Steve Curtis 5-times Class 1 World Powerboat Champion has won the 2003 Raymarine Yachting Journalists' Association Yachtsman of the Year Award while 15 year-old Seb Clover takes Young Sailor of the Year award
Steve Curtis 5-times Class 1 World Powerboat Champion has won one of the sailing world’s most prestigious awards – the 2003 Raymarine Yachting Journalists’ Association Yachtsman of the Year Award. Seb Clover at just 15 years old and the youngest person to sail across the Atlantic single-handed, has won the Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year 2003
At a special awards ceremony on the main stage on the opening day of the London Boatshow at ExCel yesterday Curtis and Clover received their prizes from former winner of the award, Tracy Edwards MBE.
Curtis, who is the current Class 1 World Offshore Powerboat Champion, reaching speeds of his 160mph ‘Spirit of Norway’, narrowly missed winning the award last year but after clinching the world title for an unprecedented fifth time, the super-fast racing hero finally took a well-deserved award win – the first YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award powerboat win since 1990. An elated Curtis commented: “I’m chuffed to bits. I’m Yachtsman of the Year and I’m going to ‘milk it’. I’m so happy. Powerboat racers don’t normally win it. I have to say though, we do produce so many good yachtsmen in this country so I can understand why it’s quite easy to overlook powerboat racing – there are very few of us doing it compared to yachting. It’s been a fantastic year.” Talking about what it’s like to drive one of these speed machines, Curtis added: “It’s really exciting and a little bit out of control. Up to about 110mph they are fairly good but after that they’re a little bit loose.”
Racing with Norwegian Bjorn Gjelsten aboard Curtis won the championship in October 2003 with victory in the Qatar Grand Prix – their 5th win in six races this year. Curtis and Gjelsten are also European and Pole Position champions.
The title of Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year recognises endeavour and achievement by young British sailors under the age of 19, youngsters who have made a significant impact on youth sailing. This year’s winner is 15 year-old Sebastian Clover, from the Isle of Wight, the youngest person to sail across the Atlantic single-handed. On 19 December 2002 he set sail from Tenerife in the Contessa 32 ‘Reflection’ in a race against his father, who was sailing in an identical yacht. Sebastian arrived in Antigua on 12 January 2003, just one day behind his father. see news story here