The Rolex Sailor of the Year Award, Sail Canada’s most prestigious award, is presented annually to a Canadian sailor for bringing recognition to Canadian sailing and Sail Canada. The award was first presented in 1986 to America’s Cup supporter Paul Phelan, who successfully organized a merger between Canada’s top 12-meter syndicates.
The 2014 Rolex Sailor of the Year finalists Andy Roy, Eric Holden, and the Canadian Sonar team led by Paul Tingley all exhibit the winning elements of Sailor of the Year, attaining high levels of excellence in high performance sailing, providing recognition to Canadian Sailing, illustrating leadership qualities, and demonstrating respect & sportsmanship.
Andy Roy was honoured as Sailor of the Month in October for his silver medal performance at the Laser Masters’ Worlds in Hyères, France. Roy has deep roots in the Laser class dating back to 1974. Andy was a member of the Canadian Sailing Team in the early 80’s, capturing silver at the 1982 Laser World Championships and the 1983 Pan Am Games. In addition, Andy has won multiple Laser National Championships and has also raced in the America’s Cup, Admiral’s Cup & Canada Cup. “I attribute most of my success to my competitive drive. Particularly in windy and wavy conditions I love to work the boat hard around the course to be faster than the competition.”
The Peterborough native has been competing in Laser Masters events for the last seven years and is currently the president of the North American Laser Class. While not on the water, Andy works as a senior manager at a technology company, supplying systems to the global naval market.
In August of 2014, The IFDS World Championships were hosted by RNSYS, recipients of the Sail Canada Regatta of the Year Award. Paul Tingley, Scott Lutes and Logan Campbell raced against the largest Sonar fleet to date with over 10 countries represented. The trio pulled together consistent top 5 results in five of the seven races capturing their first world championship medal since forging in 2013 and secured Canada’s berth for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.
Canadian Sonar Skipper Paul Tingley maintains a high profile sailing resume going back to the 2000 Sydney Paralympics sailing the Sonar to a bronze medal finish with David Williams, and Brian McDonald. Tingley has represented Canada in every Paralympic Games since it’s inception including his gold medal 2.4mR performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. While fellow teammates Scott & Logan are newer to the high performance sailing scene, they do have experience on the international stage, competing at 2012 Paralympics in Weymouth with current 2.4mR sailor Bruce Millar.
The Canadian Sonar team have cumulated other impressive results including a silver medal at the National Offshore One-Design Regatta in St. Petersburg, Florida, 2nd at the Clagett Regatta and 3rd at the most recent ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami. Paul, Scott and Logan will also be presented with the Skippers’ Plan Team of the Year award along with Skippers’ Plan female recipient Isabella Bertold.
Canadian offshore sailor Eric Holden stole the spotlight on several occasions in 2014 with his success as the first-ever Canadian skipper to lead amateur sailors around the world on a 70ft yacht – Henri Lloyd. Holden and his crew won multiple legs of the Clipper race, honoured three times by Sail Canada for Sailor of the Month including their overall race win in July with an insurmountable lead heading to the finish line. “Whenever I thought the team couldn’t be pushed any harder, they dug deeper through some of the worst sailing conditions I have ever seen on the planet. I am very proud of what we accomplished as a team. It has been a life-changing adventure.” Eric’s passion for the most challenging race on the planet began in 1999 when his sister competed in two legs of the race.
Eric maintains a strong racing pedigree including being member of the Canadian Sailing Team for 5 years and part of the first Canadian team to win the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race in over 100 years. Holden holds a University degree in Atmospheric science and a diploma in Operational Meteorology from Environment Canada. Holden Meteorological Services specializes in inshore and offshore yacht race forecasting and provides weather forecasting for high performance sailing teams including the Canadian Olympic Sailing Team at the 2012 London Olympics.
Source : http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2015/02/05/finalists-rolex-sailor-year-award/