2011 SEPTEMBER

Phil Sharp (GBR)

Nomination
The Class 40 winner in the 2006 Route du Rhum (on a rented Pogo 40) is one of the enigmas of solo ocean racing; the winner of several more big events – he recently dominated the 225-mile Solo Basse Normandie – Sharp struggles to achieve the sort of recognition that might deliver a chance to test himself on the great oceanic events. Rated in Europe, little known at home in England… sounds like UK Olympic sailing in the 1970s!
Why they won
‘The most irritating man I know, it pains me to vote for him but he has an ability to drive himself harder than anyone I have ever raced’ – Simon Hiscocks; ‘Top bloke and one of the few solo guys who can get a 49er round in 20kt’ – Simon Marks; ‘A machine on the water and Britain’s best hope for a Vendée win – please give cash!’ – Toby Smith; ‘Determined, focused and not a bad brother’ – Carolyn Sharp; ‘UK sailing’s best-kept secret…’ – Rod Challinor.