There is only one male and one female ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, who will not only win the coveted Rolex timepiece and trophy, but receive true recognition of their achievement from their peers across the world.
Nominations can be made by anyone and the only criteria are that sailors must have performed an "outstanding achievement in the sport" during the qualifying period of 1 September 2007 to 31 August 2008. Nominations should be sent in to ISAF by 10.00hrs (UTC) on Friday 5 September 2008 on the official form which can be found via www.sailing.org/worldsailor or via the link below.
A shortlist will be drawn up by ISAF from all of the nominations received at the ISAF Secretariat by the deadline and those sailors will go on to become the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2008 Nominees. The 126 ISAF Member National Authorities will then vote for one male and one female sailor who they believe merit the Awards.
The accomplishments of the sailors nominated each year are an inspiration - from windsurfers and dinghy sailors to offshore specialists, a nominee's achievements may be an exceptional series of regatta wins, a record breaking passage or a triumph against the odds. And, whilst there have already been some remarkable achievements in our sport since September 2007, with the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition rapidly approaching we are set to witness many more.
The winners will be announced at an Awards dinner on Tuesday 11 November in Madrid, Spain, host city for the ISAF Annual Conference. They will be presented with the unique marble and silver trophy depicting the globe, crowned with five silver spinnakers representing the continents, together with a personalized Rolex timepiece.
The past nominees and winners of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year include the highest achievers in the sport, with the winners' roll call reading:
2007 Ed BAIRD (USA) - Claire LEROY (FRA)
2006 Mike SANDERSON (NZL) - Paige RAILEY (USA)
2005 Fernando ECHAVARRI and Anton PAZ (ESP) - Ellen MACARTHUR (GBR)
2004 Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) - Sofia BEKATOROU and Emilia TSOULFA (GRE)
2003 Russell COUTTS (SUI) - Siren SUNDBY (NOR)
2002 Ben AINSLIE (GBR) - Sofia BEKATOROU and Emilia TSOULFA (GRE)
2001 Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) - Ellen MACARTHUR (GBR)
2000 Mark REYNOLDS and Magnus LILJEDAHL (USA) - Shirley ROBERTSON (GBR)
1999 Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ (POL) - Margriet MATTHIJSE (NED)
1998 Ben AINSLIE (GBR) - Carolijn BROUWER (NED)
1997 Pete GOSS (GBR) - Ruslana TARAN and Elena PAKHOLCHIK (UKR)
1996 Jochen SCHÜMANN (GER) - Lee-Lai SHAN (HKG)
1995 Russell COUTTS (NZL) - Isabelle AUTISSIER (FRA)
1994 Peter BLAKE (NZL) and Robin KNOX JOHNSTON (GBR) - Theresa ZABELL (ESP)
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Microsite - www.sailing.org/worldsailor