On 7 February this year, MACARTHUR carved a unique place in history by crossing the finishing line off the coast of Brittany to set a new single-handed round the world non-stop record. She sliced more than a day off Francis JOYON's (FRA) time set in 2004, to finish in 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds, achieving an average speed of 12.66 knots over the 27,354 nautical mile course.
Reports of her roller-coaster ride through the world's oceans proved compelling for a captivated global audience, as MACARTHUR recounted the pressures of pushing her boat at full throttle while battling against extreme fatigue, equipment failure, violent storms, injury and isolation. When she arrived back in Great Britain, she was greeted by thousands of supporters and was promptly made a Dame by HM Queen Elizabeth II.
|The Rolex ISAF World Sailor
of the Year Award adds another
success to Ellen MACARTHUR's
A few weeks later, she also set a new SNSM (St. Nazaire to St. Malo) crewed maxi record on board B&Q, although an attempt on the Transatlantic record from New York to Lizard, Great Britain last month had to be abandoned due to unsuitable weather conditions.
MACARTHUR is currently racing in the 2005 Transat Jacques Vabres with her friend Roland 'Bilou' JOURDAIN (FRA) on the Open 60 Sill et Veolia but found time to express her surprise and delight at scooping the Award for the second time.
'I would like to say thank you to ISAF, its sponsor and its members for this Award. I was fortunate enough to have received this Award in 2001 and it is as much of a surprise and honour to me now as it was back then. The International Sailing Federation provides a great service to the world of sailing, by utilising the 117 Member Nations it continues to promote sailing by raising its profile and encouraging as many people as possible to become involved in this sport. I would also like to congratulate the other sailors who have been nominated for the Female Award. They are at the forefront of their own sailing discipline and I feel privileged to be nominated along side them.'
Tornado sailors Fernando ECHAVARRI and Antón PAZ continued in 2005 where they left off the previous year and have enjoyed an extraordinary twelve months, starting with victory at the ISAF Grade 2 Barcelona Olympic Sailing Week in March where they won five of the nine races. In May, they took the gold medal at the ISAF Grade 1 Holland Regatta then followed it up the following month by winning the ISAF Grade W Tornado World Championship.
In August, they reinforced their credentials as the most exciting talent on the Tornado circuit by adding the ISAF Grade C1 Tornado European Championship title to their portfolio and as a result accumulated more points to boost their ISAF World Sailing Ranking position. Through the nomination period they climbed steadily to the top spot, making it theirs on 29 June.
and Antón PAZ have been
unbeatable in 2005 with the
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of
the Year Award capping an
incredible twelve months for
the Spanish pair
Speaking on their Award victory, ECHAVARRI commented, 'First and foremost, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the ISAF and Rolex. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation, Galician Sailing Federation, Athlete Help Programme and our main sponsor Movistar.
This is a very special day for us. We feel proud to be included among the great figures of world sailing and to be awarded as the best in 2005. It is going to be hard to keep up this pace.
Right now, Spain is on top of sailing thanks to events such as the Volvo Ocean Race and the America's Cup. The fact that a Spanish Olympic crew has now won the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award will certainly help to further promote the sport.
We grew up reading and admiring about the achievements of the winners of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards. Now, it'll be very cool to read our names in the list. The achievements of our 2005 season will not be forgotten.'
The Awards Presentation was hosted by distinguished triple Olympic medallist and multiple World Champion Alessandra SENSINI of Italy and attended by more than 500 hundred guests from 50 nations, including international sailors and prominent personalities from the sailing world. Presenting the Awards were ISAF President of Honour HM King Constantine and Claudio MARIANI of Rolex Singapore.
The winners were each presented with a Rolex timepiece and the marble and silver World Sailor Trophy - a solid marble sphere depicting the world and crowned by five silver spinnakers representing the continents.
The other nominees for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2005 were:
Look out for a full story on the Awards Presentation and Dinner on www.sailing.org tomorrow.