Orbit Corporate Travel Sailor of the Year for 2012 has been awarded to Olympic golden girls Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie, while their coach, Nathan Handley has been named 2012 Singapore Airlines Coach/Official of the Year.
These and other Awards were presented at yachting’s annual celebration, the 2012 Yachting Excellence Awards where a crowd of around 300 packed out the waterfront venue at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron tonight (Friday evening).
Kept in suspense until the end of proceedings Aleh and Powrie were announced as the winners of the major prize, presented the Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy by Sir Colin Giltrap and Brendan Drury from Orbit Corporate Travel. Their names are now engraved on the silverware alongside the likes of Sir Russell Coutts, Barbara Kendall, Sir Peter Blake, Grant Dalton, Tom Ashley and many more big names in yachting since the Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy was first presented in 1969.
This accomplishment tops off an amazing year for the women’s 470 sailing pair who made the history books when they sailed to Olympic glory off the coast of Weymouth, England in August.
The Olympic Champions are excited about the opportunity to fulfil the 2012 Olympic mantra and ‘inspire a generation’. In the lead-up to tonight’s Awards Ceremony Aleh and Powrie were part of a group of sailing’s Heroes and Legends signing posters, posing for photos and answering the questions of a crowd of enthusiastic youngsters who turned out at Westhaven Marina.
On Saturday morning the girls fly to Wellington where they will visit a number of the capital’s yacht clubs to meet with local sailors, show off their Olympic medals and sign posters.
Gold medal coach, Nathan Handley was named the winner of the 2012 Singapore Airlines Coach/Official of the Year from a list of nine finalists in the category.
With them from the outset of their partnership, Nathan Handley has coached and nurtured Team Jolly - Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie – through the high points and set backs of their four year campaign in the Women’s 470 through to the very proud moment of an Olympic Gold medal.
2012 Singapore Airlines Young Sailor of the Year went to up and coming 49er sailors Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski. Among the six category finalists Hansen and Porebski, who are training partners to Olympic silver medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, were the crew whose recent results impressed the judging panel most.
They joined forces in the 49er just last year quickly demonstrating their formidable talent with selection to the NZL Sailing Team and sixth place at the 2012 49er World Championships in Croatia in May, while both just 19 years of age.
Another young talent was recognised last night with the Yachting New Zealand Emerging Talent Award supported by OKI which recognises considerable promise in yachting. Nominated by the Hamilton Yacht Club, Isaac McHardie started his sailing career with a learn to sail course in 2007 going on to become the most successful junior sailor from the Club in its 75 year history; he is Tanner Cup Champion for two consecutive years running (2011 and 2012).
The Yachting New Zealand President’s Award went to Napier Sailing Club AND the 2011 Optimist World Championship Organizing Committee for the impressive combined effort in delivering an absolutely top notch event at the 2012 Optimist World Championship held in January. This international regatta attracted 210 competitors from 48 countries covering all continents. In addition there were 228 volunteers plus 124 Officials and Coaches.
Here is a complete list of those recognised at the 2012 Yachting Excellence Awards…
Orbit Corporate Travel Sailor of the Year: Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie
Singapore Airlines Young Sailor of the Year Winner: Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski
Ellie Copeland and Erica Dawson - 5th at the 2012 ISAF Youth World Championships (Female 420)
Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski – 6th at the 2012 49er World Championships
Gemma Jones and Tomer Simhony – 5th at the 2012 ISAF Youth World Championships (SL16)
Andrew McKenzie – 2nd at the 2012 Laser Radial Youth World Championships
Trent Rippey and Alex Munro – National and international success in the 29er class
James Turner – 2nd at the 2012 470 Junior World Championships
Singapore Airlines Coach/Official of the Year
Shane Borrell – Umpire for Women’s Match Racing at the 2012 London Olympic Games
Jez Fanstone – Coached Peter Burling and Blair Tuke to Olympic Silver
Russell Green – A Judge at the 2012 London Olympic Games
Nathan Handley – Coached Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie to Olympic Gold
Aaron McIntosh – Coached Dorian Van Rijsselberghe to Olympic Gold
John Parrish – Race Officer for the Laser and Laser Radial at the 2012 London Olympic Games
Ralph Roberts – Chairman of the Jury at the 2012 London Paralympic Games
David Slyfield – Performance planner to New Zealand’s Olympic sailing medallists
Sara Winther – Coach to New Zealand’s most successful Laser Masters Worlds Team ever
Yachting New Zealand Emerging Talent Award supported by OKI:
Isaac McHardie, Hamilton Yacht Club
2012 Yachting New Zealand Performance Awards
Jo Aleh & Olivia Powrie- Gold in the Women’s 470 at the 2012 London Olympic Games
Peter Burling & Blair Tuke - Silver in the Men’s 49er at the 2012 London Olympic Games
Mike Keeton - Gold medal at the Laser Masters World Championships – Radial Grand Master
Andy Maloney - Bronze medal at the 2012 Laser Standard Senior Men's World Championships
Brad Marsh - Groupama Bowman, winning the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race
Andrew Murdoch - 5th Laser at the 2012 London Olympic Games
Hamish Pepper & Jim Turner - 5th Star at the 2012 London Olympic Games
Paul Snow-Hansen & Jason Saunders - 5th Men’s 470 at the 2012 London Olympic Games
Jon-Paul Tobin - Bronze medal at the 2012 RSX Men's World Championships
Alex Vallings & Crew - Winner of the 2012 18FT Skiff International Regatta
2012 Yachting New Zealand Service Awards
Gary Corkin - Richmond Yacht Club
Derry Godbert - Kerikeri Cruising Club
John Greenfield - Heretaunga Boating Club
Kit Grigg - Akaroa Yacht Club
Ross Markwick - Royal NZ Yacht Squadron
Gerald Martin - Napier Sailing Club & NZIODA
Les McBean - Port Chalmers Yacht Club
Don McBeth, Don Waterer, Gail Sanders & Peter Channings – French Bay Yacht Club
Joyce Talbot - Classic Yacht Association of NZ
Ivor Wilkins – Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
Yachting New Zealand Cruising Award:
Kerry Farrand, Kerikeri Cruising Club
Yachting New Zealand President’s Award supported by Vodafone
Napier Sailing Club AND The 2011 Opti Worlds Organizing Committee for the 2012 Optimist Sailing Worlds Championships