Finalists announced for Raymarine YJA Yachtsman of the Year and Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year
The finalists are announced for the prestigious titles of Raymarine YJA Yachtsman of the Year (celebrating its 50th anniversary) and Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year. The shortlist includes top British sailing names Ben Ainslie OBE, Dame Ellen MacArthur and powerboaters’ Shelley Jory and Libby Keir.
Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, (in her capacity as President of the Royal Yachting Association) will present the two awards at the IPC Media Marine Awards on Friday 6 January 2006.
Both awards recognise British sporting excellence in power or sail and acknowledge achievement of any sort – such as breaking a world record, a phenomenal win, overcoming adversity, or showing exceptional bravery and courage.
Finalists for Raymarine YJA Yachtsman of the Year
- Ben Ainslie OBE: earlier this year Ben, described as ‘Britain’s greatest racing sailor’, became the first four-time winner of the Finn Gold Cup, to secure more world titles than anyone else. In Olympic terms Ben has equalled the two golds and silver tally of Britain’s most successful Olympian, Rodney Pattisson.
- Shelley Jory and Libby Keir: this year’s British Honda 225 hp Powerboat Champions. Shelley, and navigator Libby, drove the only all girl team competing in the Honda series to a hard fought victory, running away with the title ahead of the boys, and becoming the first females to win the championships.
- Dame Ellen MacArthur: earlier this year Ellen smashed the record to be the fastest, non-stop, solo sailor round the world. It was a feat that made Ellen headline news around the globe and captured the imagination of the public worldwide.
Finalists for Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year
- Craig Paul, Sam Coombs, James Hopson: in an amazing act of bravery the three boys, from the West of Scotland, rescued Nell Hardie from certain death whilst out sailing their 29ers. Nell was sailing with Craig Paul when their boat capsized, trapping her underneath with the trapeze wire wrapped round her neck, and strangling her. The boys kept their heads, remained calm and handled the situation efficiently, managing to bring Nell safely back to shore and resuscitate her, before she was taken to hospital. If the boys had not acted so promptly Nell would have suffered severe trauma and probably would not have survived.
- James Rusden and Erin Clark: for winning the 2005 Cadet* Under 16 World Championships – seeing off a fleet of 64 boats from 15 nations in Spain in July. 15 year old James from Christchurch in Dorset is the first British winner of this event for five years and one of only three GBR crews to do so in the last 15 years. Earlier wins secured helmsman James the accolade of the youngest World Title holder. (*the largest fleet 2-person 3-sail monohull dinghy)
- Giles Scott: 18 year old Giles from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, a single-handed dinghy sailor in the Laser Class, has consistently proved himself to be a top racer. His numerous racing achievements this season include Gold Medal at the 2005 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Korea; winner of the UK Youth Championships and Trials. Accolades also include 15th position in the Laser European Championship 2005 (a senior event) and 20th in the Laser World Championship 2005 where he was also awarded for being the first under 21 and first rookie.
All finalists now go forward to a vote by the members of the 300-strong Yachting Journalists’ Association.
Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, (in her capacity as President of the Royal Yachting Association) will present the two awards – Raymarine YJA Yachtsman of the Year and Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year – at the inaugural IPC Media Marine Awards due to take place on Friday 6 January 2006 at Old Billingsgate, London EC3. For ticket sales visit On the night, the Yachting Journalist’s Association will also present a YJA Special Award in recognition of services to yachting.
The new Raymarine YJA Yachtsman of the Year and Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year title holders will be present at the London Boat Show on Saturday 7 January 2006 when the 13 RYA regional winners are awarded.
RYA Regional Winners
The 13 RYA regional winners were automatically nominated for Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year:
- Eastern: Giles Scott
- East Midlands: Dylan Fletcher
- Northern Ireland: John Beatty
- North East: Bruce Carnaby
- North West: Tim Lowe
- Scotland: Craig Paul, Sam Coombs, James Hopson
- Southern: James Rusden
- South East: Patrick Liddicoat
- South West: James Clark
- Thames Valley: Claire Lasko
- Wales: Thomas Mallindine
- West Midlands: Alison Young
- Yorkshire and Humberside: Thomas Gillard