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Excellence Awards

First Aon Yachting Excellence Award winners

Issue date

World champions and top young talent through to intrepid adventurers and club stalwarts have been recognised in this year's Aon Yachting Excellence Awards.

The first batch of winners have been announced for this year's awards ahead of November's gala awards dinner when the winners of the major awards will be announced on the night.

A maximum of 10 winners are announced early in the following categories:

  • Yachting New Zealand Youth Performance Awards supported by Harken
  • Yachting New Zealand Service Awards supported by Boating New Zealand
  • Yachting New Zealand Performance Awards

And we are also announcing the winner of the Yachting New Zealand Cruising Award supported by Wichard on Safety at Sea.

There were scores of nominations in each category, especially for the Service Awards which saw 28 nominees.

"It was incredibly difficult to settle on the winners in some categories because there were so many worthy nominees," judge and yachting commentator Peter Lester said. "I really love reading about the amazing people around the country who give so much to our sport.

"We were really impressed with the standard of entries across the board and it highlighted to us that yachting and boating in this country is still as strong as ever."

A handful of Kiwis who sail professionally overseas achieved some excellent results in the nomination period, including Cameron Dunn, Gavin Brady, Chris Steele and Stewart Dodson, but did not meet the criteria for the awards because they did not sail for New Zealand-flagged teams. 

The gala awards dinner will be held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Club on November 18, when all of the winners will receive their awards.

The winners of the major awards, including the Orbit World Travel Sailor of the Year Award will also be announced at the dinner. Last year the top prize was won by Emirates Team New Zealand following their defence of the America's Cup, although the awards dinner was unfortunately cancelled due to Covid-19.

Tickets are on sale for this year's event, which will be hosted by yachting commentator and Celebrity Treasure Island contestant Jesse Tuke, and details can be found here.

Yachting New Zealand Youth Performance Awards supported by Harken

  • Caleb Armit (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
  • Isla Barker (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
  • Mattias Coutts (Manly Sailing Club)
  • Lucas Day & Sam Scott (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
  • Sean Kensington (Kohimarama Yacht Club)
  • George Lee Rush & Seb Menzies (Wakatere Boating Club / Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
  • Will Leech (Charteris Bay Yacht Club)
  • Kate Rasmussen & Madison Russell (Maraetai Sailing Club)
  • Helena Sanderson & Cam McGlashan (Bay of Islands Yacht Club / Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
  • Hugo Wigglesworth (Manly Sailing Club)

Yachting New Zealand Service Awards supported by Boating New Zealand

  • Glen & Beverly Church (Stewarts Gully Sailing Club)
  • Allan Geddes & Fergus Thomson (French Bay Yacht Club)
  • Tony & Nina Kiff (Bay of Islands Sailing Week)
  • Last of the Summer Wine Company (Charteris Bay Yacht Club)
  • Lindsay McGregor (Sailability Auckland / The NZ Hansa Class Association)
  • David Nalder (Evans Bay Yacht and Motor Boat Club)
  • Jeff O'Leary (Waimakariri Sailing Club)
  • Trust Aoraki Aviemore Classic Regatta
  • Robert Witham (Napier Sailing Club / NZIODA)
  • Ria Woollams & Lief Thomaes (Tutukaka Coast Youth Sailing Club)

Yachting New Zealand Cruising Award supported by Wichard on Safety at Sea

  • Peter Mortimer (Classic Yacht Association)

Yachting New Zealand Performance Awards

  • Elise Beavis (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
  • Logan Dunning Beck & Oscar Gunn (Wakatere Boating Club / Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
  • Isaac McHardie & Will McKenzie (Royal Akarana Yacht Club)
  • Alex Maloney & Olivia Hobbs (Murrays Bay Sailing Club / Royal Akarana Yacht Club)
  • Sam Morgan & Pat Morgan (Royal Akarana Yacht Club)
  • New Zealand SailGP Team
  • Tom Saunders (Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club)
  • Sam Street (New Plymouth Yacht Club)
  • Veerle ten Have (Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club)
  • Micah Wilkinson & Erica Dawson (Ngaroto Sailing Club / Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
Excellence Awards