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Excellence Awards

Meet the Excellence Awards winners - pt III

Issue date

The 2022 Aon Yachting Excellence Awards are just around the corner and some winners have already been announced. In the third of a three-part series, meet the winners of the performance awards.

Elise Beavis (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)

Elise Beavis

It might have been her second world title but Elise Beavis feels legitimately like a world champion this time around after finishing on top at this year's International WASZP Games in Italy. Beavis claimed the title at the 2019 International WASZP Games in Perth but acknowledged she was one of only two female sailors competing - in Italy there were 28. She didn't really know how she would go at the world champs, having not sailed internationally for a couple of years, but warmed up for the event by finishing second in the WASZP at Foiling Week.

Logan Dunning Beck & Oscar Gunn (Wakatere Boating Club / Murrays Bay Sailing Club)

Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn
Photo: Sailing Energy

Logan and Oscar would be the first to admit they didn't have the best year by their high standards but performed when it mattered most, finishing seventh at this year's 49er world championships in Canada. That result continues an impressive run for the pair at the world championships, where they have finished in the top seven since their first world championships together in 2018. They also won their fifth consecutive 49er national title and were second at the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta.

Isaac McHardie & William McKenzie (Royal Akarana Yacht Club)

Isaac McHardie and Will McKenzie
Photo: Sailing Energy

Isaac and Will can rightly call themselves among the world's best 49er crews after a consistently impressive series of results in 2022. They were fourth at the world championships, third at Kiel Week, fifth at the Princess Sofia World Cup and 10th at the 49er European championships. They also occupied top spot at this year's Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta and were second at the national championships. 

Alex Maloney & Olivia Hobbs (Murrays Bay Sailing Club / Royal Akarana Yacht Club)

Alex Maloney and Olivia Hobbs
Photo: Sailing Energy

As a new combination in 2022, Alex and Olivia can look back on the year with considerable satisfaction. The pair finished in the top 10 at three of their four international events this year, including a meritorious eighth at this year's 49erFX world championships in Canada. They were also second at both the 49erFX national championships and Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta and, on top of that, were involved with Live Ocean Racing and the ETF26 series.

Sam Morgan & Pat Morgan (Royal Akarana Yacht Club)

Sam and Pat Morgan

Sam and Pat Morgan had set the goal of finishing on the podium during their European campaign this year and achieved it with an impressive third placing at their pinnacle event, the 49er junior world championships in Italy. The pair made steady progress up the leaderboard throughout the event, which is for under-23 sailors, to bank their first major result. Sam and Pat had showed good speed at their lead-in events, even when luck was often against them, and were also third at this year's Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta.

New Zealand SailGP Team


The New Zealand SailGP Team have roared into contention in season three of the high-octane racing series, winning two events back-to-back and finishing second in another. The team had never qualified for the three-way final before 2022 but found their form with a dominant display in Plymouth mid-year and carried that through into Denmark soon after. They're presently second behind the Aussies with five rounds remaining, which includes March's New Zealand Sail Grand Prix in Christchurch, and are also leading the Impact League for their environmental efforts.

Tom Saunders (Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club)

Tom Saunders
Photo: Adam Mustill Photography

The ILCA 7, or Laser as it's been more commonly known throughout history, is arguably the most competitive of all the Olympic classes which means the world championships is fiercely competitive. Only one New Zealander had won the world title since the first event in 1974 - Nik Burfoot in 1994 - until Tom Saunders achieved the feat in Barcelona towards the end of 2021. It was a breakthrough result for Tom, who had bounced around the world's top 10 for the best part of a decade, and he backed that up with fourth at this year's world championships in Mexico and fifth at the Princess Sofia World Cup.

Sam Street (New Plymouth Yacht Club)

Sam Street

Sam Street ensured New Zealand sailors did the double at this year's International WASZP Games in Italy, emulating Elise Beavis' feats to become world champion in the foiling class. Sam relied on his terrific downwind speed and ability to keep out of trouble to put together a consistently good series of scores in the large fleet. He was also third in the slalom event. Sam is clearly a versatile sailor and this year also competed at the Youth Match Racing World Championships and 470 world championships.

Veerle ten Have (Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club)

Veerle ten Have
Photo: Sailing Energy

Veerle ten Have announced herself as one of the world's best windfoilers in 2022 and someone with considerable potential in the new Olympic class. Like the rest of the New Zealand windfoiling squad, Veerle had little idea how she would go when competing at her first international events on the iQFoil but rattled off top-10 results at the Princess Sofia World Cup, French Olympic Week regatta and, more recently, the world championships. Next year looms as an important one for the Tauranga sailor as she zeroes in on the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Micah Wilkinson & Erica Dawson (Ngaroto Sailing Club / Murrays Bay Sailing Club)

Micah WIlkinson and Erica Dawson
Photo: Sailing Energy

Their scores read like the countdown to the launch of a space shuttle; Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson were sixth at the Princess Sofia World Cup, fifth at the French Olympic Week regatta, fourth at Kiel Week and second at the Nacra 17 European championships. The Tokyo Olympians couldn't continue that trend at the world championships, where they finished ninth, but it was a measure of their considerable progress in 2022 that they look back on that result with disappointment. They finished that event in style, convincingly winning the medal race.

Excellence Awards