Sunday, January 17, 2016

Yachts and Yachting Awards 2016 at the London Boat Show

For the last couple of years the highlights of my Boat Shows have been the people, meeting sailors and authors and hearing their stories. And the Yachts and Yachting Award 2016 ceremony is just the sort of place where real sailors can be found.

The "Show Theatre" was pretty small so I arrived early to get a seat but found it was guarded by a young chap with sports jacket who had a list of names and emails on a clipboard. I guessed mine would not be on it (nor, of course, Buff's) so stood at a well chosen position, just outside, to the edge of the walkway to the front.

So I got a good view of the likes of Volvo legend Knut Frostad (above) as he headed up not just once but twice, the first time for "Event of the Year", namely the Volvo, and secondly for his well earned life-time achievement award above:
It was on his way up to get the first of these impressive silver trophies that he accidentally rammed into me, so I did, as Buff indicated, bump into Kut Frostad. I also was standing close to Rick Tomlinson whose photography course I'd been on back in 2013, so said hello to him.

Another winner was Guo Chuan for his record breaking traverse of the North-East passage. There'd been a talk earlier in the day on that expedition that I'd been sorry to miss and he wasn't there so the award was picked up by another in the team:
The "Pro Sailor of the Year" award was won by Ian Walker who also couldn't be there so the prize was picked up by his mum, below, with Yachts and Yachting's editor Georgie Corlett-Pitt:
Ian had written a rather lovely message about how much he owed to his parents which was so nice his mum ended up unable to finish reading it aloud and Gorgie Corlett-Pitt had to take over.

There were many other prizes which I guess can be found in Yachts and Yachting magazine. The most enthusiasm was probably for the prizes for "Youth Sailor of the Year", where there was a healthy representation from young women sailors, and many congratulations to Mimi El-Khazindar & Emma Loveridge (winners) and Eleanor Poole (runner up).

It was an event with a definite upbeat feel to it: lots going on, exciting days for sailors in the UK, with a big round of applause showing support for the Ben Ainslie America's Cup team, new faces and new yachts to get 2016 off to a good start.

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