2008

January
Winner:FRED EATON & MAGNUS CLARKE (CAN)

The Little America’s Cup has long been a favourite of Seahorse and its readers, and now the competition may finally come alive once again after these two extremely smart Canadian multihull sailors and speed-technicians finally managed to end the reign of Steve Clarke and his incredibly and enduringly successful Cogito. And so now Steve has the excuse he wanted to build a new one… thank you, guys!

February
Winner:ROHAN VEAL (AUS)

Ed Baird did a far better job than he got credit for at AC32, but Veal was so far ahead as the right choice for Rolex Sailor of the Year, for the good of sailing if nothing else, that we have no choice but to put him forward for a second time. Eight bullets at the 2007 Moth Worlds showed the upstarts who is still boss. And a continuing effort to encourage a younger audience into the sport… How obvious was it to all but ISAF?

March
Winner:JUSTICE HERMAN CAHN (USA)

In among the America’s Cup mayhem Justice Cahn seemed to take a matter of moments to see straight through the obfuscation of those who would divert and delay the 33rd Cup for the benefit of the few rather than the many… Cahn left little room for doubt in his judgement in November; clearly he wished for the boys to take their toys some place else. Sadly some of the boys seem not to have yet grasped the message…

April
Winner:FRANCIS JOYON (FRA)

First a reminder to Sailing Anarchy and Rule 69 bloggers that you now get a voice in picking our nominees – please take advantage and be heard… That said, we’re sorry but this one was maybe just a bit of a no-brainer. What is there left to say? Great guy, quiet, modest, runs his programmes on a shoestring (and, yes, he usually really does paint his own boats, last time on a disused tennis court). Fantastic...

May
Winner:TORVAR MIRSKY (AUS)

Young New Zealand match-racer Adam Minoprio is certainly good, as we’ve seen from his performances against the ‘seeded’ players at the Auckland Cup. However, Australia has a new rising star of its own, and in the style of his countryman Peter Gilmour, Torvar Mirsky came back from a poor first day to win the Warren Jones Youth Regatta for the second time, pushing Minoprio back into the runner-up slot

June
Winner:JIM RICHARDSON (USA)

King of the Farr 40s? We’ll find out in April when this two-time world champion, current class president and the ­winner of both of this winter’s big tune-up regattas, goes for his third world title in Miami on what would be the 10th anniversary of his first big success. Diarist Terry Hutchinson also has a passing interest in another happy outcome for the Barking Mad team… as Jim Richardson’s tactician

July
Winner:CLAIRE LEROY (FRA)

While much of webworld busies itself over choice of Olympic disciplines for 2012 one with a very personal interest in the outcome is the now two-time Women’s Match Race World Champion, who recently successfully defended the title she won in 2007 with another dominant performance, this time in New Zealand. Leroy, 2007 Rolex Woman Sailor of the Year, has also managed to head the women’s match race rankings since May 2005!

August
Winner:JOSé MARIA TORCIDA SEGHERS (ESP)

The current J-80 World Champion is talent. He arrived in Alicante for the first round of the Audi MedCup with last year’s (admittedly very good) TP52 design plus two new sails and a mostly amateur crew. Day one and Seghers’ team onboard Tau Cerámica won both the opening races ahead of a glittering array of America’s Cup talent and gadzillion dollar private entries. We love it!

September
Winner:DAVE ULLMAN (USA)

Better late than never… the lobby for the former 470 ace and SoCal sailmaker of choice to several one-design fleets has been growing for a while. Winner of last year’s ‘big’ Melges Worlds in Santa Cruz, winner after a stunning final day at Key West this January, Ullman is, however, being put up as much for the enthusiasm with which he supports one-design sailing as for his own outstanding track record

October
Winner:BILL HARDESTY (USA)

We back winners… no sooner had we profiled (June 2008) this ace match race tactician and really, really talented young helmsman than he rewards us by winning the 2008 Etchells Worlds against an 83-strong field in Chicago. There are rags-to-glory parallels here with Hardesty’s fellow San Diego YC member Dennis Conner, ‘that drapery salesman’, as a rival once so ignorantly muttered

November
Winner:STUART JARDINE (GBR)

75 years young, in August this former Olympic sailor and tireless supporter of sailing at all levels won the fiercely contested Cowes Week XOD title for a record 7th time. Jardine sealed his 2008 series with a blazing 3rd in a windy and carnage-strewn final race from a fleet of 81 entries, including champions past and present (among them recent XOD recruit and Laser Radial World Champion Ben Paton)