Ellen MacArthur and the Rawlinson sisters scooped four awards between them at last night's e-peopleserve British Nautical Awards

Ellen MacArthur took the the Yachting Journalists’ Association Yachtsman of the Year Award as well as the Challenge Business Offshore Yachtsman of the Year Award at the e-peopleserve British Nautical Awards last night. This follows her being named as Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year and also being placed as runner up to David Beckham for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Ellen said, “It is wonderful to be recognised again with the BNA’s premier Award. However, I accept it on behalf of my team at Offshore Challenges, our title sponsor Kingfisher, and so many people from inside the sailing world who have helped me on my way since I stood here in 1995 as Young Sailor of the Year. Solo sailor maybe, but alone I have not been.”

The Rawlinson sisters, Emma (17) and Victoria (16), also claimed two Awards, including the MDL YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award and the WS Atkins Inshore Yachtsman of the Year Award for which they competed against top ranked adult sailors. Their natural talent and unflappable determination to win has brought them success this past year twice at world level competitions in the 420 Class; a gold medal at the 2000 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships held in Sydney, Australia, and a silver medal six months later at the 2001 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Crozon-Morgat, France. Having since joined the RYA’s Olympic Development Squad in a 470, they are two of Britain’s up and coming young hopefuls.

Commenting on their success, Emma Rawlinson said, “We are so thrilled to have won this prestigious Award tonight; to make it into the shortlist is, in itself, an honour. We are already training hard and looking forward to another good year as part of the RYA’s Olympic Development Squad.”

LDC’s RS K6 won the Yachting World Sailboat of the Year Award. This dinghy style keelboat has already impressed sailors with its high quality build specification and speed. The RS K6 is unique in that LDC has used CNC milled plugs for its hull and deck moulds, moulds cut by computers to ensure accuracy and symmetry and epoxy skins for a high strength to weight ratio – all in a competitive, affordable keelboat. An all-carbon rig maintains the high specification and the boat is quick to sail and easy for lightweight crews to handle. Martin Wadhams, Managing Director of LDC Racing Sailboats, accepted the Award.

The Sunseeker Endeavour Award for outstanding contribution in any form of boating or the marine industry went to The Royal Yacht Squadron and was accepted on their behalf by Dr Jeremy Cuddigan, the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Rear Commodore of Yachting. The Royal Yacht Squadron is credited with initiating and organising the celebration of the America’s Cup Jubilee at Cowes last August, a once in a lifetime event.