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9 November 2010, 11:22 pm
Blanca Manchon and Tom Slingsby Named ISAF Rolex World Sailors Of The Year
Blanca
Blanca Manchon with Arnaud Boetsch from Rolex and Sofia Bekatorou

ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2010

ISAF and Rolex are proud to announce that the male and female winners of the 2010 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards are Blanca Manchón (ESP) and Tom Slingsby (AUS).
Blanca Manchón was nominated for the third time this year and had her family and friends with her at the Awards ceremony here in Athens. "This is really fantastic," said a radiant Manchón on stage as she accepted her trophy and her Rolex timepiece. "As this is my third nomination for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award we were all hoping this would be it… and here I am! I cannot believe it. I worked very hard to get here but I'm young - only 23 years old - so I hope I continue to do many things and maybe I will see you again here someday."

Tom Slingsby could not make it to Athens for the ceremony due to electrical storms over Sydney that grounded international flights. Slingsby was surprised when his phone call to "discuss laser sailing", turned into a live announcement from HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, announcing that he had won the 2010 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award. "Wow, thank you!" said Slingsby. "I just remember sitting on the rocks in Sydney harbour watching the Olympics. I remember seeing people like Ben Ainslie and Robert Scheidt, two former winners of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards, and thinking, "I want that, that's really what I want to do." To be considered among them today is really an incredibly big honour."

A more detailed release will be issued later today, Wednesday, 10 November 2010.

For high-resolution images copyright-free for print editorial purposes and for more information regarding the ceremony, winners and nominees please visit: www.regattanews.com

Four female and six male nominees were shortlisted for the Award, based on their achievements during the qualifying period of 1 September 2009 to 31 August 2010.

The 2010 nominees are:

Female
Kristin Boese (GER) - Nine Time Kitesurf World Champion
Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam (THA) - Youth Olympic Games gold medallist
Blanca Manchón (ESP) - RS:X World Champion & Double World Cup Winner
Lisa Westerhof & Lobke Berkhout (NED) - 470 World Champions

Male
Antoine Albeau (FRA) - Professional Windsurfing Association & Formula World Champion
Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) - 470 World Champions and World Cup winners
Lorenzo Bressani (ITA) - Melges 24 and 32 Champion
Franck Cammas (FRA) - Record breaking offshore racer
Tom Slingsby (AUS) - Laser & Etchells World Champion
Ed Wright (GBR) - Finn World Champion and double World Cup Winner

Click here to read the achievements of the shortlisted sailors.

The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award is the highest award a sailor can receive in recognition of his/her outstanding achievements. The Awards are presented annually based on a worldwide selection process that incorporates an open invitation to nominations, followed by a vote amongst the 130 member nations of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).

The Awards have been held every year since 1994 and past winners include Peter Blake (NZL), Ellen MacArthur (GBR), Robert Scheidt (BRA) and Russell Coutts (SUI). In 2009 the Awards were presented to Torben Grael (BRA) and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA).

Visit the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards microsite at www.sailing.org/worldsailor

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