As expected, Beijing Olympic gold medallists, Elise Rechichi, Tessa Parkinson, Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page were last night named as Australian Sailors of the Year. Their coach, Victor Kovalenko, won the Sports Professional Award.
At a black tie dinner at the newly-opened Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne, many of the sport's leading participants celebrated their achievements.
Other winners were:
OAMPS Insurance Brokers Youth Sailor of the Year – Gabrielle King (NSW). At the 2008 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF Championships in Denmark, Gabrielle won gold in the Laser Radial class, successfully defending the tilte she had won in New Zealand the year before.
Sailor of the Year with a Disability – Daniel Fitzgibbon and Rachael Cox (WA). Daniel and Rachael won the silver medal in the SKUD 18 class at Beijing.
Sports Promotion Award – Yachting Victoria for their Go Sailing day which attracted around 1700 people to the 14 participating yacht clubs.
Volunteer Award – Richard Grubb (NSW). Richard has been the official race starter at the CYCA for over 25 years, driving the start boat MV Offshore and often staying overnight for long races.
President's Award – Safety of Life at Sea, the CYCA program set up after the 1998 Sydney Hobart race.