The favorites have won: Marit Bouwmeester and Peter Burling are the world sailors of the year 2017. There was hardly any doubt in advance of the brilliant achievements of the laser radial Olympic champion from Holland and the 49er Olympic champion and America's Cup winner. At the award ceremony in Puerto Valler, Mexico, only the beautiful Dutch woman could be chosen, because "Pistol Pete" Burling is currently on stage 2 in the Volvo Ocean Race with the Dutch team Brunel.
Outstandingly good, ambitious, fast and beautiful: Marit Bouwmeester is Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2017
Bouwmeester is not only the best laser radial sailor in her sport - she is also a role model as a comeback queen and great fighter: After she battled the Chinese LijiX for gold in 2012 off Weymouth in the home of her former partner Sir Ben Ainslie had just lost, she decided on another Olympic campaign and won the longed-for gold in Rio. Afterwards she had to struggle with injuries again and again, missed important regattas and was only able to get back into competitive sport for the world championship in her home area off Medemblik this summer. However, that didn't stop them from winning their third world title. After that, she also won the European Championship and thus holds all three major titles in her class when she was honored: Olympic gold, World Cup gold and European Championship gold.
Interview with Marit Bouwmeester after her honor
Holland's "Golden Girl" said in Mexico: "I'm just a girl from Friesland. But I always had this big dream: I didn't just want to compete in the Olympic Games, I also wanted to win gold. I wanted to be the best. When I did that said, people laughed at me. I wasn't even in the top 20 back then … But if you love what you do and work hard and with dedication for it, then dreams come true. That's why I have this message for old and young people: Follow your dreams! " She wants to continue doing this herself and is heading for the next Olympic medal hunt in 2020.
Peter Burling won the election for Rolex World Sailor of the Year for the second time after 2015, when he rightly shared the award with his 49er bowman and America's Cup rival Blair Tuke. The two "Best Buddies" are currently competing against each other in the Volvo Ocean Race: Burling sails on "Brunel", Tuke on "Mapfre"
Peter Burling was honored in absentia. The 26-year-old high-flyer from New Zealand won Olympic gold in the 49er in 2016 and the America's Cup before Bermuda this summer. Cool, calm and incredibly talented, the young Kiwi - even with the weight of the hopes of his entire nation on his shoulders - did not wobble in the America's Cup and brought the trophy back to Auckland with the Emirates Team New Zealand. Not even a spectacular capsize could prevent him from doing so. Burling, his companion and Olympic predecessor Blair Tuke and the whole team snatched the silver can from the defenders and top favorites of Larry Ellison's Oracle Team US with 7: 1 and took them to the land of the long white cloud.
In a class of their own in the 49er too: helmsman Peter Burling and bowman Blair Tuke from New Zealand
This somewhat fuzzy but legendary snapshot from a press conference in Bermuda is too fondly remembered: While helmsman and cup defender Jimmy Spithill is being interviewed, Burling walks behind him through the picture and forms his fingers into the "V" for Victory. Burling's Emirates Team New Zealand actually won the cup
The first Rolex world sailors of the year were the Spanish Olympic champion TheresZabell and Sir Peter Balke and Robin Knox-Johnston, who were later murdered by pirates in the Amazon in 1994. Jochen Schümann's is the only German name on the prominent list of award winners. The three-time Olympic winner was chosen in 1996 as a result of his last Olympic triumph.
In addition to the two current sailing superstars, the American sailor, navigator and pioneer in the field of "augmented reality" was honored with the Beppe Croce Trophy for outstanding commitment in and for the sport of sailing. Honey received the award from World Sailing President Kim Andersen for his efforts to present the sport of sailing in a telegenic way and his success as a sailor, who has already won the Volvo Ocean Race and has set countless records as a navigator on "Comanche".
Is one of the fathers of the development and application of "Augmented Reality" for broadcasts of sporting events on television and is one of the most famous navigators of the international regatta scene: the American Stan Honey