Yachting Australia's night of nights is almost here, with the sport's annual awards celebration set to take place this Friday night at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.
The event brings together the nation's yachting community in a glamorous ceremony to honour the achievements and recognise the contributions made both on and off the water.
“The awards night is one of our sport's premier events on the calendar each year,” Yachting Australia President Matt Allen said.
“It's an important occasion for us to come together to recognise and celebrate the achievements of all the talented athletes as well as the key people behind the scenes that make their success possible.”
Fourteen awards will be given out including four inaugural awards nominated by State Associations. The awards cover all aspects of the sport including competitors, officials, clubs, professionals and volunteers.
The eagerly anticipated Male Sailor of the Year award will be the climax of the night and with a field of highly acclaimed athletes, it will be a race to the finish to see who takes out the top honours.
Australian and World A Class Catamaran Champion and Emirates Team New Zealand wing trimmer Glenn Ashby will be up against the 2013 Male Sailors of the Year and recently crowned 470 World Champions Will Ryan and Olympic gold medallist Mathew Belcher alongside Laser champion Tom Burton, ocean racing legend Roger Hickman and Olympic gold medallist, Artemis Racing’s America’s Cup skipper and 2014 Moth World Champion Nathan Outteridge.
“Our male sailors have achieved widespread world class success this year,” Allen said. “They are a credit to the country, all deserving of the award and I am sure they feel honoured to be nominated in such talented company.”
The female, youth and disability categories will be extremely competitive with all groups containing star-studded lineups full of World Champions and national leaders.
Yachting legends John Calvert-Jones and Bill Gale will also look to join the sport's most esteemed company with a Lifetime Achievement award on offer.
Two other unique awards will be presented during the evening.
The CYCA SOLAS Trusts Bravery Award is awarded to those who demonstrated an act of bravery, risk and sacrifice. This year the award will go to Tim Phillips, for his bold efforts on the final day of the ISAF World Cup in Melbourne. After racing was called off due to extreme weather conditions, Phillips came to the aid of three fishermen who had been in the water for some time, were suffering from shock, and in need of medical attention. The physical size of the crew that Phillips singlehandedly pulled out of the water and brought safely to shore demonstrated his courage, seamanship and boat skills.
Additionally there is the revered President's Award, with the worthy recipient chosen by Yachting Australia President Matt Allen and unknown until his announcement during the evening.
The full list of award nominees is below and comprehensive biographies can be found here
MALE SAILOR OF THE YEAR – FINALISTS
Mathew Belcher & Will Ryan
FEMALE SAILOR OF THE YEAR – FINALISTS
SAILOR OF THE YEAR WITH A DISABILITY – FINALISTS
Daniel Fitzgibbon & Liesl Tesch
Daniel Fitzgibbon, Liesl Tesch, Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris, Russell Boaden, Matthew Bugg – Australian Sailing Team
Kylie Forth, Ryan Honschooten, Erin McGlew – Australian Blind Sailing Team
YOUTH SAILOR OF THE YEAR – FINALISTS
Thomas & Sophie Alexander
Kurt Hansen & Harry Morton
SPORT PROMOTION AWARD – FINALISTS
Albury Wodonga Yacht Club
Festival of Sails, Royal Geelong Yacht Club
Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club
Sandringham Yacht Club
SPORT PROFESSIONAL AWARD – FINALISTS
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT – FINALISTS
VOLUNTEER AWARD – FINALISTS
John Rosser (WA)
Garry Hosie (Vic)
Brian Sorell (SA)
CLUB OF THE YEAR – FINALISTS
Fremantle Sailing Club (WA)
Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron (Vic)
Wynyard Yacht Club (Tas)
OFFICIAL OF THE YEAR – FINALISTS
John Standley (WA)
Mark Taylor (Vic)
INSTRUCTOR OF THE YEAR – FINALISTS
Craig Ferris (NSW)
Leanne Thomson (Vic)
COACH OF THE YEAR – FINALISTS
Tristan Brown (WA)
Tony Bull (Vic)
Larry Cargill (NSW)
CYCA SOLAS TRUSTS BRAVERY AWARD