This month the 61st Yachting Journalists’ Association (YJA) Yachtsman of the Year Award will be announced and awarded to one of the three shortlisted finalists. After its introduction in 1993, the 24th YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award will also be announced on Tuesday 10 January at the YJA gala lunch at Trinity House, London.
The annual event, currently sponsored by boats.com has seen very close voting for the 2016 awards that highlight and exceptional year of sailing and boating achievements.
boats.com YJA Yachtsman of the Year Finalists are:
Rio Olympic & World Finn Champion and Land Rover BAR bowman, Giles Scott
Record breaking MOD70 Phaedo3 skipper, Brian Thompson
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race crewman on Mission Performance, Gavin Reid assisted in aiding a stricken yacht off the New South Wales coast.
Thomas Mantripp, 15 has won both the 2016 GP RYA British powerboat GT15 and British Sprint Champion titles, along with a bronze medal at the GT15 UIM European Championships.
Elliott Kuzyk, 15 is five times Topper Southern Area Champion and claimed the 2016 Topper World Champion title in Ireland.
Tom Darling and Crispin Beaumont both 18, are winners of the 2016 British Youth and National 29er Championship titles and last month won the 2016 Youth World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Yachtsman of the Year Award was established in 1955 by Sir Max Aitken, Battle of Britain pilot, chairman of Express Newspapers and himself a leading yachtsman in both sail and power.
Previous winners of the award include Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dame Ellen MacArthur, Ian Walker, Sam Davies, four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie and our friend the Rev Bob Shepton.