Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen 2017 Fit to Win 1 728

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 Rutland
180 sailors for Volvo GJW Direct National Series 5 180 Toppers descended upon Rutland SC last weekend for round 5 of the 2016-17 Volvo GJW Direct Topper National Series. After a succession of windy national events, the advance forecast this time was predicting generally light winds. Posted on 23 Jun
Toppers at Poole
Rooster Southern Area Travellers Round 3 A superb turnout of Topper sailors descended on Poole YC in Dorset over the weekend of 10th and 11th June for one day of pre-event race coaching followed by the third event of the 2017 Rooster Southern Area Topper traveller on day 2. Posted on 21 Jun
Toppers at Stokes Bay preview
Rooster Southern Area Travellers Round 4 The fourth of the 2017 Rooster Southern Topper Traveller series events is now under two weeks away to be held at Stokes Bay Sailing Club in Hampshire on Saturday 1st July. Posted on 21 Jun
Greenings International to debut team
In biggest Round-the-World Ocean Race It is announced today that Greenings International, a world leader in sourcing Senior Level Executive Talent for Card Payment and Fintech clients, will debut as a Team Partner in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race. Posted on 19 Jun
Clipper CEO set for Prudential RideLondon 100
William Ward's challenge to support official race charity Unicef UK The Clipper Race's official charity is UNICEF, and this year the teams are aiming to raise £400,000. Clipper's CEO, William Ward, has worked closely with Unicef UK and its global offices, experiencing first-hand the vital work it does. Posted on 19 Jun
Plymouth Dinghy Regatta
Bumper entry of 65 boats The 2017 Plymouth Dinghy Regatta saw a bumper entry of 65 boats, covering a diverse range of classes and speeds, from a foiling Moth through to Toppers who were also contesting their South West Championships. Posted on 15 Jun
North West Junior Travellers at Bassenthwaite
Including the RS Tera Northern Championship Over the weekend of 10-11 June Bassenthwaite Sailing Club held a multi fleet open meeting, mainly for junior sailors, generally sailing single handed boats. Posted on 12 Jun
Toppers at Chipstead
23 sailors, including one visitor from Devon Twenty-three Topper sailors gathered on the Saturday morning, including one visitor from Devon, for the annual Chipstead Topper Open Meeting. Posted on 11 Jun
Stride Treglown Topper Welsh Championship
A weekend of fun at Llandegfedd When my parents suggested a trip to Llandegfedd for the Welsh Nationals as we weren't sailing anywhere else I thought, "why not". Some of my friends had said they were already going and another weekend of racing and socialising with them is always fun. Posted on 6 Jun
Salcombe Junior Regatta
Near perfect conditions on Thursday Near perfect conditions greeted the forty young sailors who made the wise decision to compete in this year's Salcombe Yacht Club's Junior Open on Thursday 1st June. Posted on 3 Jun