2005

January
Winner:JIM RICHARDSON (USA)

OK, so we’re a month late with this nomination but there was some big regatta going on in Greece… That Jim Richardson’s name was put forward by several well-known sailors is a good indication of the popularity of the first skipper to win two Farr 40 world titles. His commitment to the Farr 40 class, both as a sailor and class officer, has paid dividends right across the board. Richardson won this year’s title by a record points margin; so maybe he’s also still improving?

February
Winner:STUART WALKER (USA)

Widely read, and still not a bad sailor to boot, octogenarian Stu Walker won the 2004 Fall Soling Bowl in Annapolis, counting four wins in seven starts, 35 years after Walker first introduced the Soling to Annapolis following its selection as an Olympic class. Although best known as a writer of (nine) books on racing tactics, Walker, the first American to win the Prince of Wales Cup in International 14s back in 1964, last year also won both the Dutch and US Soling titles as well as a host of other US events

March
Winner:FINIAN MAYNARD (BVI)

The fastest man in sailing - bar none – a nice monicker if there ever was one. Maynard has been leading the current generation of speed sailors for several years and had several painfully near misses with the outright speed record. The tough BVI boardsailor’s persistence has finally paid off, however, and for the first time in 11 years the speed record is held by something that is recognisable to most people as a sailing craft! Now those brave Aussies have to get it back…

April
Winner:ROHAN VEAL (AUS)

When you win every race at the world championship you have made your point. To do it having spent several years investing in a new concept, at the expense of probably many other major titles, shows both technological foresight and great commitment. In January in Melbourne the International Moth fleet were united in their respect for Rohan Veal’s flawless achievement

May
Winner:VINCENT RIOU (FRA)

Two in a row for the quiet French skipper (and for Desjoyeaux Ed), as Vincent Riou was the chief ‘préparateur’ behind Le Professeur’s success in the previous Vendée Globe four years before. Now the apprentice has stepped into the shoes of the master, and has filled them very adequately. Look closely at his preparation and race itself and you will see a nearly perfect ocean racing programme

June
Winner:ANDY HORTON & BRAD NICHOL (USA)

Who they?' cr'ied many when the winners of the Stars at the 2005 Miami OCR were announced. These two keelboat sailors rose the traditional way through the US rankings, Lightnings and small offshore one-desiglns, before carefully planning their assault on the biggest class of all. Buying Pete Bromby's Olympic eqUipment was a smart first move, 15 days of training and the first big win then followed!

July
Winner:PAGE RAILEY (USA)

Back to our roots here: we said this was a page for new talent, but somehow events then just overtook us. Page Railey is fast becoming established as the face to beat in the newly Olympic Laser Radial class. That said, following wins at the Miami OCR and then the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma, Page is now back at high school doing some catching up…

August
Winner:SARAH AYTON (GBR)

Move along there… no sooner had Ayton taken over in the back of the Yngling from previous helm – and fellow Athens gold medallist – Shirley Robertson, than she was racking up more great results, kicking off with a closely fought second place overall at Hyères. The bubbly blonde Pom will be contin-uing to illuminate the Yngling tour en route to Beijing, and is already looking a pretty good bet for a second medal

September
Winner:MINORU SAITO (JPN)

It was a thrill to follow this popular multiple BOC/Around Alone competitor as he achieved his goal of becoming the oldest yachtsman ever to complete a non-stop solo round-the-world passage. At 71, Minoru took 233 days to complete his fourth and slowest solo circumnavigation (to date...). And he even grew some of his own vegetables along the way

October
Winner:FRANCIS JOYON (FRA)

Whether you vote out of sympathy or out of admiration, we expect a huge turnout for this magnificent French multihull sailor. To lose your boat within just 24 hours of comprehensively annihilating the singlehanded Atlantic sailing record is cruel misfortune, but at least Joyon’s disastrous oversleep took place after the record had been set…

November
Winner:PIETRO D’ALI (ITA)

When 42-year-old father of two Pietro D’Ali won the second leg of this year’s Figaro solo race by just 50 seconds (from former top windsurfer Fred Duthill), he not only gave Italy reason to cheer, but also many other non-French solo enthusiasts who still regard this tough classic as a host-benefit. And it was the Italian’s first entry in a usually experience-dependent competition

December
Winner:IAN AINSLIE (RSA)

Like his UK namesake, the South African Finn sailor also had a rough introduction to Cup World, being replaced on the wheels of Shosholoza in Malmo by his former coach. But we nominated this Ainslie for what else he does with his time, for being the driver behind a sailing school project for disadvantaged ‘street kids’ in Cape Town which is now expanding to offer everything from boat­building to academic programmes