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In search of the Sailing Heroes of 2017

by Yachting Journalists' Association 4 Dec 2017 18:30 GMT 4 December 2017
The coveted Yachtsman of the Year trophy © Sam Kurtul /

It is truly a case of little and large in the run up to the annual presentation of the Yachting Journalists' Association's prestigious Yachtsman of the Year and Young Sailor of the Year Awards with Laser Radial Girls Champion 16-year-old schoolgirl Matilda Nicholls from Durley, near Southampton among the shortlisted candidates for the Young Sailor Award, while Solo Round the World Sailor Alex Thompson is one of three competing nominees for the prestigious Yachtsman of the Year Trophy.

The other shortlisted nominees for the Young Sailor of the Year Award are Montel Fagan-Jordan, who took Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race by storm with a whole host of achievements, a tally that gave the 17-year-old secondary school pupil from Tottenham his shortlisted spot. Meanwhile the 29er championship winning crew of Crispin Beaumont and Tom Darling will return to the podium hot on the heels of their place in the final three in 2017.

Lined up against Thompson in the battle to get their hands on the stunning Yachtsman of the Year Trophy, previous winners of which are a virtual "Who's Who" of British Yachting and include Sir Francis Chichester, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Sir Chay Blyth, Sir Max Aitken (who first presented the Trophy in 1955), Dame Ellen MacArthur and Sir Ben Ainslie, are Moth World Champion Paul Goodison and 49er pair Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell.

The Winners of the Awards, which are voted for by the 250 strong members of the Yachting Journalists' Association in a secret ballot, will be once again be announced at a presentation in the spectacular surroundings of Trinity House, London at Midday on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.