Kurt Arrigo / Rolex

ISAF Rolex (Olympic) Sailor of the Year Awards

Recipients this year are 470 sailors Matt Belcher and Jo Aleh/Olivia Powrie

Tuesday November 12th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

ISAF and Rolex are proud to announce that the winners of the 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards are:

Male: Mathew Belcher (AUS)

Female: Jo Aleh & Polly Powrie (NZL)

Having being nominated twice before in 2010 and 2012, it proved to be third time lucky for Mathew Belcher, the Australian Olympic and World champion in the 470 dinghy class, whose current winning streak stretches to an amazing 17 consecutive regattas.

“It’s a complete honour,” said Belcher during the awards ceremony held in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. “It's great recognition for this year and the efforts we’ve put in and the results we’ve achieved. I am very fortunate to have great support, from my coach Victor Kovalenko, crew and support staff.”

470 sailors were also rewarded in the female category of the Awards. The New Zealand pairing of Jo Aleh and Olivia ‘Polly’ Powrie are the current women’s Olympic and World champions in the Class.

“I’m a little bit shocked,” said Aleh. “There were some amazing nominees this year and we are delighted to be part of this. We feel honoured to be part of the group.” “We haven’t done this alone and we had some wonderful people behind us who have been truly supportive,” added Powrie.

The full list of nominees for the coveted and prestigious 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards were:


Mathew Belcher (AUS) – Men’s 470 World & Olympic Champion

François Gabart (FRA) – IMOCA World Champion & 2012-13 Vendée Globe Winner

Johnny Heineken (USA) – Kiteboarding World #1 & 2012 Men’s Course Racing World Champion

Paul Larsen (AUS) – Vestas Sailrocket 2 Outright Speed Record

Ian Williams (GBR) – Match Racing 2012 Match Racing World Champion - World #1 Open Match Racer for 16 consecutive releases starting in January 2012


Jo Aleh & Olivia Powrie (NZL) – Women’s 470 World & Olympic Champions

Deneen Demourkas (USA) – Farr 30 2013 World Champion – third consecutive title

Erika Heineken (USA) – Kiteboarding 2012 Course Racing World Champion

Raiya Al Habsi (OMA) – First Omani Woman To Sail in the Rolex Fastnet Race


Latest Comments

  • nthomas 12/11/2013 - 22:50

    Ok, so I am an unashamed fan of Paul Larsen and all he has done, but I do think the "uniqueness" of his achievements should have made him this year's recipient of the Sailor of the Year, even over Gabart's Vendee win. I do not mean this to minimalise the achievements of the actual winners, but what Paul Larsen did in the past year or so was extraordinary in the extreme and deserves the recognition and respect that this award would/should have bestowed upon him.
  • Alex Haworth 12/11/2013 - 22:23

    There is no equate. That's the point. Only one set of feet on the other side of that line. And almost 2million views across all YouTube clips. No contest. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZVIj5TUSKE&feature=youtube_gdata_player
  • James Boyd 12/11/2013 - 21:23

    Odd, but predictable given this is ISAF...almost everyone I have spoken to seemed to think that Paul Larsen should have won this award. But really - how do you equate a Vendee Globe winner with a phenomenally successful 470 sailor/Olympic Gold medallist and someone who's just taken the world speed record through the roof?

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