Olympic Gold medallist, Shirley Robertson has won the Female category of the ISAF/Sperry World Sailor of the Year Awards 2000.

The ISAF honoured sailors who have made outstanding achievements in the World of Sailing with the presentation of the ISAF/Sperry World Sailor of the Year Awards 2000 which took place at Sheraton Grand Hotel, Edinburgh, Scotland on November 7.

The evening, attended by 350 persons from approximately 60 nations was a truly prestigious occasion by which to honour sailors from around the world.

Fifteen crews were in contention for the one Female and one Male Award, which are presented in recognition of outstanding achievement in any discipline of the sport over the past year (August 1999-September 2000).

The sailors were drawn from all disciplines of the sport, but needless to say included many of the medallists from the 2000 Olympic Regatta. It was after the Olympics that the shortlist of sailors, drawn from nominations received from the world of sailing, was determined, and a voting process undertaken. This closed on October 27, 2000 after a closely fought battle to the end.

The Awards Presentation was hosted by the 1996 Olympic Silver Medalist in the 470 Class and 2000 Olympic Silver Medalist in the Star Class Ian Walker (GBR), with the Awards presented by ISAF Presidents of Honour, His Majesty King Constantine and His Majesty King Harold of Norway.

World Sailors of the Year 2000:

Female Award:

Shirley Robertson (GBR) in recognition of her Gold Medal in the Europe Class at the 2000 Olympic Regatta; a success achieved at her third Olympic Regatta campaign. With a medal at the 1996 Olympic Regatta narrowly eluded in the final race, Shirley was intent on a Gold in Sydney. This was achieved by taking the overall lead and dominating from the second race through to claiming Gold in the final race, a fantastic feat in such a complex boat and highly contested fleet. This was to be the first of Great Britain’s trio of Gold Medals. Alongside her Europe campaign, Shirley is an active match racer ranked sixth woman in the world.

Male Award

Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl (USA) took the Male World Sailor of the Year Award 2000 in recognition of their consistent successes in the Star Class, a fleet notoriously difficult to dominate. Going into the Olympic Regatta as reigning world champions they were certain medal contenders and lived up to all expectations clinching their medal in the final race, despite a slightly shaky start to the series. The duo teamed up in 1997 and have been at the top regularly since then. For Mark, who started sailing Stars in 1986, the 2000 Olympics marks his third Olympic Medal in the class, having previously taken Gold in 1992 and Silver in 1988.

The other nominees for the ISAF/Sperry World Sailor of the Year Awards 2000 were:


Serena Amato (ARG)

Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell (AUS)

Karine Fauconnier (FRA)

Ellen MacArthur (GBR)


Ben Ainslie (GBR)

Jesper Bank, Henrik Blakesjaer and Thomas Jacobsen (DEN)

Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher (AUT)

Thomas Johanson and Jyrki Jarvi (FIN)

Vincent Lauwers (AUS)

Iain Percy (GBR)

Christoph Sieber (AUT)

Mark Turnbull and Tom King (AUS)

Team New Zealand (NZL)