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British Sailing Team celebrates with annual awards

Written by 11th November 2020 #SailFromHome, Awards, Featured-post, Team news

Nacra 17 world champions John Gimson and Anna Burnet and windsurfer Matt Barton were crowned athletes of the year as the British Sailing Team held its annual awards ceremony.

Held virtually this year, the ceremony sought to recognise extraordinary performances and contributions to Britain’s quest for Olympic success during what’s been a hugely challenging year.

This year’s awards were based around the British Sailing Team’s values:

–       To lead and inspire future generations of British sailors
–       Striving together and pushing boundaries
–       In the relentless pursuit of success

Gimson and Burnet were named Podium Athletes of the Year in light of a stellar season that saw them win the Nacra 17 World Championships and earn a spot with Team GB for Tokyo 2020.

The duo also took the award for Standout Performance, while their coach Iain Percy was awarded the prestigious Golden Funnel trophy as Coach of the Year.

Windsurfer Matt Barton was named Podium Potential Athlete of the Year in recognition of his fifth-place finish at the iQFOiL International Games, the de facto world championships for Olympic sailing’s newest discipline.

Barton’s windsurfing teammate Islay Watson was the clear winner in the Breakthrough Regatta after coming runner-up at the first ever iQFOiL European Championships.

Laser trio Elliot Hanson, Michael Beckett and Lorenzo Chiavarini won the Striving Together and Pushing Boundaries award for their historic podium lockout at the 2020 European Championships.

Meanwhile physiologist Ian White bagged two awards – one for being the team member who best epitomised team spirit over the past year, and another alongside his Sports Science and Sports Medicine colleagues Emma Higson, Alex Anastasiou and Alex Hopson in the Lead and Inspire category.

The ceremony was also an opportunity to wish fair winds to two-time world champion and Rio 2016 athlete Nick Thompson, who is retiring from Olympic campaigning, and Dr David Gorrod, the team’s doctor since 2001.

The full results were:

Lead and Inspire

1st – Ian White, Alex Hopson, Alex Anastasiou, Emma Higson – for setting up and delivering the team’s physical programme during lockdown
2nd – Sam Ross & contributors – for #SailFromHome’s ‘Motivation Monday Show’ during lockdown
3rd – Ali Young & Ian White – for their inspiring 15-hour bike ride for charity during lockdown

Stronger together and pushing boundaries

1st – Sailors Elliot Hanson, Micky Beckett and Lorenzo Chiavarini, and coaches Chris Gowers and Nick Thompson – 2020 Laser European Championships podium lockout
2nd – Oli Woodcock and contributors – Project #SailFromHome
3rd – the BST kiteboarding programme including #Kite4Gold

Team Spirit award

1st – Ian White – “Always helping the team towards its overall goal and helping individuals as much as possible”
2nd – Sam Ross – “Goes above and beyond and never negative or downbeat at all. Will always help out if needed”
3rd – Nick Thompson – “Dominated the Laser international scene for over 10 years. Lost Olympic trials but returned to coach his former squad mates unpaid, helping them to achieve unparalleled success”

Relentless pursuit of success – breakthrough regatta performance

1st – Islay Watson – silver medal at iQFOiL European Championships
2nd – Matt Barton – fifth overall and top Brit at iQFOiL International Games
3rd – Sam Whaley – 24th at Laser Europeans, 15 places higher than 2019

Relentless pursuit of success – standout performance

1st – John Gimson and Anna Burnet – gold at 2020 Nacra 17 World Championships
2nd – Elliot Hanson – Laser European Champion
3rd – Ellie Aldridge and Connor Bainbridge – Formula Kite Mixed Relay European champions

Coach of the year

1st – Iain Percy (Nacra 17)
2nd – Chris Gowers (Laser)
3rd – James Hadden (Formula Kite)

Podium athlete of the year

John Gimson and Anna Burnet

Podium Potential Athlete of the Year

Matt Barton