View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Friday, November 16, 2007

Emirates Team New Zealand Wins NZ Sailing Award

Many times the UAE-New Zealand connection was mentioned through the sailing for the America’s Cup this year. While they did not collect the big one, they were awarded a prize in NZ tonight. Here is the crucial part of the report:

Emirates Team New Zealand was named Carlson Wagonlit Travel Sailor of the Year 2007 at the Yachting New Zealand Excellence Awards tonight.

Young Sailor of the Year was jointly awarded to Optimist World Champion Chris STEELE and 420 World Champions Carl EVANS and Peter BURLING.

The winners were announced in front of a packed audience at the presentation ceremony and dinner held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Peter MONTGOMERY, acting as Master of Ceremonies made the announcement and Dean BARKER accepted the Award on behalf of Emirates Team New Zealand.

The line-up of finalist nominees for the pinnacle annual yachting title in New Zealand was impressive, making it a tough year for the judges. The medal and trophy haul accumulated by the group of finalists over the past twelve months is tremendous with multiple World Championship titles and medals, Pre-Olympics medals, numerous ISAF Grade 1 medals and the Louis Vuitton Cup amongst them.

“Emirates Team New Zealand won the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2007 and the right to challenge for the 32nd Americas Cup off Valencia, Spain,” said Master of Ceremonies, MONTGOMERY.

“Emirates Team New Zealand, lead by Grant DALTON successfully raced through to win Louis Vuitton capturing and inspiring the New Zealand public and restoring their faith after the disappointment of 2003 with an outstanding performance. In doing so, they put sailing back into the headlines in such a positive way.”

It was this significant achievement which has earned them the title of Sailor of the Year in New Zealand for 2007 despite tough competition from Olympic campaigners including Barbara KENDALL, Jo ALEH and Tom ASHLEY.

His Excellency the Governor-General Anand SATYANAND presented BARKER with the Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy while Debbie KELLY of Carlson Wagonlit Travel handed over a travel prize pack and framed certificate.

More detail can be read at:
ISAF, ‘Emirates Team NZ Named NZ Sailor of the Year’, 16 November 2007

Image: Emirates Team NZ Named NZ Sailor of the Year