It's time to vote for the Raymarine YJA Yachtsman of the Year awards 16/9/06

Voting for the Raymarine YJA Yachtsmen of the Year and Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year awards officially opened yesterday, Friday 15 September, at the Southampton Boatshow.

Round the world yachtsman Mike Golding, Sam Coombs (the current Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year) and powerboat champion Shelly Jory were at the presentation to be the first to cast their nominations for the prestigious awards.

CEO of the RYA Rod Carr and respected journalist Bob Fisher announced to the crowd at the Raymarine stand the importance of the awards in recognising British sporting excellence in power and sail by acknowledging achievements such as breaking a record, brave conduct, overcoming adversity, or victory in an event.

With many outstanding achievements in the last year there are many people in the running for the awards. From the British Olympic sailing squad who recently won eight medals at the Qingdao International Regatta, to Dee Caffari’s solo round-the-world race against the prevailing winds, Mike Sanderson’s recent skippering feat in the Volvo Ocean Race and young Laser champion Giles Scott.

Since 1955, many big names in sailing have won the awards including Eric Hiscock, Sir Francis Chichester, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Sir Chay Blyth, Tracy Edwards as well as Ben Ainslie and Ellen MacArthur who have both won Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year and gone on to win the Yachtsman of the Year title.

The winners of the awards will be announced in January 2007.