2002

January
Winner:FREDDY LOOF (SWE)

Once the fastest Finn sailor in the west (and east), in 2001 Sweden's Freddy Loof had a remarkable first season in the Star class, taking both the European title, sailing with Magnus Liljedahl, and then the World Championship in Medemblik, where he sailed with regular crew Christian Finnsgard. Prior to the start of the Volvo Race Freddy also trialled with Assa Abloy but didn't find a slot. Ocean novice or not, that could have been a mistake - the man learns fast! Freddy is already very popular in the Star class, as he was in the Finns, hard and fast on the water but engaging and humorous ashore. First-rate bloke really!

February
Winner:PHILIPPE FACQUE ()

Seahorse readers can't fail to have noticed the return to pre-eminence of the 60ft multihulls, and the growing media coverage of their grand-prix circuit. This hasn't happened by accident, rather because of the management efforts of the former co-skipper of the giant Royale cat, Philippe Facque, Since the tragic loss of his sailing partner, Loic Caradec, in the 1986 Route du Rhum, Facque's production company, Royale, has worked hard to give structure and continuity to the worid's most exciting racing boats. Sailing owes Facque adebt of gratitude for keeping the sport in the public eye.

March
Winner:FRANCK CAMMAS (FRA)

The French skipper shut out John Kostecki 81% to 19%. Some of the feedback from our web site: 'In a short time Franck has established himself at the top of the multihull pile' - Charles Fourleignie 'Cammas won, Kostecki not yet' - Franc;ois Duguet 'Vive Cammas et votre site' - Anthony Morisseau 'A very good boy, on land and sea' – Christophe Calippe.

April
Winner:LUC GELLUSSEAU (FRA)

Few outside the French America's Cup circle will appreciate how close Le Defi has been to folding in the two years since Auckland 2000. But Gellusseau has somehow kept technical development going and now they have a sponsor! That's justice

May
Winner:HOWARD HAMLIN (USA)

One of the alltime great 505 enthusiasts, and current world champion, the Californian also won this year's 18 Foot Skiff world title in a masterful display on Sydney Harbour. And he was building Five Os in Kevlar when Europe thought it was a herb

June
Winner:MARK REYNOLDS AND MAGNUS LILJEDAHL (USA)

'The A-Team'. Reynolds, two Star worlds, two Olympic golds and a silver, seven Bacardi Cups and winner of every US Olympic selections since 1988 - in the world's toughest fleet. Magnus Liljedahl, top Finn sailor and now the world's best Star crew but more important the most helpful guy in sailing. Two thoroughly good blokes!

July
Winner:PETER HOLMBERG (USA/USVI)

A hat trick of wins on the current Swedish Match Tour, culminating in an impressive victory over Prada's Gavin Brady in the final of the 2002 Congressional Cup make Holmberg (originally from the US Virgin Islands) both match racer of the moment and the inevitable frontrunner for a top position in the afterguard of Oracle Racing's America's Cup challenger

August
Winner:BRUNO PEYRON (FRA)

Finally Bruno managed his big goal- not the Jules Verne but simply getting back to racing offshore after so many years ashore, first creating then managing CJ The Race 2000. Of course, that his return to the oceans enabled the big-cat maestro to recapture his beloved Trophy Jules Verne was a very welcome bonus. But now Peyron plans to build a newer, faster boat and chase more records - and who would bet against him?

September
Winner:NEAL MCDONALD (GBR)

Always around but never previously in the front line, the popular and talented English sailor, a past International 14 world champion, rapidly grew into the skipper's role on Assa Abloy. From Leg 3 onwards Assa began to show the potential so many had tipped before the race. And on Leg 8 to Gothenburg McDonald's crew pulled off the win of the event to keep the contest open to the end

October
Winner:JULIAN BETHWAITE (AUS)

Following a string of tragedies involving jammed trapeze hooks there has been much talk about the need for I a new system of trapeze attachment. Not satisfied with just talking, Julian Bethwaite (father of the 4ger class) got on with the fast track development of a completely new harness system which is now in production. Yet again this remarkable Australian family have made a major contribution to international sailing

November
Winner:LAIN PERCY & STEVE MITCHELL (GBR)

No apologies for the all-GBR line-up this month... Last year Finn, champion Freddy Loof switched to Stars and I took the worlds (and Europeans) at his first attempt. In 2002 it was Finn gold medallist Percy's turn, sailing with Stevie Mitchell, now confirmed as one of the world's great keelboat crews. Percy and Loof are set for a great battle for the Starboat gold in Athens, though one or two others will no doubt wish to have a say in the matter!

December
Winner:ROBERT SCHEIDT (BRA)

Six Laser world titles; you can set your calendar by it. The big question is just what will the super-talented and 0.. super-fit 28 year-old Brazilian do next? His 2002 world title was won like several others before it with a race in hand. Previous Sailor of the Month contender, Ben Ainslie, surely could not have realised that by pipping his friend and rival for gold at Sydney he was apparently sentencing Scheidt to four more years in the Olympic singlehander!