Photography by Martina Orsini
08 December 2021
World Champ and Team CEO and Skipper of the Australia SailGP Team, Tom Slingsby has been honoured with the 2021 Rolex World Sailor of the Year award for a second time, in recognition of his achievements in three competitive classes over the past two years.
Slingsby secured 29 percent of the votes after defending his Moth World Championship, winning 13 of the 14 races, securing back-to-back 2019 and 2021 title wins. He has also set the standard in the global SailGP circuit, earning the season 1 title as Team CEO and Skipper of the Australia SailGP Team, which is also currently top of the series leaderboard with just two events remaining in season 2.
He capped a fantastic year on the water by being part of the crew of ‘Comanche’, winners of the 2021 Rolex Middle Sea Race.
“This is a huge honour for me,” said Tom. “Thank you to everyone who voted. I remember when I was 15 years old, I wrote down my career goals and it was to win the Olympic Gold medal, win the America’s Cup and win World Sailor of the Year. I am very fortunate, this is the second time I have won the World Sailor of the Year award.
“I am so lucky to be in the position I am and to get these amazing opportunities. Congratulations to all the other guys, there were some unbelievable sailors nominated this year.”
A record-breaking 40,000 votes were cast this year to honour the achievements of sailors across all disciplines.
Olympic gold medalists Hannah Mills MBE (GBR) and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) were voted female 2021 Rolex World Sailor of the Year.
Mills and McIntyre claimed gold in Tokyo in the 470 class, a victory which made Mills the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time. This was her second Olympic gold, repeating her victory from Rio 2016 with her new partner.
McIntyre won her first gold medal in Tokyo and followed in the footsteps of her father, Michael, who won gold at the 1988 Games in Seoul. The pair received 37 percent of the votes, making them the clear choice for this year’s female Rolex World Sailor of the Year award.
World Sailing launched the World Sailor of the Year Awards in 1994 to reward and celebrate sailors for outstanding achievements and exceptional contributions to sailing.
The 2021 awards cover the two-year period from September 2019 to August 2021. In what has been an incredibly challenging time for everyone, viewers were reminded of the truly remarkable achievements, highlights and accomplishments throughout sailing.
See all 2021 nominated sailors and organisations here.
2021 marks the 20th year of support by Rolex for the World Sailor of the Year Award, the most prestigious individual awards of recognition in sailing. The winners will have their name engraved on the iconic marble and silver trophy depicting the globe, crowned with five silver spinnakers representing the continents, as well as a distinctive Rolex timepiece to mark the occasion.
World Sailing’s 146 Member National Associations and its 119 Classes have nominated a record number of 39 athletes representing a total of 19 nations from across the entire discipline spectrum for the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2021.
These nominations have been shortlisted by an expert nine-strong panel, including five former World Sailing Award winners – Jo Aleh (NZL), Theresa Zabell (ESP), Santiago Lange (ARG), Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) and Shirley Robertson (GBR) – alongside Dee Caffari (GBR), Craig Leweck (USA), Yann Rocherieux (FRA) and Luca Rizzotti (ITA).
See past winners here.