Top trophy for Tillett

David Tillett AM awarded World Sailing’s Beppe Croce Trophy.

14 November 2022


Prominent Australian sailing administrator David Tillett AM has been awarded World Sailing’s prestigious Beppe Croce Trophy which honours an individual for their outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of sailing.

Tillet was presented with the Trophy at the World Sailing Annual Conference in Abu Dhabi, becoming just the second Australian to receive the honour after David Kellett AM was recognised in 2014.

“It’s a huge honour,” said Tillett on receiving the Award.

“We have a previous winner of this award from Australia in David Kellett, and to join him in being a winner of sailing’s most prestigious award is a huge honour for me and a real surprise.”


Tillett, 68, has spent the last 30 years making the big calls at the top rungs of international sailing as both an umpire and jury chairman.

His list of accomplishments is long. He has been involved in eight America’s Cups, five Olympic Games and five Volvo Ocean Races as an Umpire, Jury member and/or Jury Chair.

He has also made a significant contribution to World Sailing, having sat on their Racing Rules Committee (2000-12), Constitution Committee (Member 2012-present, Chairman 2020-present) and as a Council Member from 1998-2017.

“David has given so much to the sport of sailing,” said World Sailing Vice President Sarah Kenny.

“In addition to his list of volunteer roles, David is a wonderful mentor and very generous in giving his time and sharing his experience with others. He is a credit to the sport, our country and a very worthy winner of the Award.”

In 2000 David was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for services to national and international sailing including judging, umpiring and administration, and in the 2014 Australia Day Honours he received an Order of Australia (AM) for his significant service to the sport of sailing.

“On behalf of the Board of Australian Sailing, I would like to congratulate David on this honour,” said Australian Sailing President Alistair Murray AM. “David continues to be one of the most active volunteers and is a wonderful ambassador for our sport, both at home and abroad.”

Tillet has not slowed down, as he remains actively involved in the sport including his roles as Chair of the international Jury for the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and Chair of the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame Selection Panel among many others.

It was a great night for Australia, with the Australia SailGP Team also taking out World Sailing’s Team of the Year Award.

Team Australia remains the only team to have lifted the SailGP trophy, winning it in both Seasons 1 and 2. Skippered by 2021 Rolex World Sailor of the Year Tom Slingsby, and featuring four America’s Cup winners, and 2022 Australian Female Sailor of the Year Finalist Nina Curtis, Team Australia currently leads season 3 of SailGP and could be on course to win their third successive championship.

World Sailing’s prestigious award, the Beppe Croce Trophy, is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of sailing. In memory of Beppe Croce, the World Sailing President from 1969–1986, the Federazione Italiana Vela presented the Trophy to World Sailing and it was awarded for the first time in 1988.

The roll of honour is an impressive one, including multiple Olympic medallists, rules gurus and designers, and all have dedicated an outstanding amount of time to the sport of sailing. Recipients are presented with a replica trophy. From 2004 to 2008 S.Pellegrino joined World Sailing as the Official Supplier of mineral water and supporter of the Beppe Croce Trophy and the trophy was presented at a prestigious dinner during the Mid-Year Meeting. Since, the Beppe Croce Trophy has been presented at World Sailing’s Annual Conference.

See a full list of winners from this year’s World Sailing Awards here.

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