The great and good of the yachting world descended on the Royal Thames Yacht Club on 28 November to celebrate the 2022 British Yachting Awards.
The awards, organised by Sailing Today with Yachts and Yachting magazine, are an opportunity for the readership to vote and give their verdict on some of the incredible talents within the sailing world.
It was also a chance to celebrate the finest new yachts, best events, kit innovations, destinations and much more.
The champagne flowed as the winners were announced, confirming what a vintage year this has been for sailing.
Guest speaker was Sara Sutcliffe, Chief Executive of the RYA, who spoke about a more inclusive approach to sailing governance with a focus on diversity and equality.
The evening was presented by Hannah Diamond, SailGP athlete and part of the Athena Pathway Programme, which is attempting to win the Women’s America’s Cup in 2024.
Notable winners included young Round Britain double-handed racer Ellie Driver, who beat many experienced names to scoop the Sailor of the Year accolade, run in association with Pantaenius Sail and Motor Yacht Insurance. There were huge cheers as her name was read out, before Ellie thanked her family, including father Jim, with whom she raced double-handed around Britain this summer.
The Young Sailor trophy, which was run in association with BoatLife Live, went to the three White brothers, Harry, Charlie and Tom, who have had a remarkable few years racing together in the Squib class, with podium results at Cowes Week.
SailGPwas a winner of the Outstanding Achievement of the Year trophy, with the Royal Ocean Racing Club second and Highly Commended.
Meanwhile the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race won the Event of the Year category.
Each winner received a unique trophy made for the ceremony by the historic chandler Davey & Co, which produces chandlery for modern boats as well as classic yachts.
Winners and those who were Highly Commended received a bottle of Dartmouth Gin.
When it came to yachts and kit, there were worthy winners all round; the Beneteau First 36won the Performance Yacht of the Year.
The Cruising Yacht of the Year trophy, run in association with Hyde Sails, went to the Hanse 460.
There were also wins for the Lagoon 51 catamaran and Jeanneau 65.
In the Equipment Innovation of the Year, The Cruising Association’s CAptain’s Mate app won the votes.
And it was the Helly Hansen Skagen Jacket that won in the Clothing Innovation of the Year category.
Marina of the Year attracted thousands of votes this year and the winner was Buckler’s Hard Yacht Harbour, on the Beaulieu River in Hampshire. The marina team is led by harbourmaster Wendy Stowe, with the trophy.
The magazine announced a partnership for 2023 with the Tall Ships Youth Trust, who become Sailing Today with Yachts & Yachting‘s Charity of the Year. The charity’s CEO Alastair Floyd, right, spoke about the positive, life-changing impact that charity’s work has on young people. He is pictured with the trust’s chairman David Aisher, centre.
The awards finished with a Lifetime Achievement award for Jim Saltonstall, the legendary British sailing coach who took Ben Ainslie and his generation from young children to the Olympic podium.
After receiving a lengthy standing ovation, Jim thanked some of the key people who have supported his career, which has included much work with the grassroots of sailing as well as the biggest names.
He paid tribute to wife Christine, who was in the audience, and he thanked “the ferrets for hoovering the medals”. His autobiography is about to be published by Fernhurst Books.
The event was live streamed on the Facebook page of Yachts & Yachting magazine and remains available for viewing.
For more information on all the categories, contenders, and of course the winners, visit the British Yachting Awards website and see the February 2022 issue of the magazine, published in the New Year.