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17 August 2001, 04:19 pm
Sponsorship Announced Today
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Rolex Sponsors ISAF World Sailor of the Year Awards

Today, 17 August, ISAF and Rolex announced a five-year sponsorship contract for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards. The World Sailor of the Year Awards recognise outstanding achievement in the sport across all disciplines.
from dinghies to offshore, windsurfers to multihulls. The Awards are presented annually to the one male and one female sailor or team, who have been nominated and voted by the world of sailing as the year's outstanding sailors.

The World Sailor of the Year Awards are acknowledged as the pinnacle award of recognition in the sport, presented to sailors by sailors.

ISAF is delighted that, after many years of involvement within sailing, Rolex has now further solidified its commitment to the sport through direct sponsorship of the World Sailor of the Year Awards. Rolex becomes the title sponsor in the eighth year of the Awards, first held in 1994. As in past years, 2001 will see many sailors vying for the coveted male and female titles.

The sailors awarded the accolade ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year will not only receive the World Sailor of the Year Trophy, but will also be presented with a specially engraved Rolex timepiece.

Rolex has a long tradition of acknowledging outstanding and extraordinary individuals who have excelled in their chosen sport. Rolex's involvement in this award, which recognises the contribution of high achievers to the sport, is a natural development of its longstanding association with the world of sailing, a world which Rolex believes reflects its values of endurance, performance and enterprise.

The nominees and winners over past years reflect many of the highest achievers in the sport, with the World Sailor of the Year winners' roll call reading:

Mark Reynolds & Magnus Liljedahl (USA)
Shirley Robertson (GBR)
Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL)
Margriet Matthijse (NED)
Ben Ainslie (GBR)
Carolijn Brouwer (NED)
Pete Goss (GBR)
Ruslana Taran & Elena Pakholchik (UKR)
Jochen Schümann (GER)
Lee-Lai Shan (HKG)
Russell Coutts (NZL)
Isabelle Autissier (FRA)
Peter Blake (NZL) & Robin Knox Johnston (GBR)
Theresa Zabell (ESP)

On announcing the sponsorship, ISAF President Paul Henderson commented:
"ISAF is proud to be associated with a company as prestigious as Rolex and looks forward to a long and beneficial relationship."

Rolex commenced its support of sailing in the early 1980's, and the sport sits alongside golf, tennis and equestrianism as one of Rolex's primary sporting associations.

2001 will see the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards presented in Lisbon, Portugal on Tuesday 13 November 2001.

For further information contact:
Luissa Smith, ISAF Secretariat.
Tel:+44 2380 635111 Fax:+44 2380 635789.
Email: Web:
Susannah Bourne, The Strategic Organisation (on behalf of Rolex). Tel:+44 20 7228 8800 Fax:+44 20 7228 8899
Email: Web:

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