ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year Announced
Sanya, China (November 10, 2015) – The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and Rolex announced Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) as well as Sarah Ayton (GBR), are the 2015 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year. The award ceremony took place the ISAF Annual Conference.
Currently preparing for the 49er Worlds, the Kiwi pair could not attend the ceremony but commenting on their win from Buenos Aires, Tuke said, “It is a really big honour for us to win this award. We don’t sail and race to win these awards, but it is really nice to get these accolades for all the hard work we put in. We are really proud to have won.
“All the nominees have achieved some awesome things this year in our sport, especially Ian Walker for winning the Volvo Ocean Race. We’ve been working hard all year and the results have come our way, not only in the 49er, but also in the other boats we sail. So we are looking ahead and keeping the hammer down towards the Olympics and then towards bringing the Cup back to New Zealand.”
Ayton, a double Olympic gold medalist, is the only female competing on the Extreme Sailing Series. “It means such a lot to me to have won the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award. I’m truly touched and proud. I hope to continue being an inspiration to women, young children and individuals who enjoy the sport that we love so much.”
Peter Burling & Blair Tuke (NZL)
When nominated for the 2014 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) were labelled as sailing’s hottest properties. One year on and that tag is as relevant as ever as they continue to dominate anything sail powered.
A run of 20 consecutive 49er regattas spearheads their nomination, including victories at the 2015 Aquece Rio, Olympic Test event, ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres and Weymouth and Portland as well as Trofeo Princesa Sofia.
Alongside their Olympic campaign the pair have become the leading lights of Emirates Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup World Series. A second at the first leg in Portsmouth, Great Britain turned into victory a few weeks in Gothenburg, Sweden to give them the overall advantage.
If the America’s Cup and Olympic Games wasn’t enough to whet their appetite, Burling dominated the Moth World Championships early in 2015 to take the title with Tuke following in sixth.
Sarah Ayton (GBR)
The golden girl of British Olympic Sailing turned superstar of the Extreme Sailing Series, Sarah Ayton has shone throughout the 2015 series successfully guiding The Wave, Muscat to five victories from seven regattas. As the only female crew member in the Extreme Sailing Series fleet the strong presence of the two-time Olympic gold medallists has been felt. Her strategic ability has seen her rise to the top calling tactics on The Wave, Muscat.
Just one regatta remains in the 2015 Extreme Sailing Series in Sydney, Australia and with Ayton’s experience led by helm Leigh McMillan the champagne could well be on ice.