The nominees for ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2006 are… 2/10/06

The nominees for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2006 have been announced, recognising sailors who have displayed “outstanding achievement” in the period 1 September 2005 to 31 August 2006. The ISAF received numerous nominations for sailors who met the criteria.

The shortlisted sailors cover a broad spectrum of accomplishment within the sport and close voting is expected to decide the winners.

The nominees are:


Mónica Azón Canalda, Sandra Azón Canalda and Graciela Pisonero Castro (ESP)

Team Azon claimed two continental titles in 2006, winning the ISAF Grade C1
North American and European titles. But it was their gold medal at The World Championship La Rochelle, France that was the ultimate prize as they returned to the number one position on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, confirming the status of this talented Spanish team.

Dee Caffari (GBR)

In May 2006 Dee Caffari entered the record books when she became the first woman to sail single-handed westabout non-stop around the world. On 21 November 2005, Caffari departed on her record breaking voyage which would stretch her to the limit physically and emotionally. 178 days, 3 hours, 5 minutes and 34 seconds after she crossed the start line at the Lizard Caffari returned across the start line to set the record.

Dorte Jensen (DEN)

Dorte Jensen (DEN) made a spectacular return to the women’s match racing circuit in 2006 when she claimed the Dexia Private Banking ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship title despite being a virtual outsider. Primarily sailing with a mixed crew at on the Open Match Racing Circuit, Jensen also has a string of medals from ISAF Graded open events during the nomination period and is the highest ranked female skipper on the Open Rankings. In the World Championship Jensen’s defeat of the defending champion and the world number one ranked women’s skipper Marie Bjorling (SWE) on her way to the finals signalled her return to match racing was serious.

Helena Lucas (GBR)

Helena Lucas (GBR) illustrates the accessibility of sailing demonstrating outstanding performance during the nomination period in both Paralympic and Olympic disciplines. She kicked off the 2006 nomination period with an outstanding bronze medal at the 2.4mR World Championship, an event open to able bodied and disabled sailors. She followed this up with a silver medal at the Alcoa IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championships in January 2006 and another silver in Hyères. When Lucas was asked to stand in for double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson in the Yngling at the 2006 Qingdao International Regatta she jumped at the chance, winning a silver medal in her first event sailing the Yngling.

Daida Moreno (ESP)

Daida Moreno (ESP) is well known as one of the world’s most outstanding female windsurfers and in 2006 again demonstrated why she is a formidable opponent on the circuit. Winning the PWA Women’s Freestyle and Super X world championships capped an exceptional year for Moreno.

Paige Railey (USA)

At her first event in the current nomination period Railey claimed the 2005 Laser Radial World Championship title in Brazil and went on to claim five more top spots at ISAF Graded events in 2006. Silver at the ISAF Grade 1 Rolex Miami OCR was swiftly followed by the North American title and victory at the Midwinters East. Railey then turned her attention to the European circuit winning the gold medal in Hyères before travelling to Austria for the ISAF World Sailing Games where she picked up another gold medal. After disappointing performances at both the European and World Championships, Railey was undeterred and still aims for the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition. The Qingdao International Regatta in China, the first test event for the next Olympic Games, was sewn up by Railey before the Medal Race. She continues to sit on top of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings.


Peter Gilmour (AUS)

In 2006 Peter Gilmour put his own emphatic stamp on the Match Racing world. Not only did he win the World Match Racing Tour for the third consecutive time, in doing so he also claimed the 2006 ISAF Match Racing World title before the championship season had officially ended. For 25 years, Gilmour has been consistently at the top of the match-racing scene and is a formidable opponent. Victories at three ISAF Grade 1 match racing events and third place at two more proved a tough act to follow.

Starting the nomination period at number two on the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, Gilmour’s consistent regatta wins brought him up to the number one spot in December 2005.

Sébastien Josse (FRA)

Sébastien Josse (FRA) entered the record books in 2006 when he claimed the monohull 24 hour distance record. As the skipper of ABN AMRO TWO in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006, 31 year old Josse consistently exhibited outstanding leadership skills as he moulded the youngest team in the race into a force to be reckoned with. Success came quickly as the team took second place on the first two legs and then finished as they had started with second in the final Leg 9.
ABN AMRO TWO became the first monohull to go above 550 nautical miles when they ate up 558 in 24 hours before they pushed themselves and their boat to the limit to set the record at an incredible 562.96 nautical miles, an average speed of 23.45 knots.

Outstanding seamanship was displayed on Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 as tragedy struck when crew member Hans Horrevoets (NED) was washed overboard in extreme conditions in the middle of the night. Josse and his team recovered Horrevoets quickly but were sadly unable to save his life. Later on in the race seamanship was also displayed when ABN AMRO TWO rescued the movistar crew, following serious keel damage to their Volvo 60.

Yves Parlier (FRA)

In April 2005, Yves Parlier suffered a serious accident when his new 60 foot catamaran Médiatis Région Aquitane capsized whilst he was attempting to break the 24 hour distance record. A fall of twelve metres broke three of Parlier’s vertebrae but one year after the accident, a weather window opened up for Parlier and he was back on the water with a crew of five. The long standing 24 hour distance record for a yacht up to 60 feet came tumbling down as Parlier blasted his way across the North Atlantic, adding an enormous 57.81 nautical miles to the previous record held by Laurent Bougnon (FRA) since 1994 to set the record at 597.81 nautical miles.

Just over a month later and Parlier went for the double and on 18-19 May he snapped up the single-handed record as well. Covering 586 nautical miles over 24 hours, Parliernotched up an average speed of 24.47 knots and adding 43.3 nautical miles to the previous record.

Bruno Peyron (FRA)

World renowned multihull sailor Bruno Peyron returned to the record circuit with Orange II in 2006 and smashed both the 24 hour distance record and the Transatlantic west to east record in emphatic style. On Sunday 2 July 2006, Peyron and his team set out from New York to tackle the Transatlantic west to east record then held by Steve Fossett and Playstation. In the first day of racing Orange II clocked up a staggering 752 nautical miles, adding a massive 45.8 miles to their previous record set in 2004. Peyron and his team then went further and faster to set a new 24 hour distance record of 766.8 nautical miles at an average speed of 31.95 knots.

Not only did Peyron smash the record, and become the first skipper to go beyond the 750 nautical mile mark in 24 hours, but he is also the first to hit 700 miles and 600 nautical miles. Peyron went on to lead his crew on to smash the Transatlantic west to east record as well, taking more than nine hours off the time set by Fossett in 2001.

Mike Sanderson (NZL)

After an inauspicious start to the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 when Mike
Sanderson and his team on ABN AMRO ONE finished sixth in the first In Port
race, there was no looking back. Victory in Leg 1 from Vigo to Cape Town was one of eleven first place finishes for Sanderson in a highly competitive fleet featuring many of the world’s best sailors. Sanderson and his team secured their overall victory five months later when they sailed into Portsmouth to take first place in Leg 7. Their massive cushion of points was unassailable by the rest of the fleet but the team continued to perform to an exceptional standard, taking three more podium spots from the remaining legs and In Port races.


The 121 ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs) – the national governing bodies for sailing – around the world will now be invited to vote for the one female nominee and one male nominee whom they feel deserves the honour of receiving the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award 2006.

The winners will be unveiled at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards Dinner and Presentation on 7 November 2006 in Helsinki, Finland. Each winner will be presented with the prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award Trophy and a Rolex timepiece.