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World Sailor of the Year Awards

Torben Grael and Anna Tunnicliffe awarded

Tuesday 10 November 2009Redaction SSS [Source RP]

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ISAF and Rolex announced that the male and female winners of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2009 are Torben Grael (BRA) and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA).

Torben Grael received his award tonight, and in his winning speech said, "It’s an honour to be here. It’s not the first time I’ve attended this award ceremony, but it’s truly a different feeling to stand here," he said, from behind the podium. "I am very thankful, and to be here I represent not only myself but all the people who helped me run my campaigns: the sailors, my family, my parents, my wife, the company Ericsson. it’s been a fantastic year and it was a fantastic [Volvo Ocean] Race. This year has made me aware of some feelings I am not used to," said an emotional Grael as he accepted his ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award.

"I’d like to thank Rolex for their continued support- it’s great what they do for our sport," said Anna Tunnicliffe, upon being named the female ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year. "I’ve had great fun competing in a variety of classes, I love doing it, and I’d like to thank my sponsors, my teams, my parents for being my managers, and my husband for always allowing me to sail."

- Press info

The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award is the highest award a sailor can receive in recognition of his/her outstanding achievements. The Awards are presented annually based on a worldwide selection process that incorporates an open invitation to nominations, followed by a vote amongst the 130 member nations of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).

The Awards have been held every year since 1994 and past winners include Peter Blake (NZL), Ellen MacArthur (GBR), Robert Scheidt (BRA) and Russell Coutts (SUI). In 2008 the Awards were presented to four-time Olympic medal winners Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Alessandra Sensini (ITA).

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