Shortlist announced for International Sailor of the Decade

The Yachting Journalists’ Association (YJA) and MS Amlin Boat Insurance have announced the shortlist for the YJA MS Amlin International Sailor of the Decade.

The award aims to recognise the achievements of those who have had the greatest positive impact on sailing as both a sport and pastime.

The shortlisted sailors are below, alongside the panel’s reasoning for selection.

Dee Caffari – A constant feature in major races as well as ‘pushing boundaries in terms of female equality’ (although MIN argues equality should be pushed by all nominees at all times where possible and shouldn’t be left only to women to champion). Chair World Sailing Trust, helping teach Omani women to sail, Turn the Tide on Plastic, and a long list of achievements, notwithstanding sailing around the world six times.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston – His personal achievements and world records have inspired many thousands to take up the sport, not just through the Clipper Race he founded. He has advised all aspects of the maritime industry from being involved with Trinity House as an advisor, to the Cutty Sark Trust and more.

Jon Holt – The founder of the Scaramouche Sailing Trust, which really has broken down barriers, allowing people of all backgrounds to sail and race.

Sir Ben Ainslie – During the last decade, he became the most successful Olympic sailor in history with medals at five consecutive Olympics, including his 4th gold medal in 2012. In 2013, he was pivotal in helping the BMW Oracle Racing Team retain the America’s Cup, joining the boat as tactician when rivals Emirates Team New Zealand were one race from victory.

Andrew “Bart” Simpson – An Olympic Gold medallist at Qingdao 2008, Silver medallist at London 2012 with Iain Percy in the Star class, then tragically killed in training for the 2013 America’s Cup. After his death, the Andrew Simpson Foundation was established, as well as events such as Bart’s Bash, to encourage future generations out on to the water and discover a love for sailing.

The YJA commissioned Jo Munford of Seaview Studio to create the trophy. It’s made with stained glass and driftwood.

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