Kaenon Sweeps at 2011 Rolex ISAF Sailor of the Year Awards
The highly anticipated announcement of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards was made Tuesday, November 8 in a ceremony in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The winners, selected from an impressive and star-studded gathering of nominees, were Anna Tunnicliffe, who claimed the female award for the second time, and the two-man, Spanish crew of Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez, who awarded the male prize. All three have been a part of Kaenon’s sailing team for some time, and we couldn’t be more excited to congratulate them on this international honor.
With this honor, Anna Tunnicliffe has become the third female nominee in the 18-year history of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards to be awarded the honor for a second time.
Tunnicliffe and her teammates kicked off their ISAF Sailing World Cup campaign in January at the US SAILING Rolex Miami OCR where they won the silver medal. Following that win, they went on to take Bronze in Palma and Hyères and a Gold medal at the Skandia Sail For Gold Regatta in Weymouth in August. The team took fifth in Kiel, the final regatta of the season, giving them just enough to secure them the title.
Between the US Sailing Team Alphagraphics qualifiers and the World Match Racing Tour, Tunnicliffe’s team has stood on the podium eleven times. In January Tunnicliffe was awarded the 2010 US Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Award and the US Sailing Alphagraphics Team of the Year.
The Spanish duo was unable to attend the Award ceremony since they are currently at sea competing for Team Telefonica in the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa.
Through a video feed recorded on the Team Telefonica boat, the pair confirmed that they will be celebrating this prestigious achievement despite the immediate distractions of an ocean race.
“The Award is recognition for all the sacrifices and hard work not only throughout the last 12 months, but also during the last 12 years,” the duo commented. “It’s a prize for our families, who have been suffering because of our absences for such a long time without complaining. This is for them.”
The world’s greatest sailing duo, Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez from Spain have been racing together since 1999. They made their name in the 49er fleet and since 2005 have risen to prominence in offshore sailing as well.
On 31 December 2010 Martinez and Fernandez embarked on their first double-handed non-stop round the world race aboard the IMOCA60 MAPFRE. Fourteen boats started the Barcelona World Race and after just ten months of training aboard an IMOCA60, Martinez and Fernandez returned to Barcelona in second place. They completed the 25,000 mile course in 94 days, 21 hours, 17 minutes and 35 seconds and picked up the Pacific Trophy for the fastest boat to complete the Cook Strait to Cape Horn section of the race.
It is the Olympic 49er fleet where Martinez and Fernandez are most well-known and they already have two Olympic medals and three world champion titles already under their belts. In August 2011 they took a break from their training for the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race and returned to the 49er at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, over a year since they had last competed in the class. In one of the most exciting finales of the regatta, Martinez and Fernandez finished on equal points with fellow nominee Nathan Outteridge who ultimately claimed gold due to a better Medal Race finish.
Iker and Xabi’s talent and ability to compete at the highest level in vastly different events sets them apart from the rest of the competition and proves them worthy of the award this year.
Iker and Xabi both wear Kore C12 or C28 while sailing – no matter the boat, discipline or ocean they are on.
For more information visit individual athlete pages on Kaenon.com or read the full story on Sail-World.Sailing, Sports-Entertainment.
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