| November 22.
Racing duo Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell, the World Number One ranked 49er pair, Paul Goodison, who won back-to-back world titles in the Moth World Championships and round the world yachtsman Alex Thompson who gained a hard won second place in the latest Vendée Globe race are shortlisted for the coveted 2017 YJA Yachtsman of the Year award.
Finalists for the YJA Young Sailor of the Year 2017 Award are another racing duo, Crispin Beaumont and Tom Darling who won gold in the Youth Sailing World Championships in the 29er class, Montel Fagan-Jordan the driving force behind a multi-cultural yachting project, and Matilda Nicholls, Laser Radial Girls Under 17 World Champion.
YJA Yachtsman of the Year
• Dylan Fletcher & Stuart Bithell
For becoming the World number one ranked 49er pair Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell when they won gold in a history-making feat at the class World Championships in Porto, Portugal.In a week of extremes which saw the first two days hampered by light winds and fog, and the penultimate day fraught with too much breeze, the final day’s theatre style racing was replaced by four final gold fleet races for the 49ers.Lining up as overnight leaders, European Champions Fletcher and t Bithell kept the chasing pack at bay to seal gold by four points. With New Zealand having occupied the World title for the past six years, Fletcher-Bithell made history becoming the first Brits to top the podium since 2007 when their Coach Ben Rhodes, along with Stevie Morrison, won the event along the coast in Cascais.
• Paul Goodison