Ben Ainslie and Lijia Xu Receive ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award - Sail Magazine

Ben Ainslie and Lijia Xu Receive ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award

The 2012 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards were presented to Ben Ainslie, 35, of Great Britain and Lijia Xu, 25, of China yesterday at the Mansion House in Dublin, Ireland.
Author:
Publish date:
ISAF

The 2012 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards were presented to Ben Ainslie, 35, of Great Britain and Lijia Xu, 25, of China yesterday at the Mansion House in Dublin, Ireland. The award, which recognizes achievements from September 2011 to August of 2012, is considered among the highest honors for sailors.

ISAF and Rolex waited to announce the winners until the ceremony Tuesday, keeping the suspense high for nominees and guests. Ainslie and Xu were two of nine closely contested candidates, five male and four female, nominated by the public for the award. More than 130 Member National Authorities of ISAF cast their votes to decide the winners: Ainslie, a four-time Olympic Gold medalist, and Xu, the first Chinese sailor to win Olympic Gold in a dinghy.

“Winning the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year award is a huge honor, especially for everyone who has helped me,” Ainslie said.

This was actually Ainslie’s fourth time winning the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award. He has been at the top of the sport for the last 20 years, claiming nine European titles and 10 world championships. While Ainslie has had a remarkable career, he remains modest about his achievements.

“There are a lot of fantastic sailors out there,” Ainslie said. “I am very fortunate to have had the support to do what I have.”

Modesty was also apparent in female recipient Xu.

“I didn’t expect to be the winner,” said Xu. “It is an honor to be named the ISAF World Sailor of the Year and become the first sailor from China to receive this award.”

Xu made history in August when she became the first Chinese, and first Asian, to win an Olympic Gold medal in a dinghy. Xu’s victory at the 2012 Olympic Games came after a year of strong performances with three victorious ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas and a silver medal at the Laser World Championships.

Xu overcame hearing and sight problems and even a tumor in her leg throughout her young career to stick with the sport she said offers her opportunity.

“Sailing leads me to a path to a better life, a life full of vitality, excitement and joyful experiences,” Xu said.

Both sailors were presented with a Rolex timepiece and an ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year trophy.

For further information on ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year Awards visit: sailing.org/worldsailor

Photo courtesy of ISAF

Related

daviscards

Davis Instruments: Quick Reference Cards

CHECK THESEIf you’re sailing with new crew this summer or your kids have suddenly and inexplicably started to look up from their phones and take an interest in the finer points of cruising, these Quick Reference Cards from Davis are a great way to further their boating education. ...read more

01-rbir18-596

Another Epic Round Britain Race

There are basically two kinds of offshore sailboat races out there: those that take place annually, like the Fastnet and Chicago-to-Mackinac races; and those that take place every other year, like the Transpac and Newport-Bermuda race, in part so the competitors have sufficient ...read more

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more