2013

January
Winner:HELMUT JAHN (USA)

The boat name is a clue, the Farr 40 Flash Gordon 6 being just the latest in a long line of always immaculately turned-out boats for this enthusiastic skipper. Together with his co-helmsman – and son – Evan, and outstanding US tactician Bill Hardesty, the Flash Gordon team swept aside a strong, multinational 20-boat fleet to win the 2012 Rolex Farr 40 worlds… in Jahn’s hometown of Chicago. Sweet

February
Winner:STEVE CLARK (USA)

Like it or loathe it, the 34th America’s Cup is pretty exciting and lots of good things are going to come out of it. But would this Cup be anything like the animal it is today had Steve Clark not thrown his heart into resurrecting the C-Class, giving away all his wing catamaran design information to anybody serious about using it? We doubt it. The crowd of wannabe AC72 designers at the Little America’s Cup in 2010 suggests AC34 owes him a lot

March
Winner:PAUL LARSEN(AUS) & MALCOLM BARNSLEY (GBR)

‘We’ve ripped the arse out of it,’ screamed Paul Larsen after Vestas Sailrocket smashed the world speed record in Namibia. Two days later and Larsen raised his own mark by another 10 per cent to over 65kt. In the final analysis, virtually every one of Sailrocket designer Malcolm Barnsley’s calculations had proved correct, down to the final tweak on the final day. And it all held together

April
Winner:SYD FISCHER (AUS)

Persistence – or patience – either could be described as the theme of this month’s contest. Syd Fischer crossed the line second on his latest, chartered Ragamuffin in what was his 44th Sydney-Hobart race. It says a lot about offshore racing that even at the age of 85 Syd Fischer never gave a thought to missing the traditional Boxing Day start. Though, to be fair, he’s been smart enough for his boats to get a little larger with the years…

May
Winner:JEAN-PIERRE DICK (FRA)

It is an unusual record but it’s sadly getting more and more relevant. JP sailed 2,600nm onboard Virbac to finish the Vendée Globe after losing his keel. But the key was that he didn’t charge on regardless – rather he found suitable shelter when bad weather threatened him and simply waited until conditions were more benign, before continuing on. Seamanship can sometimes just mean patience

June
Winner:SEAN LANGMAN (AUS)

This is definitely the month for recognizing passion for the sheer spirit of going racing in a sailboat... Langman has followed his successful career in 18-foot skiffs with a series of extremely individual ocean racing campaigns, ranging from the slowest Sydney-Hobart entry to the new Hobart course record holder, his Orma 60 trimaran Team Australia. In addition he remains a major player in the New South Wales sailing industry

July
Winner:SIR KEITH MILLS ()

Considering the vast expenditure of both effort and money that he has put into sailing – particularly since the end of the 2007 America’s Cup – it was very gratifying, first to see Mills’s longtime protégé Alex Thomson make the Vendée Globe podium and then for the man himself to top IRC 1 at the helm of his own TP52 during the RORC Easter Challenge in Cowes. Long may the good fortune continue

August
Winner:ANDREW MILLS (GBR)

The British Finn squad really is something of a phenomenon. Britain’s previous Finn Gold Cup winner Giles Scott went into the last medal race day at Hyères leading the 2013 series by a comfortable margin, only to be overwhelmed with a brilliant final flourish by his teammate Mills, for whom this is the first major international title. All the usual suspects are working hard to knock GBR off their perch but there’s a way to go

September
Winner:MATT BELCHER (AUS)

It is almost impossible to grasp this in a class that is as competitive as the Men’s 470, but London 2012 gold medal helmsman Matt Belcher has now won his last 16 major regattas on the trot. Even a switch of crews from Malcolm Page to current partner Will Ryan made not the smallest dent in Belcher’s dominance, confirming his own prediction that he had a ‘bit of pace left in the tank’ after London 2012

October
Winner:YANN ELIES (FRA)

The 39-year-old French skipper survived a broken forestay and some tactical disasters on leg 3 to win his second consecutive Figaro race. Runs in the family, too, since his father Patrick won the event – then La Course de l’Aurore – back in 1979. In spite of his subsequent successes Eliès remains best known for his dramatic rescue after breaking his femur in the Southern Ocean in the 2008 Vendée Globe

November
Winner:LOUISE MORTON (GBR)

Another quarter ton title for Cowes’ fastest lady skipper. The 2013 Quarter Ton Cup – which Louise Morton dominated in a strong fleet – is just the latest of numerous plaudits including three British Ladies’ Keelboat championships, Cowes Week titles and class wins at the Vice Admiral’s Cup. Does great things for women sailors, too, with only the occasional fella getting a look-in among Morton’s regular crew

December
Winner:JOHN MACCAUSLAND AND PHIL TRINTER (USA)

John MacCausland and his father before him have been extraordinarily enthusiastic and productive supporters of the US Star fleet for as long as they have been walking. And in partnership with ‘Big Phil’, John has finally secured the most prestigious title in small boat sailing. There can have been few previous gold Star winners so universally applauded.