A big shout out to our South African sailors who were celebrated at the annual SA Sailing awards at Victoria Lake Club in Germiston last week.
Benji Daniel (PYC) and Alex Burger (RCYC) were awarded the Owen Aisher Trophy as the 2017 SA Sailors of the Year. The young pair made their mark by winning the 29er World Championships in California in August 2017. Prior to this they achieved a podium position in the USA National Championships and their win was achieved in a world class fleet of over 100 boats.
The David Butler Trophy for the SA Youth Sailor of the Year went to Calvin Gibbs. The 18-year-old achieved a fourth-place finish in the Laser class at the Youth World Championships in China in December 2017. This was the best result by a South African at the Youth Worlds since the event was held on home waters in 1998.
The Gordon Burnwood Trophy for the most meritorious ocean race or passage sailed during 2017 went to Hylton Hale. Sailing for RCYC, Hylton served as skipper, helmsman and campaign manager of the GP42 Lion of Africa Vulcan in the 2017 Cape 2 Rio race. The team finished as the third boat overall, third in their IRC division, and they were the first South African boat to finish the race. Plus they broke the South African record in the process. Hale also drafted in the only female bowman on a high performance sports boat in the race.
Finally, the Stan Jeffrey Trophy for outstanding administration in the sport was awarded to Rob Willcox. Rob has served on the SA Sailing national council and notched up countless years of contribution to the sport of sailing as an administrator, event organiser, and a sailor. He is regularly involved behind the scenes and has been a passionate supporter of the sport while also remaining an active sailor in the dinghy and keelboat classes.
Congratulations to all! Keep on flying our SA flag high!