named as finalists for the national award, with their selfless service, passion and optimism benefitting their local sailing communities to no end.

The winners of each category will be announced at the National Sailing Awards on 4 November at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney. Three new inductees to the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame will also be announced at the Gala Dinner.

Full list of Australian Sailing Awards finalists:

Male Sailor of the Year

  • Tom Slingsby OAM (Woollahra Sailing Club, NSW)
  • Chris Symonds (Wynyard Yacht Club/Australian Hansa Class Association Inc/Sailability Tasmania, TAS)
  • Matt Wearn OAM (Royal Perth Yacht Club/Fremantle Sailing Club, WA)

Female Sailor of the Year

  • Nina Curtis (Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, NSW)
  • Mara Stransky (Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron/Queensland Laser Association, QLD)
  • Zoe Thomson (Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, WA)

Youth Sailor of the Year

  • Ben Hinks & Carter Baker (Largs Bay Sailing Club/Brighton & Seacliff Sailing Club, SA 420 Association, SA)
  • Harry Joyner (Fremantle Sailing Club, WA)
  • Evie Saunders (Manly Yacht Club, NSW)

Para Sailor of the Year

  • Robert Crofts (Australian Hansa Class Association, WA)
  • Neil Rowsthorn (Southport Yacht Club, QLD)
  • Chris Symonds (Wynyard Yacht Club/Australian Hansa Class Association Inc/Sailability Tasmania, TAS)

Offshore Sailor of the Year

  • Matt Allen AM (Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW)
  • Lisa Blair (Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW)
  • Rob Gough & John Saul (Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania/Sandy Bay Sailing Club/Derwent Sailing Squadron/Woollahra Sailing Club, TAS)

Coach of the Year

  • Carolijn Brouwer & Ben Walkemeyer (Australian Sailing Team/Fremantle Sailing Club, NSW/WA)
  • Ben Durham (Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, WA)
  • Jack Lewis (Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club/Victorian International Optimist Association, VIC)

Club of the Year

  • Albert Park Yacht Club (VIC)
  • Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club (NSW)
  • Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron (QLD)

Volunteer of the Year

  • Andy and Alison Byne (Safety Bay Yacht Club, WA)
  • Peter Kinsman (Rye Yacht Club, VIC)
  • Jennifer Potter (Sandy Bay Sailing Club, TAS)

Instructor of the Year

  • Scott Davis (Cairns Yacht Club Inc QLD)
  • Holly Hunt (Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, WA)
  • Zoe Morris (Somers Yacht Club, VIC)

Official of the Year

  • Andre Blasse (Black Rock Yacht Club/Australian OK Dinghy Association, VIC)
  • Marcus Cooper (Henley Sailing Club, International 505, SA)
  • Hugh Leicester (Middle Harbour Amateur Sailing Club Inc, Manly 16-foot Skiff Sailing Club, NSW)

Sport Promotion Award

  • Nick Bez (Windsurfer Class Association of Australia, VIC)
  • Mike Middleton (Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, QLD)
  • Melvyn Steiner (Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto, NSW)

Sport Professional Award

  • Hayley Clark (Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, WA)
  • Michael Robinson (Keppel Bay Sailing Club, QLD)
  • Madeline Salter (Adelaide Sailing Club, SA)

SheSails Award

  • Louise Edwards (Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club, SA)
  • Mooloolaba Women’s Regatta (Mooloolaba Yacht Club, QLD)
  • Shelley White (Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, WA)

Sustainability Award

  • Australia SailGP Team (Australia SailGP Team, NSW)
  • Chris Havre (Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, VIC)
  • Marine Environment Committee (Fremantle Sailing Club, WA)

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