James Spithill was named Male Sailor of the Year after becoming the first Australian since John Bertrand in 1983 to helm an America’s Cup winning boat. Spithill is a worthy recipient of the award after taking charge of the giant 90-foot multihull, USA-17, in the Deed-Of-Gift match against Alinghi in Valencia in February. Tonight was the second time that Spithill has been named Male Sailor of the Year following his victory in 2006.
Australian Women’s Match Racing Team skipper Nicky Souter and her crew Rayshele Martin, Nina Curtis, Lucinda Whitty, Kat Stroinovsky and Amanda Scrivenor were named Female Sailor of the Year following their victory at the 2009 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship in Sweden.
Yachting Australia President Andrew Plympton presented his annual President’s Award to Glenn Ashby. Ashby was recognised for his continual success and tireless work both on and off the water which has seen him win an Olympic medal, multiple World Championships and in 2010 he coached the BMW Oracle crew to victory in the 33rd America’s Cup.
The OAMPS Insurance Brokers Youth Sailor of the Year award was presented to solo sailor Jessica Watson following her successful circumnavigation of the world on her yacht Ella’s Pink Lady. Watson returned home to a hero’s welcome on Sydney Harbour in May 2010.
The Sailor of the Year with a Disability award was won by Queensland teenager Angus MacGregor. MacGregor’s win comes following his victory at the Access 2.3 World Championship earlier this year with his award coming after he was a finalist at the 2009 Australian Yachting Awards.
The Boat Shed at Albert Park received the Sport Promotion Award. The Boat Shed continues to go from strength to strength in introducing children to the sport of sailing and has become a centerpiece for the promotion of sailing in Melbourne.
The Sport Professional Award was presented to Alistair Murray for his continual efforts in the sport, not only as CEO of Ronstan but for his work in organising events. Alistair has had success on the water, winning a number of national titles, along with a world title.
Queensland’s David Brookes received the Volunteer of the Year award, recognising him for service on a local and national level.
The 2010 Australian Yachting Awards also saw two individuals receive Lifetime Achievement Awards. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to the sport of sailing over at least 20 and in 2010 was awarded to Tony Mooney from New South Wales and Kevin Wood from Victoria.