For the first time in over 60 years, two female sailors Tracy Edwards and Nikki Henderson received the Yachtsman of the Year award voted for by the Association of Yacht Journalists. Moreover, 15-year-old Emily Mueller received the Young Sailor of the Year award. It is a truly historic event when women won both prestigious awards.
Youngest winner Emily Mueller was awarded for participation and victory in the British National Championship Volvo Gill Optimist (Volvo Gill Optimist British National Championship)... Having received the award, Young Yachtsman of the YearEmily said she never thought she would go this far in sailing. At first she just went sailing for fun, but now she has a taste for competition. Her victory came as a surprise to her, since she did not even know that she was nominated for the award.
Nikki Henderson made history in 2018 when, at 24, she became the youngest skipper ever to sail in a yacht race Clipper round the world... She finished second in the race, after the Australian Wendy Tuck, thereby securing the first victorious places for women. Nikki commented that this is a step in the right direction for her. She thinks it is very important to recognize the aspect that Clipper race Is not only a victory for women skippers, but also the fact that now almost half of the crews are women. This is a really good example that a sport doesn't have to be completely masculine; it should be - and maybe - a 50:50 mixed sport and this is what women should strive for.
Tracy Edwardssecond time award-winning, she made history for the first time when she became the skipper of the world's first all-female crew to race Whitbread round the world in 1989. Crew won two Whitbread stages and finished second overall on a yacht Maiden... After that, Tracy received the Order of the British Empire and became the first woman to receive the Yachtsman of the Year award for the 34-year history of the ceremony itself. Since then the yacht Maiden was renovated and last fall Tracy Edwards embarked on a three-year journey with a project aimed at promoting girls' education around the world and raising funds to fund projects to empower young women.
Edwards said of his victory that it was very surreal. The first time she won the trophy, she didn't know what it was because she was not part of this world of yacht racing. It was amazing and at the time she thought it was a very far-sighted decision made by the Yachting Journalists Association to reward her given that they gave women the opportunity to get to the starting line. And winning this award again is extraordinary because now there are amazing women like Nikki and other fantastic female sailors, and she thinks Maiden played a part in it. And what Nikki do Wendy Tuck and Dee Caffariand other girls like Emily are the future here and it really matters, so it means a lot to her.
The awards ceremony took place in London on Wednesday 6 March and was hosted by MS Amlin Yacht after breakfast celebrating the 80th birthday of the four-time winner YJA Yachtsman of the Year sir Robin Knox-Johnston.
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