Sailing’s highest achievers were honoured at a glittering World Sailing Awards ceremony in Málaga. The 2023 Rolex World Sailor of the Year awards were presented to Tom Slingsby and Kirsten Neuschäfer, in a contest decided by an expert panel and a public vote. Slingsby was separated from his nearest competitor by fewer than 20 votes.
The Magenta Project won the 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award. The AC40 was named Boat of the Year, 11th Hour Racing won Team of the Year, Dick Rose was presented with the Beppe Croce Trophy and the Andrew Simpson Foundation won the President’s Development Award.
Tom Slingsby was named male 2023 Rolex World Sailor of the Year for the third time at the World Sailing Awards 2023 after guiding his Australia SailGP to a third consecutive title, ensuring he is still the only skipper to have won the SailGP trophy. He is also skipper of American Magic, who will seek success in the America’s Cup next year.
Slingsby said: “I’m super humbled to be in this position. Previously when I’ve won this award, it’s been after a Laser world title or a Moth world title but this time it was purely sailing with teams.
“American Magic have had a rough journey so far in their America’s Cup campaign but it feels like we’re really turning a chapter and there are really exciting things to come.
“And then with the Australian SailGP team, these are some of my oldest and best friends in the world and I’m so fortunate to go sailing with them and I’d be nothing without those guys behind me.”
South African Kirsten Neuschäfer was named female 2023 Rolex World Sailor of the Year after writing her name into the history books by becoming the first woman to finish first in the solo Golden Globe Race, a journey around the world reliant on no modern technology. She also came to the rescue of a fellow sailor during the course of the event.
Due to other commitments, Neuschäfer was unable to attend the ceremony but in a video message, she said: “It’s such an incredible honour to be a nominee among such amazing, acclaimed and iconic sailors, but to win this award, to be given this recognition by such an esteemed panel of judges and by the public means so, so much to me. Thank-you to everyone who has believed in me and cheered me on.”
Other award winners here.