On Saturday 6 November, Yachting Australia announced the winners of the 2004 Yachting Awards at a small function at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.
For the third time straight Tornado sailors Darren BUNDOCK and John FORBES picked up the Male Sailor of the Year Award. Both were present on the night to accept the great honour.
Darren and John continue to be Australia's best Olympic class sailors having won the three biggest events in the Tornado class in 2003 - The World Championship, Pre-Olympics Regatta, the European Championship, and again the European Championship in the Canary Islands in 2004.
John now has an unprecedented six world titles and Darren has four! They have also won four of the last six European Championships (Mats Nyberg Trophy).
Nathan OUTTERIDGE again won the Youth Sailor of the Year Award. This is the second year in a row Nathan has been recognised for his outstanding achievements. Nathan's proud parents accepted the award on his behalf
Nathan has had an extremely successful year of sailing, winning two World Titles, four Australian Titles and six NSW State Titles, many of these in open competition. This achievement is even more creditable, as he did this with a number of different crews, whilst also managing to successfully complete his HSC and gain admission to University.
The highlight of the year was defending his ISAF World Youth Championship Title in Portugal and thus winning a second Gold Medal. In addition, finishing first Youth in the World 420 Championship and finishing third in the Open Championship in Melbourne, only to be beaten by two of his Olympic 470 team mates.
More recently Nathan has won his third Gold Medal in the Youth Championships in the ISAF World Youth Sailing Championship in Poland in the 420 class.
The Female Sailor of the Year Award was presented to Krystal WEIR at gala function at the Mordialloc Sailing Club in August.
Krystal has enjoyed a wonderful and successful year of sailing at an international level. It has been an extremely busy year for her, training and preparing for events, studying for her education, and still managing to find time to coach junior sailors at Yachting Victoria programs.
Some of Krystal's highlights include winning the Australian Laser Radial Championship in Geelong, and taking second at the 2003 ISAF Youth World Championship and the Laser Radial World Women's World Championship.
Daniel FITZGIBBON and Andrew HARTLEY were joint winners of the Disabled Sailor of the Year Award. Yachting Australia's CEO Phil JONES presented the men with their awards at the Richshaw's Australian & International Access Dinghy Championships in early October.
In his first Australian regatta since an accident left him a quadriplegic in 1997, Daniel FITZGIBBON took out the 2004 IFDS Single Person World Championship winning seven of the eight races. His return to competitive sailing signals his quest to win gold at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.
Andrew HARTLEY showed true determination when he became the second ventilator-dependent quadriplegic in the world to sail solo.
Andrew also competed in the 2004 IFDS Single-Person Dinghy World Championships, finishing a highly creditable third in his first race. Competing at this regatta saw Hartley become the only ventilated quadriplegic in history to compete in a world championship - in any sport.
Michael KELLY proudly accepted the Services to Yachting Award at the Victorian Yachting Awards in August.
Kelly has made an outstanding contribution to the sport of sailing. Acting in a volunteer capacity, Michael has been a dedicated and devoted Chairman of Skandia Geelong Week's Regatta Committee for five years over two periods.
Congratulations to all the 2004 winners.