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24 May 2007, 02:46 pm
Winners Announced At 2007 Australian Yachting Awards
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Yachting Australia News

Yachting Australia's 2007 Australian Yachting Awards were held on Thursday at Le Montage in Leichhardt/Lilyfield, Sydney in a black tie event attended by over 200 guests from across Australia and hosted by Channel 9 personality Karl STEFANOVIC. Awards were presented in six categories, with Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY scooping the Male Sailor of the Year Award and Sarah BLANCK winning the Female Award.
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The Awards went to:

  • Male Sailor of the Year: Darren BUNDOCK (North Avoca, NSW) and Glenn ASHBY (Strathfieldsaye, VIC)
  • Female Sailor of the Year: Sarah BLANCK (Sandringham, VIC)
  • OAMPS Insurance Brokers Youth Sailor of Year: Belinda KERL (Mosman Park, WA) and Chelsea HALL (Shoalwater, WA)
  • Sailor of the Year with a Disability: Paul BORG (Paynesville, VIC) and Kylie FORTH (Kununoppin, WA)
  • Services to Yachting: Doug JARVIS (South Geelong, VIC), Michael FLETCHER (Drummoyne, NSW), Phil VARDY (Yagoona, NSW) and John WINNING (Watsons Bay, NSW)
  • Media Award: Vanessa DUDLEY (Cammeray, NSW), Lisa RATCLIFF (Bayview, NSW) and Di PEARSON (Watsons Bay, NSW)

Awards were presented by Greg NANCE - Director of National Sport Programme - Australian Sport Commission, Andrew PLYMPTON - President of Yachting Australia, Bruce DICKSON - Chair of the National Sailability Committee and Rod Hughes - OAMPS Insurance Brokers National Affinity Manager.

Sailing winners were selected based on their performances and achievements during the period of 1 April 2006 through to 15 March 2007. Services to Yachting and the Media Award recognize longer term contributions to the sport.

A Formidable Force

Australian Sailing Team members, BUNDOCK and ASHBY have only been competing together since 2005 but in that time they have become a formidable force in the Tornado class. In 2006 they won the Princess Sofia Trophy, Kiel Week, and the Tornado World Championships whilst coming in second place at the Holland Regatta, Tornado European Championships and the Tornado South American Championships. In 2007 they have already won the Rolex Miami OCR, the Princess Sofia Trophy and the Tornado European Championships. These wins have all contributed to the pair's ISAF world #1 ranking in the Tornado class.

BUNDOCK and ASHBY were unable to attend the Awards as they are currently competing at the Holland Regatta in Medimblik.

Former Europe class World Champion, BLANCK switched to the Laser Radial class in 2005 after being the highest placed Australian sailor at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games with a fourth in the Europe class. In 2006, the 30 year old won a bronze medal at the ISAF World Sailing Games, won the Laser Radial class at the Sydney International Regatta and the Australian Laser Radial Championships. She is currently ranked #4 in the world in the Laser Radial class and is co-captain of the Australian Sailing Team. BLANCK, who is set to head over to Europe in the next few days to compete at the Laser Europeans last night said, 'It is always an honour to be recognized by your peers at this Awards night and I am glad that I was able to be here in person to accept this award.'

OAMPS Insurance Brokers Youth Sailors of the Year winners KERL and HALL have been sailing together for only a short time, however the 17 year olds have accomplished a great deal. The West Australians were crowned the 2006 Australian Women's and Youth 420 Champions as well as winning gold at the 2006 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in the 420 class. Both are members of the WA Institute of Sport Sailing Squad and were named 2006 Yachting Western Australia's Youth Sailors of Year. Both KERL and HALL were members of the silver medal winning West Australian team at the 2007 Australian Youth Olympic Festival. KERL commented on her win, 'We were both very excited to be nominated for this award. We knew that the other sailors nominated in this category have also achieved very highly throughout the year so the competition was strong. To win the award over those sailors is a major boost in confidence for us.'

Sailor of the Year with a Disability winners, BORG and FORTH won the 2006 Homerus International Championships held in Imperia, Italy in May. This event was FORTH's first match racing event. In 2007, FORTH won the WA Access Class 303 Championship with Jess HARRISON while BORG won the Victorian Access Class 303 Championship. BORG was the recipient of the 2006 Australian Yachting Awards Sailor of the Year with a Disability with Don SCOTT. FORTH is a 20 year old blind amputee whilst BORG is the more experience blind sailor of the pair at 59 years of age. BORG said he was, 'Honoured to be recognized in this award for the second year in a row and even more so because this year I have a young new partner who has a big future in front of her.'

Services To Yachting Award

This year saw four recipients accept the Services to Yachting Award for their contribution to yachting in Australia over many years.

JARVIS was the driving force behind the Geelong based event, 'Festival of Sail', created in 1998. Seeing the huge potential in the event and the ability to make it greater, JARVIS travelled to Skandia Cowes Week in Great Britain to evaluate and learn from the event. From this, Skandia Geelong Week was born in 2004. The event has now grown to over 400 yachts, 4000 competitors, 100,000 visitors to the city of Geelong and an economic impact of $12.4M. This is all primarily due to the vision, passion and hard work of JARVIS.

FLETCHER has been an icon of the Olympic sailing arena for nearly three decades. He has participated in every Australian Olympic Team since 1972, several times as Head Coach and has personally coached crews to four Olympic medals including the silver medal won by Tornado pair BUNDOCK and John FORBES at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. In the last year in his capacity as Australian Sailing Team Tornado Coach he coached BUNDOCK and ASHBY to gold and silver medals at several ISAF Graded events including the ISAF World Sailing Games, the Tornado World Championships in Argentina, the Rolex Miami OCR and most recently the Princess Sofia Trophy.

For over 13 years, VARDY's name has been synonymous with disabled sailing. As the National Sailability Coordinator, he oversaw the incorporation of Sailability into every Australian state and territory as well as the 'sailing is for everybody' philosophy. During his eight years as Vice-President of the International Association of Disabled Sailing (IFDS) he made a considerable contribution to the international sailing scene for people with a disability. When he retired from IFDS in 2006, he was immediately appointed President of Sailability World.

WINNING is an accomplished sailor with wins at the 12 ft Skiff Australian and Interdominion Championships as well as being 18 ft Skiff World and Australian Champion. He has competed in some of the world's toughest ocean races including taking line honours at the 1976 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, winning the veterans division of the 50th Anniversary of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and contesting the Transpac Race. WINNING currently contributes greatly to the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race through donating his personal boat JBW to act as 'Radio Relay Vessel' as well as providing sponsorship for the event.

Media Award

The Media Award acknowledges the significant contribution journalists make to the positive promotion and enhanced publicity of the sport and this year saw three recipients accept the award.

DUDLEY has been sailing for over 37 years in classes ranging from skiffs to yachts as well as sitting on numerous boating committees. WINNING's first hand experience and passion for sailing gives her a better understanding of how to successfully promote the sport in a positive and thought provoking manner. Through her editorship at Australian Sailing, WINNING continues to promote 'small boats' and continually looks for and promotes new ideas and thinking in the sport.

RATCLIFF has been the CYCA Communications Manager for 11 years and in 2006 she was promoted to Media Director for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. In addition, she works tirelessly to promote the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy, Safety of Life at Sea Trust and community programs for the disadvantaged. Over the last decade, RATCLIFF has built up a good network amongst her media peers and is well respected.

PEARSON has more than 20 years experience in the yachting media industry. She has covered many facets of the sport from Sydney Hobart Yacht Races, 18 ft Skiff launches and America's Cup campaigns. More recently, PEARSON has been the Media Manager for the inaugural Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta and Skandia Geelong Week as well as co-editor of the Boating Oz. PEARSON is well known and liked amongst the yachting community and media covering the sport.

Lara Watts (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Australian sailors of the year Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY:© Mike Cleveland
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