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11 November 2008, 10:59 pm
Alessandra SENSINI And Ben AINSLIE Crowned 2008 ISAF Rolex World Sailors Of The Year
Alessandra SENSINI and Ben AINSLIE
Alessandra SENSINI and Ben AINSLIE, the 2008 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards winners

ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2008

ISAF and Rolex are proud to announce that the female and male winners of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2008 are Alessandra SENSINI and Ben AINSLIE.
The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards are recognized as the highest honour a sailor may receive in recognition of his/her outstanding achievements by the world of sailing.

"It's so difficult to describe my feelings in this moment," said Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) upon being named the female ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year. "It's an honour to stand on the same stage as the best sailors in the world and receive this recognition. I remember seeing the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and dreaming of being on the podium with my country's flag. I've now completed five Olympics, that's 20 years of adapting to new technologies and changes and to be here now, tonight, is so important and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart."

Ben AINSLIE (GBR) made history once again this evening as the first person ever to have won the Award three times in his career. "Like Alessandra I would like to give a big thank you from my heart to everyone who made this happen," Ainslie said, gesturing to his parents and his sister who joined him at the Award ceremony. When asked what his plans are for the future Ainslie's ambitions were clear: "The next goal for Britain is to try for the America's Cup- we have a great British team. There are a lot of America's Cup heroes in this room and we hope to see you on the water in the near future," he added with a smile.

Full report to follow later today...

The nominees for the 2008 Awards were:

Female Nominees

Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB & Pippa WILSON (GBR)
Claire LEROY (FRA)
Alessandra SENSINI (ITA)

Male Nominees

Francis JOYON (FRA)
Vincenzo ONORATO (ITA)

Find out more about the Awards, the 2008 nominees, past winners and more at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards microsite -

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