Anna Tunnicliffe and Iker Martínez with Xabier Fernández are Rolex awarded

Anna Tunnicliffe, Iker Martinez And Xabier Fernandez Named 2011 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year. ISAF and Rolex are proud to announce that the male and female winners of the 2011 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards are: Iker Martínez & Xabier Fernández (ESP) and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA).  The renowned two-man crew of Iker Martínez and Xabier Fernández (ESP) were unable to attend the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards ceremony in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Fittingly, they are currently at sea competing for Team Telefónica in the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. The Spanish duo have won the Award eleven years after the first of their three nominations. Through a video feed recorded on the Team Telefónica boat, the pair confirmed that they will be celebrating this prestigious achievement despite the immediate distractions of an ocean race.

United States athlete Anna Tunnicliffe was one of five nominees present at the ceremony, held in the impressive Cuartel de Ballaja. It is the second time that the ISAF Sailing World Cup champion in Women’s Match Racing has been awarded the honour, having previously achieved the recognition in 2009. An emotional Tunnicliffe was presented with the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Trophy and Rolex timepiece and commented, “Thank you very much for this award, it is a true honour. Congratulations to all of the other nominees, you guys are fantastic and amazing sailors. I really have to thank everyone that’s been part of the reason I won this award, especially my team. This is truly a team effort. I couldn’t have done it without them. I would also like to thank my family and my husband for being very supportive and my sponsors. It is truly amazing. Thank you.”

A more detailed release will be issued tomorrow, Wednesday 9 November 2011.

ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards

The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award is the highest award a sailor can receive in recognition of his/her outstanding achievements. The Awards are presented annually based on a worldwide selection process that incorporates an open invitation for nominations, followed by a vote amongst the over 130 member nations of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).

The Awards have been held every year since 1994 and past winners include Peter Blake (NZL), Ellen MacArthur (GBR), Ben Ainslie (GBR), Robert Scheidt (BRA) and Russell Coutts (SUI). In 2010 the Awards were presented to Tom Slingsby (AUS) and Blanca Manchón (ESP).

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