Gently, gently, after a successful small boat career, Ado Stead has built a valuable profile as one of the world's most in-demand grand prix tacticians. His result with and endorsement by the Quantum team in winning the 2010 TP52 world title was just the latest in a long Jist of top results taking in everything from Melges 24s, through Farr 40s, to Neville Crichton's maxi A/fa Romeo. That accountancy career is on hold


‘For a couple of decades I have been telling my body, just get me through this [regatta] and I’ll quit… I came in from today’s practice race [at the windy 2010 Gold Cup in San Francisco] and my body told me I’d lied.’ At 75 years of age the legend of US Finn sailor Gus Miller just continues to grow. Always quotable and as passionate about ‘his’ class as he was back in the 1960s, we don’t expect to be talking retirement any time soon


Oh gawd… here comes another one. Latest successful product of the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron match race programme, 23-year-old Robertson defeated Ben Ainslie 3-1 in the semi-finals of the Australia Cup before going on to steamroller his way past Ian Williams in the final 3-0… coolly winning the third race by just one second after taking a penalty turn on the finish line. But Ainslie got his revenge in Malaysia


This one was a close call with fellow Brit 420 sailor Joanna Freeman, who finished ninth overall and easily the top woman in the open fleet at this year’s 420 world championship in Argentina. But a win’s a win and the new women’s world champions did a terrific job of coming back after losing their rig during the series – finishing that particular race ‘reefed’. Could be plenty of fast mixed 470s in 2016…


Twelve medals (plus two in the Paralympic classes), three gold, five silver and four bronze… the haul by Team GBR at the Miami OCR. This British team manager has had many good days, plenty at the Olympics themselves, but sometimes this can also make it all look too easy. The reality is that the groundwork and planning, from first the funding right through to the execution by the sailors out on the water, is colossal


Rambeau and his new helm Guillaume Florent pulled it off to win this year’s Bacardi Cup by just 1pt, to add to this Frenchman’s lengthening tally of Star class success including two world championship titles and an Olympic bronze medal won in Athens. He also once partied his way into Miami’s ‘legal system’, but we won’t dwell… Great guy! Ben Ainslie’s Finn nemesis from Athens, Florent, is also getting the hang of it


A fine 13th in Race 1 and an overall finish of 53rd in a competitive 85-strong fleet at the 2011 505 worlds in Hamilton Island are just one reason for nominating the founder of the SAP software giant. We are big fans of keeping on racing against the best as you ‘mature’, rather than seeking soft targets… it seems Plattner shares our view. The ‘60-something’ racer is also a generous supporter of sailing events


You can only beat those you race against and in Brad Van Liew’s case beat them he has. In fact, Van Liew has executed a very polished job in dominating the small Velux 5 Oceans line-up, with a good enough programme that some are pressing the popular singlehander to roll straight into the Vendée Globe. That, however, is a very different ball game requiring a very different boat. As well as a hell of a lot more money


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!


If there is anyone who has done a better job of steering a top-end class through troubled times than Weiland did with the TP52 we want to hear about it. Transform your class in a financial maelstrom… you’d have to be mad. Yet today the TP is now once again delivering the best grand prix racing on the planet. Oh, and Weiland was peerless too in his previous role as one of the world’s very best raceboat build managers


Since he left Artemis during the thinning-out process that followed the Cup’s switch to multihulls, Appleton has been fully engaged on the pro-sailing circuit, both at the helm and also whispering in the ear of his many happy clients… Happy, because during the course of the 2011 summer this popular Kiwi has won nearly every one of his last 10 major regattas. And putting those smiles on faces is good for business!


It’s been quite a ride as Spain’s most famous sailing team secures the dock lines for the final time. The Bribón programme has been a tale of constant renewal, with countless different new designs launched to keep on top of the latest competitive demands. Very significantly, it was Cusi and Bribón’s decision to curtail IMS campaigning in favour of the ‘new-fangled’ TP52 that ensured that class’s subsequent MedCup success