'The influence of these men ranges from junior sailing through to Admirals Cup, Whitbread sailing and Americas Cup,' says Yachting New Zealand's Peter LESTER. 'They have been the unsung heroes for decades.'
Since Sailor of the Year was inaugurated in 1963 by the Govenor General at the time, the Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy has been presented to people from all aspects of the sport. Past winners include the late Sir Peter BLAKE, Peter MONTGOMERY, Team New Zealand and Barbara KENDALL.
Often the spotlight of the SYNERGI Travel Sailor of the Year falls on the exceptional on-the-water performances of yachting's competitive sailors, though each year Yachting New Zealand is reminded that the criteria of the Award seeks to recognise achievements in yachting in a much wider or broader sense.
The three men were surprised and delighted at the announcement which prompted the audience into an emotional standing ovation.
'I can't recall a response like it in the years that I've been involved with the Awards,' says previous winner and Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Peter Montgomery. 'The initiatives of these three men have collectively launched thousands of brilliant sailing careers in New Zealand.'
Excellence and tireless dedication in yachting was celebrated at the
Awards Dinner which was held at Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron on Saturday 20 November. The annual event is facilitated by Yachting New Zealand the National body for Yachting, and nominations are welcomed from yacht clubs around the Country.
A Yachting New Zealand convened judging panel consisting of internationally renowned yachting commentator Peter Montgomery, International Yachting Judge Richard Gladwell, and Yachting New Zealand's President Geoff Thorpe selected from nominees in the 5 award categories:
SYNERGI Travel Sailor of the Year
Young Sailor of the Year
Young Sailor of the Year 2004
Young Sailor of the Year 2004 went to both David ROBERTSON and the New Zealand Optimist Team to the World Championships 2004.
Robertson won the Mistral Youth World Championships 2004 and is a rising star to come from the breeding ground of the Kohimarama Yacht Club. David won the Mistral Youth World Championships in Bulgaria earlier this year which is historically a launching pad for future Olympic success with many past winners also succeeding at higher level.
The New Zealand Optimist Team to the World Championships 2004 includes Paul SNOW-HANSEN, Daniel WILLCOX, Susannah PYATT, Francisco LARDIES, Carl EVANS and Coaches Hamish WILLCOX and Matt DAVIES. This team won the Miami Herald Trophy at the 2004 World Championships in Ecuador this year as the top performing team. There were 53 countries there.
The 2004 team performed as a whole substantially better than any NZ team in the past and ensured awareness that the Kiwi's have made huge progress in Optimist sailing. The team was nominated by the New Zealand Internation Optimist Dinghy Association, Wakatere Boating Club and Murrays Bay Sailing Club.
Competition was fierce with Youth World Champs silver medalist in the Laser Radial Jo Aleh also a finalist nominee. Others included members of the Optimist team Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox nomintaed for the Award individually, New Zealand Youth Team Laser sailor Blair McLay, Kerikeri 420 sailor Reuben Corbett and Tauranga youngster Peter Burling.
Honour, Merit and President's Awards 2004
The Yachting New Zealnd Merit Award recognises acts or services over the past year, which either directly of indirectly have the effect of promotion, advancement, or betterment of the sport of yachting.
Yachting New Zealand Merit Awardees 2004
Andrew MURDOCH - for coaching services - Kerikeri Cruising Club
Dorothy KESTILA - Otago Yachtsperson of the Year 2004 - Port Chalmers Yacht Club, Dunedin
Daniel WILLCOX - Optimist Sailor - Murrays Bay Sailing Club & NZIODA
Hamish WILLCOX and Matt DAVIES - coaching - Murrays Bay Sailing Club & NZIODA
Paul SNOW-HANSEN- Optimist Sailor - Wakatere Boating Club & NZIODA
Stewart THWAITES - Keelboat Sailing
The Yachting New Zealand Honour Awards recognise outstanding sportsmanship or services to yachting at Club, Regional, National or International Level
Yachting New Zealand is delighted by the number of Honour Award nominations this year. All of those to receive the Honour Award are highly regarded within their respective Clubs who are grateful for the opportunity to formally recognise their work.
Yachting New Zealand Honour Awardees 2004
Arthur RADFORD - Evans Bay Yacht & Motor Boat Club
Brian SMITH - Hamilton Yacht Club
Carole & Stan PRICE - Waimakiriri Sailing & Powerboat Club
Glen CHURCH - Stewarts Gully Sailing Club
John HEFFORD - Marakura Yacht Club
Peter WEBSTER - Torbay Sailing Club
Rob BOND - Takapuna Boating Club
Tony SHIELDS - Kerikeri Cruising Club