Somerset youth Alistair Masters up for top award

December 2007 – Winners of the Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year and Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year will be announced during the Collins Stewart London Boat Show, January 2008.

Finalists in the young sailor category include Laurence Greenough, who has overcome adversity to enter the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) South West Topper Zone Squad, Holly Scott, winning crew member of Mirror World Championship 2007, who with her skipper (Anna Mackenzie), was the first all-girl team to win the title; Topper World Champion Michael Wood, who devotes hours of his private time to train other youngsters in the RYA West Zone Squad; Tom Gillard, the first RYA Team GBR sailor to win the 420 European Championships in Medemblik; and Alistair Masters, an RYA Youth Squad 15 year old who has dominated domestic and international competition in the Techno 293 junior windsurfing class, winning two gold medals and one silver at the last three world championships.

Alistair, 16, from Clevedon, has also won the British national and inland championships from 2005 to 2007 as well as championships in Italy and France. He has now changed class to the RSX 8.5 youth windsurfing class, coming fourth in the RYA Youth and Masters Championships and winning the class at the RYA Olympic Classes National Ranking Series. His next goal is to represent Great Britain at the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Youth Worlds.

Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year finalists include disabled sailor Geoff Holt, who sailed around the UK single handed; Skandia Team GBR members, World and Pre Olympic Champions Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson; Mike Golding who risked his own life to rescue a fellow competitor in the Velux 5 Oceans race; and Sir Robin Knox Johnston who completed the Velux 5 Oceans race at the age of 68, thirty-eight years after his original (the first non-stop) solo circumnavigation of the world.

Winners of both awards will be voted for by the Yachting Journalists’ Association (YJA). Raymarine/YJA Yachtsman of the Year will be announced at the awards ceremony on Tuesday 15 January 2008 at The Painted Hall, the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year will be announced at 4.00pm, Saturday 12 January at the Collins Stewart London Boat Show on the Main Stage. RYA Regional Winners will also be presented with their awards at this ceremony.

RYA Regional Winners include: Yorks and Humberside Tom Gillard Northern Ireland Tiffany Brien North West Rob Partridge East Katrina Curtis South Chris West Wales – Joint Winners Bleddyn Mon Wales – Joint Winners Tom Humphries North East Michael Matthews Scotland Ben Wilcox East Midlands George Hand South East Chloe Martin South West Laurence Greenough Thames Valley Imogen Stanley