Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and Peter Burling (NZL) were the big winners at the inaugural World Sailing Awards in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico as they were announced male and female 2017 Rolex World Sailor of the Year.
Held at Patio Los Arcos in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the sport of sailing was celebrated in a star-studded evening that welcomed leading sailors and influencers.
The 2017 World Sailing Awards also saw the presentation of the Beppe Croce Trophy and the President's Development Award.
The Beppe Croce Trophy is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of sailing. Carlo Croce, President of World Sailing from 2013 – 2016 received the trophy.
Stan Honey was the recipient the President's Trophy, an award that recognises an individual for their work in developing sailing.
After claiming gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and then a well-earned victory at the 2016 World Cup Series Final in Melbourne, Australia, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) was overcome with repetitive injuries.
The Dutch racer was unable to race at major regattas throughout the early part of the 2017 but had targeted returning to the sport at her home Laser Radial World Championship in Medemblik, the Netherlands.
Bouwmeester made an outstanding comeback and stormed her way through to claim an emphatic third world title. Just two months later, she claimed the European Championship title ensuring she holds all the current major titles – Olympic, Worlds and European.
In attendance in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Bouwmeester was voted the female Rolex World Sailor of the Year by the public, World Sailing's Member National Authorities and guests voting on the night.
An astounded Bouwmeester was almost lost for words upon receiving the unique marble and silver trophy depicting the globe, crowned with five silver spinnakers representing the continents, together with a Rolex timepiece.
'I'm just a girl from Friesland, north of Netherlands,” she commented.
Read the rest at World Sailing.
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