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Nominees for World Sailing Awards 2023 revealed

October 23 2023

World Sailing is proud to announce the nominees in this year’s Rolex World Sailor of the Year, 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award and Team of the Year.

Nominees for World Sailing Awards 2023 revealed

The nominees for each award represent the very highest achievement in the sport over the past year. From Allianz Sailing World Championships gold-medallists and World Sailing Special Event winners to world record holders, as well as those making huge strides to modernise the sport at every level. 

Voting for all three awards opens today and everyone who loves sailing is invited to help decide the winners. Voting closes at midnight UTC on Monday, 30 October.

The public vote will make up 50% of the final decisions with 50% contributed by World Sailing’s expert panels.

Cast your vote here.

This year’s awards will be presented during the live World Sailing Awards on Tuesday 14 November in Malaga, Spain. 

David Graham, World Sailing CEO, said, “This year’s nominees are drawn from far and wide across the entire sport of sailing. With so many diverse disciplines, inspirational figures and great achievements to honour, selecting the nominees was an incredibly difficult task for the judging panel as every one of them has a strong case.  

“As the short lists for the Rolex World Sailor of the Year and Team of the Year demonstrate, our sport can take great pride in the role models we produce from boards to offshore racing, there are heroes everywhere you look in sailing.   

“We can also take pride in the huge progress in sustainability throughout the sport, from the use of recyclable materials, to extending the lifespan of existing equipment and making a change in the way events are organised. This year’s finalists reflect the impact sailing can have on communities across the globe and we are very proud of everything all of the entrants have achieved.” 

The 2023 Rolex World Sailor of the Year nominees: 


Betsy Alison: Alison showed great courage with an inspirational win in the Hansa 303 at the Allianz Sailing World Championships, less than a year after surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from the American’s hip. 

Vilma Bobeck and Rebecca Netzler: The Swedish duo’s dominant perfomance in the 49erFX secured victory at the Allianz Sailing World Championships in The Hague as they won seven out of 15 races and earned podium positions in five others.  

Kirsten Neuschäfer: South African Kirsten Neuschäfer wrote 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.

Lauriane Nolot: France’s Nolot defined consistency in 2023 with Formula Kite victories in the Sailing World Championships, the Paris 2024 Test Event, the Princes Sofia Regatta and the Semaine Olympique Francaise De Voile. 


Charlie Enright: An exceptional performance in The Ocean Race, saw Enright become the first American skipper of an American team to win the event with his leadership of the 11th Hour Racing Team. 

Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken: Lambriex and Van de Werken won the 49er world title for the third time in a row, this time with a race to spare on home waters at the Allianz Sailing World Championships. The Dutch pair also won 49er gold at the Paris 2024 Test Event in Marseille with a race to spare.  

Max Maeder: The Singaporean teenager amassed a pile of medals in 2023, including golds at the Allianz Sailing World Championships, the Asian Games and the Formula Kite Youth World Championships.  

Tom Slingsby: Slingsby secured victory for Team Australia in SailGP Season 3 in May, marking their third consecutive season win and has achieved four podium finishes in Season 4 to date. The Australian also skippered American Magic to victory in the inaugural event of the 2024 America’s Cup held in Vilanova in September.  

The 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award nominees: 

Biotherm Sailing Team: The Biotherm Sailing Team studied biodiversity, capturing data onboard their IMOCA class using an automated microscope to analyse phytoplankton in understudied parts of the ocean.  

Club de Vela la Ballena de Alegre: Hosts of the 2023 Optimist World Championships, Club de Vela la Ballena de Alegre created a sustainability program for the event, focusing on the environment by reducing waste and improving biodiversity conservation, as well as socially through community engagement and education. 

Ecoracer Sailing: Manufacturers of the Ecoracer 30 boat, the world’s first 100% recyclable production boat, Ecoracer Sailing are also aiming to develop a racing series using the boats to showcase the issue of end of life composite materials that are not reused.   

The Magenta Project: A global leader in female empowerment in sailing, The Magenta Project’s nine-month mentoring programme has helped 150 women accelerate their progress into their chosen sailing field over the last four years.  

Team of the Year nominees:

11th Hour Racing Team: The winners of the 2022-23 Ocean Race demonstrated all the qualities needed to succeed in one of the sport’s most demanding events and also supported a number of initiatives to improve ocean health. 

Australia SailGP: Skippered by Tom Slingsby, Australia SailGP won their third series title with victory in Season 3 of SailGP when they won the Grand Final in San Francisco. Slingsby’s team won four of the 11 regattas throughout the season to finish top of the overall series leaderboard before going on to win the three-boat Grand Final.   

Bart Lambriex and Floris van de Werken: Also nominated for Rolex Sailor of the Year, the crew of Lambriex and Van de Werken won the 49er world title at this year’s Allianz Sailing World Championships on home waters, making it their third consecutive win, and 49er gold at the Paris 2024 Sailing Test Event in Marseille, claiming both titles with a race to spare.  

Match In Pink Normandy Elite Team: Skippered by Pauline Courtois, the Match In Pink Normandy Elite Team has had a stellar year. In 2023, they won the Women’s Match Racing World Championship in Denmark, the Women’s Match Racing European Championship in Italy, and finished first in both the Women’s World Match Racing Tour in Normandy and in the World Sailing Match Racing Ranking. 

About the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards

World Sailing launched the World Sailor of the Year Awards in 1994 to reward individual sailors for outstanding achievements in the sport. Rolex has been the title sponsor of the awards since 2001, celebrating more than 20 years of excellence in sailing. 

For more information and to see the Roll of Honour, please visit the World Sailing website. 

About the 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Awards

The 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award is the highest recognition of success in marine sustainability. The winners receive an iconic trophy, made from recycled carbon fibre sourced from an America’s Cup boat and infused with bio-resin and a $10,000 USD prize to help further their sustainability activities. 

For more information and to see the Roll of Honour, please visit the World Sailing website. 

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