World Sailor of the Year

Vote now for the 2017 Rolex World Sailor of the Year.

06 November 2017


World Sailing is now inviting the sailing community, sports fan and the public to vote for one male and one female who they think should be crowned 2017 Rolex World Sailor of the Year.

Australia’s 2017 America’s Cup-winning skipper, Glenn Ashby is one of four nominees in the male category. Ashby guided Emirates Team New Zealand to a comprehensive 7-1 win in the 35th America’s Cup, at Bermuda in June.

Public voting is open for a 72-hour period and will close on Tuesday 7 November at 17:59 CST, 23:59 UTC, just hours before the announcement at the inaugural World Sailing Awards in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards is the most prestigious award of recognition in the dynamic sport of sailing. Since the awards’ inception in 1994, the trophy has proudly accumulated the names of those who have demonstrated unparalleled, performance, endurance and accomplishment in sailing.

Nominees for the Rolex World Sailor of the Year feature sailors drawn from the America’s Cup, Vendée Globe, Windsurfing, Offshore and Olympic Class racing, highlighting the breadth and depth of the sport.


The Nominees are:


  • Marit Bouwmeester (NED) – 2017 Laser Radial World Champion
  • Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) – 49erFX World Cup Series Champions
  • Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU) – 2017 Pro Windsurfers Association World Tour Freestyle World Champion
  • Tara Pacheco (helmed by Fernando Echavarri) (ESP) – Nacra 17 World Cup Series Champions


  • Glenn Ashby (AUS) – America’s Cup winning Skipper
  • Peter Burling (NZL) – America’s Cup winning Helmsman
  • Thomas Coville (FRA) – Singlehanded Round the World Record holder
  • Armel Le Cleac’h (FRA) – 2016-2017 Vendée Globe winner


Alongside the public vote, World Sailing’s Member National Authorities and an on-night vote will decide who will receive the unique marble and silver trophy depicting the globe, crowned with five silver spinnakers representing the continents, together with a Rolex timepiece.

For the first time in 2017, the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards is incorporated into the inaugural World Sailing Awards. Ahead of the presentation, the recipients of the President’s Development Award and Beppe Croce Trophy will be announced.

Previous recipients of the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award include:

  • 2016 Santiago Lange (ARG), Hannah Mills & Saskia Clark (GBR).
  • 2015 Peter Burling & Blair Tuke (NZL), Sarah Ayton (GBR)
  • 2014 James Spithill (AUS), Martine Grael & Kahena Kunze (BRA)
  • 2013 Mat Belcher (AUS), Jo Aleh & Polly Powrie (NZL)
  • 2012 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Lijia Xu (CHN)
  • 2011 Iker MartÍnez & Xabier Fernández (ESP), Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
  • 2010 Tom Slingsby (AUS), Blanca Manchón (ESP)
  • 2009 Torben Grael (BRA), Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
  • 2008 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Alessandra Sensini (ITA)
  • 2007 Ed Baird (USA), Claire Leroy (FRA)
  • 2006 Mike Sanderson (NZL), Paige Railey (USA)
  • 2005 Fernando Echávarri & Antón Paz (ESP), Ellen MacArthur (GBR)
  • 2004 Robert Scheidt (BRA), Sofia Bekatorou & Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE)
  • 2003 Russell Coutts (SUI), Siren Sundby (NOR)
  • 2002 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Sofia Bekatorou & Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE)
  • 2001 Robert Scheidt (BRA), Ellen MacArthur (GBR)
  • 2000 Mark Reynolds & Magnus Liljedahl (USA), Shirley Robertson (GBR)
  • 1999 Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), Margriet Matthijse (NED)
  • 1998 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Carolijn Brouwer (NED)
  • 1997 Pete Goss (GBR), Ruslana Taran & Elena Pakholchik (UKR)
  • 1996 Jochen Schümann (GER), Lai Shan Lee (HKG)
  • 1995 Russell Coutts (NZL), Isabelle Autissier (FRA)
  • 1994 Peter Blake (NZL) & Robin Knox-Johnston (GBR), Theresa Zabell (ESP)
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