Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing - 2017 Apr - 728x90

boats.com YJA Yachtsman and Young Sailor of the Year Awards 2016

by Michael Ford on 10 Jan 10 January 2017
Amateur sailor Gavin Reid named boats.com YJA Yachtsman of the Year © Ingrid Abery / www.ingridabery.com

Gavin Reid, a 27-year old adventurer who took part in last year's Clipper Round the World Race for amateur sailors, has been rewarded for his heroic mid-ocean rescue of a sailor found trapped at the top of the mast on another yacht with the 2016 boats.com YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award.

Fifteen-year old Elliott Kuzyk from Poole, Dorset won the 2016 boats.com YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award after winning the 2016 Topper World Championship.

Both sailors received their awards at a Gala Lunch held at Trinity House, London and presented on behalf of the YJA by the 2015 Yachtsman of the Year, Ian Walker MBE following a close vote taken by members of the Yachting Journalists' Association.

boats.com YJA Yachtsman of the Year 2016

Gavin Reid, whose family home is in Bideford Devon, but now works in Cambridge, was crewing the Clipper Round the World race yacht Mission Performance when an SOS was picked up off the New South Wales coast of Australia from a yacht returning from the Sydney Hobart Race, which had a crewman stuck at the top of the mast. Mission Performance was competing in the Henri-Lloyd Hobart to Whitsunday's leg of the Clipper Race and was nearest to the stricken vessel. Gavin who is profoundly deaf and had zero sailing experience prior to signing up for the Clipper Race, volunteered to swim between the two yachts and found four other crew onboard all incapacitated and unable to help their crewmate who had been tangled in halyards at the top of the mast for several hours.

Using the one remaining staysail halyard, Gavin hoisted himself two thirds of the way up the swinging mast, then climbed the rest of the way hand-over-hand to reach the crewman, untangle the lines and help to lower him down safely.

"To be named 2016 boats.com YJA Yachtsman of the Year over some of my absolute heroes of the sport, feels like an incredible honour."

"If someone had told me two years ago when I was starting my training for the Clipper Race that I would be here today collecting this award, I couldn't have believed it."

The runners up are Olympic Gold Medalist Giles Scott from Portsmouth and Round the Island Race record holder Brian Thompson from Southampton.

boats.com YJA Young Sailor of the Year 2016

Elliott Kuzyk (15), from Poole won the boats.com YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award following his victory in the 200-strong Topper World Championship in Ireland, an event open to all ages. Elliott eventually took the title after a seven-way battle for top spot. He also broke UK regional records by winning the Topper Southern Area Championships for an unprecedented fifth year.

"It really is a prestigious trophy and I didn't expect to win," said Elliott. "But I am very happy."

The runners up are 18-year old 29er class dinghy sailors Tom Darling from Kettering and Crispin Beaumont from Halesowen, and 15-year old powerboat champion Thomas Mantripp from Lowestoft,

Ian Atkins, boats.com Chairman commented after the ceremony, "I'm proud to present the Yachtsman of the Year and Young Sailor of the year awards once again this year. 2016 was so full of extraordinary sailing achievement — from multiple Olympic gold medal wins, to many new British world champions, to life saving heroics. Today we are delighted to recognise all of the UK's success in such a diverse and challenging sport."

Related Articles

Toppers at Burghfield preview
Rooster Southern Area Travellers Round 6 The 6th of the 2017 Rooster Sailing Southern Topper Traveller series events will be held at Burghfield Sailing Club, near Reading, on Saturday 2nd September. Posted on 16 Aug
Volvo GJW Direct Topper Nationals overall
Extremes of weather on the final two days The final two days of the Volvo GJW Direct Topper 5.3 and 4.2 National Championships at Pwllheli could hardly have had greater extremes of weather, unfortunately neither of which were particularly conducive to good championship racing! Posted on 13 Aug
Bassenthwaite Lake Sailing Week midweek report
Including the popular Nairn pursuit race Following a weekend of heavy sailing Monday morning was given over to training for young enthusiasts. The afternoon's Luffing Cup was held in a relatively light SW wind and the course was restricted to the northern end of the lake. Posted on 12 Aug
Nasdaq Clipper Race skipper revealed
Rob Graham has 10 days before his 40,000nm race Rob Graham, 39, from Angmering, West Sussex, has today been formally announced as the professional Skipper who will lead the Nasdaq team entry in the 40,000-nautical mile Clipper Race, the biggest round-the-world yacht race. Posted on 10 Aug
Volvo GJW Direct Topper Nationals day 4
Conditions test boats and sailors to their limits Day 4 saw the start of the Championship Series for the 5.3s, with the overall standings from the first 7 races determining the rankings for the Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets, and the 4.2s continuing their single 22 race series. Posted on 10 Aug
Volvo GJW Direct Topper Nationals day 3
Including the inaugural Beach Olympics Day 3 of the Volvo GJW Direct Topper 5.3 and 4.2 National Championships dawned with very little wind, but a promising forecast for later, so, as this was always scheduled to be a short day's racing, to accommodate the inaugural Beach Olympics later. Posted on 9 Aug
Volvo GJW Direct Topper Nationals day 2
What a difference a day makes! What a difference a day makes! As race day 2 dawned at the Welsh National Sailing Academy, the rain had at last stopped, the wind had moderated, and the sun was shining! Posted on 8 Aug
Bassenthwaite Lake Sailing Week first weekend
Over 150 boats take to the water on the lake Over 150 crews took to the water over the weekend for the first four race series in the nine day Bassenthwaite Lake Regatta sponsored by the Lakes Distillery. The wind on both days was medium strength but both gusty and shifting in direction. Posted on 8 Aug
Horning Sailing Club Regatta Week
Lively conditions the theme for much of the racing The first day of Horning Sailing Club's Open Regatta Week began on Monday 31st July with a good breeze and sunshine, providing lively conditions, a theme of which was to continue for much of the week. Posted on 7 Aug
Nasdaq 'Ignites Ambition' as Team Partner
In Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race Nasdaq is to be a Team Partner in the next edition of the unique Clipper Race, which sees a diverse cross-section of people from all walks of life put their everyday routines on hold to embark on the greatest ocean adventure around the planet. Posted on 7 Aug