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Nominations Launched for YJA Yachtsman of the Year 2017 and Young Sailor of the Year 2017

New award — YJA young blogger of the year

YJA Chairman Barry Pickthall, left, and Pete Bradshaw, chief executive of Premier Marinas, launch the 2017 YJA award
Photo: Sam Kurtul

Nominations for the 2017 YJA Yachtsman of the Year Awards open today to start the selection process of finding Britain’s top Yachtsman and Young Sailor of the Year.

The NEW YJA Young Bloggers Competition intended to give young bloggers, journalists, video and photographers and aspiring radio presenters a chance to get their first break in yachting journalism was also launched. 

Nominations for both awards and the Bloggers competition were launched at the Southampton Boat Show today, and close on Sunday, October 15, 2017.  Nominations may be made online via the YJA website as well as the Boat Show and Premier Marinas websites.  Nomination forms will also be available on other exhibition stands, at yacht clubs, and at all nine Premier Marinas in the south.

The prestigious yachting awards were  launched  at a reception hosted by Premier Marinas at the Southampton Boat Show, attended by past Award winners and members of the Yachting Journalists’ Association.

YJA Chairman, Barry Pickthall said: "Our awards represent the pinnacle of sailing achievement and are a measure of the very best skills and prowess among established yachtsmen and women and the stars of the future. The current Yachtsman of the Year also demonstrated extreme bravery."

Nominations for the two prestigious awards may be made by the public and anyone within the UK yachting community and can include those involved in dinghy sailing, windsurfing, offshore and ocean racing, short handed and long distance cruising and from the world of power boating.  Entries for the Young Bloggers competition are expected to attract interest from young journalists and photographers anxious to break into yachting journalism.

The Awards provide an opportunity for the public to put forward their yachting heroes and celebrate the achievements of up-and-coming talent.

Barry Pickthall encourages the yachting community to make their nominations, "Don’t rely on someone else to name your yachting hero or rising star to be considered for the 2017 YJA Awards.  Nominating couldn’t be simpler."  

Nominations can be made online at or by posting back one of  nomination cards being distributed throughout the Boat Show, to Yacht Clubs across the country, and from any Premier Marinas site across the south of England.

These are yachting’s top accolades, and quite apart from recognising the successes achieved by British yachtsmen and women under sail and power, the Young Sailor of the Year Award gives enormous inspiration and encouragement to tomorrow’s World Champions.

Nominations are welcomed until Sunday, October 15, 2017. The winners for each Award will be announced on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at Trinity House, London.

Established in 1955 by Sir Max Aitken, Battle of Britain pilot, chairman of Express Newspapers and himself a leading yachtsman in both sail and power, the Yachtsman of the Year Award is now established as one of the top yachting honours. Previous winners of the Award include Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dame Ellen MacArthur and four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie. The Young Sailor of the Year Award was first awarded in 1993.

The current title holders are Gavin Reid, a 28-year old adventurer who took part in the 2015-2016 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race for amateur sailors, for his heroic mid-ocean rescue of a sailor found trapped at the top of the mast on another yacht with the 2016 YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award,  and Elliott Kuzyk, then 15,  from Poole, Dorset won the 2016 YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award after winning the 2016 Topper World Championship.



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