Nominees for YJA Yachtsman of the Year revealed

Pip Hare received the YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award in 2021

The nominees for this year’s YJA Yachtsman of the Year and Young Sailor of the Year awards have been revealed.

The awards will be presented at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show, taking place in Farnborough International over the weekend of 25-26 February 2023.

This year’s nominees for 2022 YJA Yachtsman of the Year include Richard Palmer, for his success in winning numerous events through 2022 including the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, and becoming the first double-handed winner in the Rolex Middle Sea race.

Tom Gillard is nominated for his performances in the dinghy racing scene, winning 23 of 25 events he entered, including the Fireball national, inland and world championships.

Team GB sailor and Olympic gold medallist Dylan Fletcher-Scott is also nominated, after winning the Moth World Championships, competing against many America’s Cup sailors, winning the world title in style.

The final nominee is Hattie Rogers, after her win at the SailGP Grand Final in the Waszp class, she has become an integral part of the Athena Pathway Programme in the ETF26 Series.

Previous recipients of the award include Sir Ben Ainslie, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dame Ellen MacArthur, Alex Thomson, and Dee Caffari. The current holder is Pip Hare, who won in 2021.

Meanwhile there are three nominees for the YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award, which recognises rising talent. The 15-year-old sailor Joe Rowe is nominated after winning the Topper World Championships held on Lake Garda in Italy, with 144 competitors.

Charlie Dixon, 17, is nominated for his achievements in the IQFoil windsurfing class after an astonishing year. Kai Hockley is the third nominee, for his determination and skills while competing in the ILCA Nationals in his Laser dinghy.

The awards occur at 3.40pm at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show on Saturday, 25 February 2023.

“We are delighted to be hosting the presentation of these prestigious [awards],” says RYA CEO Sara Sutcliffe. “The history of the Yachtsman of the Year Award in particular is truly remarkable, having been awarded to many of the great names in sailing and boating since 1955. We look forward to finding out who will have their name added to this extraordinary roll of honour at the show.”

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