Andy GREEN (GBR), who led from the start, beat fellow America's Cup yachtsman Jochen SCHUEMANN (GER) in the final of the 2003 Laureus Regatta on Tuesday.
Green, who was one of the starting helmsmen of the GBR Challenge for the 2002-03 America's Cup, never lost his grip on the regatta's deciding race as strong winds of around 18 knots whipped up after a calm morning.
Green had advanced to the last stage by beating Paolo CIAN (ITA) 2-0 in a best-of-three semi-final while SCHUEMANN, a four-times Olympic medallist and a key member for Alinghi in the America's Cup, won through 2-0 against former Olympic champion Thierry PEPONNET (FRA). Former Olympic champion PEPONNET, twice a competitor in the America's Cup, later clinched the third-place playoff.
The regatta was one of several high-profile sports events staged in the lead-up to the fourth annual Laureus World Sports Awards, which was held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo on the evening of May 20.
"What a couple of days!"
said Green, who received the Panerai Trophy and a sparkling new Mercedes CLK200 Cabriolet, while each yacht owner collected a specially crafted limited edition Officine Panerai watch. "Last night at the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation (charity auction) dinner, it was a very big deal, hearing how sport can do so much good. It's great to be part of the Laureus event. Then to cap it all today was fantastic. Beating Jochen SCHUEMANN in the final and winning a Mercedes was the perfect end to a great couple of days."
Schuemann was a gracious losing finalist: "That's the thing about sport. The best always shine at the right moment. Andy got a perfect start and continued to hold on to it."
The Laureus Regatta, presented by Mercedes-Benz AMG and the Italian watch company Officine Panerai, is dedicated to Laureus World Sports Academy member Sir Peter Blake, who died tragically in 2001 after being attacked by pirates on a sailing expedition to the Amazon.
The match-racing Laureus Regatta, which is sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation and organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco from Le Meridien Monte Carlo, took place in Nautor's new One Design Class, the Swan 45. The competing skippers moved around the boats, which were hosted by equally celebrated yachtsmen. Celebrities and Laureus Hosts will had the opportunity to take part in the action.
The Awards Ceremony at the Grimaldi Forum provides a fitting climax to two days of high-profile events, which, in addition to the Laureus Regatta, include the Laureus Golf Challenge, presented by Mercedes-Benz and English luxury men's brand dunhill, and the Laureus Tennis Challenge, featuring Boris BECKER, John MCENROE, Henri LECONTE and Ilie NASTASE.