2003 DECEMBER

Chris Sayer (NZL)

Nomination
No one who reads Seahorse can be unaware of the mighty struggle Chris Sayer had to get to the start of the Mini Transat - in which he finished third on his first attempt in 1999. Having been ruled out by the organizers - who are now blaming the French government (sic) - Sayer sailed the course anyway, and at the time of writing was leading the fleet. He is nominated, however, for the extraordinarily gracious way he has taken his shabby treatment; a role model if not this year's 'champion'
Why they won
Massive 'postbag', massive support for both candidates but the Kiwi gets it. 'Chris has helped to restore the tarnished reputation that NZ yachting gained during the last America's Cup; he truly represents the Kiwi approach that got Hillary up Everest' - Richard Downs-Honey. 'Chris had a raw deal but responded with dignity' - Richard Gladwell. 'An Aussie voting for a Kiwi, gotta be done!' – Bryn Ryan (and there were plenty of other Aussies!) And for Rohan Veal: 'If Rohan had left the foils at home he would likely be world champion today; instead he has taken the class forward' - Glenn Wilson