Polly Powrie & Jo Aleh (NZL), female winners of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2013. Photo by Kurt Arrigo/Rolex.
Team Jolly – Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie – have been named ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year by the ISAF Member National Authorities, the national governing bodies for sailing around the world. It is the highest award given in recognition of outstanding achievements in sailing. The honor comes exactly one year after Team Jolly used a Quantum mainsail to win the 2012 470 Olympic Sailing World Championship in France. Since then, they’ve won three regattas before taking the silver medal at the 2013 470 European Championship in Italy, then winning the gold at the 470 World Championship in France.
Upon being nominated, Aleh told the ISAF, “I feel truly honored to even be considered to be in the same league as so many of the amazing sailors that I have looked up to over the years.” When they were announced as the winners, the women commented they were both shocked and honored to receive the award. Powrie said, “We’ve not done this alone and had some wonderful people behind us who have been truly supportive of us throughout our sailing careers.”
2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards nominees: (from left) Erika Heineken (USA), Johnny Heineken (USA), Mathew Belcher (AUS), Polly Powrie (NZL), Jo Aleh (NZL), Ian Williams (GBR), Raiya Al Habsi (OMA), Paul Larsen (AUS) and Deneen Demourkas (USA). Photo by Kurt Arrigo/Rolex.
Also nominated for the award was long-time Quantum customer Deneen Demourkas, who has been raising the bar in the Farr 30 class. Demourkas was the first female helmsman in the Farr 40 division and for several years has served as president of the male-dominated Farr 30 class where stands out on the race course as a talented helmswoman. At the 2013 Farr 30 Worlds, she led Groovederci to victory and became the first three-time Farr 30 World Champion.
Demourkas told the ISAF, “Being nominated for the most prestigious award in sailing is a tremendous and truly unexpected honor. To me, this nomination alone means that what I have been able to accomplish in sailing has been understood at the highest level. That is quite an acknowledgement and a tremendous compliment.”
Congratulations to all!
More about the ISAF Rolex awards here.