It has been an extraordinary year with plenty of disruptions but there have still been some standout yachting performances and they will be recognised at this year's Volvo Yachting Excellence Awards.
The first round of winners for the Volvo Yachting Excellence Awards have been announced (see below) and include a mixture of world champions, national champions and club stalwarts who have made significant contributions to our sport.
They are scheduled to be recognised at a gala dinner to be held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron on November 20, when the winners of the big awards including the Sir Bernard Ferguson Trophy for Orbit World Travel Sailor of the Year will also be named.
The awards recognise achievements taking place from September 1, 2019 until August 31, 2020 and there will be plenty of competition for the top awards this year with a number of world championships and major regattas held before international regattas were disrupted by Covid-19.
A new feature of this year's Volvo Yachting Excellence Awards is the inclusion of male and female sailor of the year and male and female young sailor of the year.
The following categories will be recognised at the awards dinner on November 20:
- Orbit World Travel Sailor of the Year Award for the Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy
- Zhik Male Sailor of the Year Award (new)
- Zhik Female Sailor of the Year Award (new)
- Volvo Young Male Sailor of the Year Award (new)
- Volvo Young Female Sailor of the Year Award (new)
- Yachting New Zealand Coach of the Year
- Yachting New Zealand Official of the Year
- Aon Emerging Talent Award
- Lawson's Dry Hills President's Award
- Lucke Young Leader Award
- North Sails Sportsmanship Award
- Propspeed Sustainability Award
- Yachting New Zealand Service Awards - supported by Boating New Zealand
- Yachting New Zealand Performance Awards - supported by Zhik
- Yachting New Zealand Youth Performance Awards - supported by Harken
- Yachting New Zealand Cruising Awards - supported by Wichard by Kiwi Yachting
The Volvo Yachting Excellence Awards are also a great opportunity to recognise the achievements and work done behind the scenes by sailors, volunteers and organisations and 12 Service Awards supported by Boating New Zealand will be handed out. There's a good geographical spread, with winners stretching from Northland to Te Anau.
“The judges were overwhelmed by the number of nominations for this year’s Volvo Yachting Excellence Awards, and they were good quality nominations," said yachting journalist Suzanne McFadden who was on the judging panel. "You might have thought it would have been a lean year with such a disrupted calendar but there were so many standout performances which made our job really difficult. Congratulations to the winners and to all of those nominated.”
Don't miss out on this prestigious night, book your ticket(s) now to avoid disappointment.
Service Awards supported by Boating New Zealand
Steve Ashley (Short Handed Sailing Association NZ)
David Baker (Marakura Yacht Club)
Alan Clarkson (Sail Northland Charitable Trust)
Phil Chandler (Queen Charlotte Yacht Club)
Ron Copeland (Ponsonby Cruising Club)
Phillip & Winona Dowell (Lake Mahinapua Aquatic Club)
Manuela Gmuer-Hornell (Opua Sailing Club)
Nigel Hayton (New Plymouth Yacht Club)
Paul Jarvie (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron)
Dean Stanley (Worser Bay Boating Club)
Dianne Telford (Ponsonby Cruising Club)
Phil Williams (Evans Bay Yacht & Motor Boat Club)
Cruising Awards supported by Wichard by Kiwi Yachting
Jim & Karin Lott (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron)
Glenn & Nicky Robertson (Waikawa Boating Club)
Youth Performance Awards supported by Harken
Amelia Angus & Rebecca Hume (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
Caleb Armit (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
Luke Cashmore (Wakatere Boating Club)
Mattias Coutts (Manly Sailing Club)
Tim Howse (Kohimarama Yacht Club)
Joe Leith (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
Seb Menzies & Blake McGlashan (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
Mason Mulcahy & Andre Van Dam (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
Courtney Reynolds-Smith (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
Performance Awards supported by Zhik
Peter Burling & Blair Tuke (Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club / Kerikeri Cruising Club)
Logan Dunning Beck & Oscar Gunn (Wakatere Boating Club / Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
Honda Marine - David McDiarmid, Matt Steven & Brad Collins (Royal Akarana Yacht Club)
Josh Junior (Worser Bay Boating Club)
Knots Racing - Nick Egnot-Johnson, Sam Barnett, Bradley McLaughlin & Zak Merton (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron)
Scott Leith (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
Alex Maloney & Molly Meech (Murrays Bay Sailing Club / Royal Akarana Yacht Club)
Andy Maloney (Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
Sam Meech (Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club)
Lukas Walton-Keim & Justina Kitchen (Takapuna Boating Cub)
Micah Wilkinson & Erica Dawson (Ngaroto Sailing Club / Murrays Bay Sailing Club)
- Pic: The Honda Marine team of Bradley Collins, Matt Steven and David McDiarmid won their third-straight JJ Giltinan Trophy earlier this year.