Adrienne Cahalan and Darren Bundock and John Forbes Claim Australia's Highest Accolades whilst Australian Yachting Federation rebrands as Yachting Australia
Ladies in gowns and gents in black and white, strolled into the historical and elegant Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron for the prestigious Australian Yachting Awards, greeted by the new Yachting Australia brand.
Earlier in the evening, the Australian Yachting Federation, to now be known as Yachting Australia, launched a new brand, that will exist to create a bond between governing bodies and clubs and form a common visual link for all aspects of yachting.
Approximately 200 guests attended the Awards at the St. Kilda venue in Melbourne, to recognise the achievements of Australian sailing over the last twelve months.
The finalists in each of the categories read like the who's who of Australian sailing with world, national and state champions, presented awards by sponsors of Yachting Australia and the Federal Minister for the Arts and Sport, the Honorable Rod Kemp.
, who was also a nominee for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2002, the world's premier high-speed multihull navigator and weather router, was crowned the Female Sailor of the Year. Unable to attend the awards, due to Admiral's Cup commitments, a live cross via mobile phone to Adrienne, the Navigator on board Royal Prince Alfred's Aftershock, was set up.
Cahalan was grateful for her award and thanked those people that had made her achievements possible. Master of Ceremonies, Andrew Plympton, also managed to get Adrienne to provide guests with an inside scope into the final days of the Admiral's Cup.
Another successful year saw Darren Bundock and John Forbes take the Male Sailor of the Year Award for the second time in a row. The pair, who were named the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Team of the Year earlier this year, are proving to be masters of the Tornado Class.
Forbes collected the honour on behalf of the crew, as Bundock is currently overseas sailing with fellow Male Sailor of the Year finalist, Victoria's Glenn Ashby.
With impressive performances over the year by both finalists in the P&O Nedlloyd Disabled Sailor of the Year category, the Voting Academy was unable to separate the achievements of Paul Borg and Lindsay Dalmon.
Borg, a blind sailor, who is heavily involved with the Sailability program and Dalmon, the 2002 International Access Dinghy Champion, were both presented with the Award.
The pair were ecstatic and honoured by their award and were thankful for the opportunities they had been given.
The P&O Nedlloyd Youth Sailor of the Year went to Nathan Outteridge and Ayden Menzies from NSW. As the boys are currently preparing for the 2003 ISAF Youth Worlds in Maderia, Portugal, hoping to repeat their 2002 gold performance, they were unable to be present on the night.
Nathan's father, Mr Tony Outteridge accepted the award of their behalf, and a filmed acceptance speech by the boys was played to the guests. Outteridge and Menzies thanked their parents, the AYF and coach Craig Ferris for their hard work over the year.
The Media Awardees, Paul Pascoe and Bob Ross were presented with a plaque by the Honorable Rod Kemp, for their continuous commitment to delivering yachting news to the Australian community.
While, five long-serving and hard working sailing enthusiasts were honoured with the Services to Yachting Award. They were, Syd Fischer, Kevin Wood, Alan Carlisle, Malcolm Hughes and Christopher Mitchell. All five awardees were present on the night to collect their plaque.
Yachting Australia Life membership was presented to Dr. Don Nicols, immediate past President of the Australian Yachting Federation, by Graeme Ainley (current AYF President), for his outstanding contribution to Australian sailing and the AYF.
All in all the night was spectacular with guests commenting on the inspirational and interesting speech and video presentation by guest speaker, Grant Simmer, who was the Design Co-Ordinator of the America's Cup winner Alinghi and the Navigator of 1983's, Australia II.