Four world-class teams on World Sailing Team of the Year Award shortlist

Four elite, world-class sailing teams – showcasing the dynamism of the sport – have been shortlisted for the inaugural World Sailing Team of the Year Award.

The World Sailing Team of the Year Award celebrates teams of two or more sailors who personify the sporting values of integrity, ambition, resilience and resourcefulness. Out of 17 nominations, Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), TeamNL Sailing Team (NED), Team Beau Geste (HKG) and Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) were shortlisted.

The judging panel included Stan Honey, Chairman of the Oceanic and Offshore Committee, Eddie Warden-Owen, CEO of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Yann Rocherieux, Chairman of World Sailing’s Athletes’ Commission & World Sailing Board Member, Andrus Poksi, Classes and Officials representative and Andy Rice, leading sailing journalist.

The winner, voted for by the judging panel, will be announced at the 2018 World Sailing Awards, set to be held on Tuesday 30 October 2018 in Sarasota, Florida, USA.

More information on the teams and their achievements over the past 12-months is below:

Dongfeng Race Team

Dongfeng Race Team won hearts and minds worldwide in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, taking an unexpected podium finish. At the 2017-18 edition, Charles Caudrelier assembled a team of world-class offshore ocean racers and Chinese sailors that were fully capable of becoming the first Chinese team to win the Volvo Ocean Race. On the final leg, from Gothenburg, Sweden to The Hague, The Netherlands, Dongfeng Race Team went head-to-head with MAPFRE and Team Brunel knowing that whoever finished ahead would claim the title.

Dongfeng Race Team made the right call to move inshore and take a narrow leg win to seal the Volvo Ocean Race title.

TeamNL Sailing Team

At the Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018, TeamNL Sailing Team brought a diverse group of individuals and sailing disciplines together. The blend of personalities worked in harmony to create a team ethic that drove the team to claim the IOC President’s Trophy – awarded to the best performing team at the four-yearly Sailing World Championships.

Dutch sailors occupied the top step of the podium in three of 12 events in Aarhus. Lilian de Geus and Dorian van Rijsselberghe won the Men’s and Women’s RS:X and Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz snapped up 49erFX Gold. Kiran Badloe and Marit Bouwmeester walked away with Silver in the Men’s RS:X and Laser Radial and Pieter-Jan Postma claimed Finn Bronze.

Team Beau Geste

Following the announcement of a combined ORC and IRC World Championships, Karl Kwok set about building a team and a yacht, with a key ambition to win at the World Championships in the Hague, The Netherlands.

Skippered by Gavin Brady with Patrick Kong at the helm, the team came together, testing themselves at the Rolex Big Boat Series and the PAC 52 US Nationals. In a tough competition, the early makings of the team began to unfold. After a further test at the North Sea Regatta, they achieved their goal at the World Championships, sailing a near perfect week to win with a day to spare.

Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA)

The Italian team got 2018 off to a flying start in the Nacra 17, winning Gold at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, followed by a victory at the World Cup Series regatta in Hyéres, France. Less than 90km down the coast at the World Cup Final in Marseille, they continued their winning form taking another Gold.

Ahead of the Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, they warmed up perfectly by taking the European title. In Aarhus, the pair battled hard in a mixed bag of conditions and headed into the Medal Race with a single point lead. With a fading breeze, the final battle was cancelled and they were confirmed as 2018 World Champions.

About the World Sailing Awards

The World Sailing Awards celebrate outstanding achievement and exceptional contributions to the sport of sailing. The highlight of the annual Awards night is the presentation of the ultimate recognition of excellence – the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award.

The Awards night is the social highlight of the World Sailing Annual Conference and 2018 is set to be a groundbreaking edition with the introduction of the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award, the Team of the Year and the Boat of the Year.

Alongside Rolex World Sailor of the Year and the new Awards, the Beppe Croce Trophy, President Development Award and eSailing World Championship Trophy will be presented.

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