sabato 5 novembre 2016

Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2016 - Damien Seguin

In a class jam packed with multiple world champions, Paralympic champions and Sailing World Cup winners, Seguin was on the podium at both Sailing World Cup Hyeres and the 2016 Para Worlds in Medemblik, the Netherlands in the run up to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The time had come. Chasing a third Paralympic medal Seguin stayed in contention at the top of the fleet in every race. As the pressure grew and sailors around him began to falter, the always relaxed Seguin continued to sail the only way he knew how. Cool, calm, collected and in contention.

With sailors and friends from his disabled sailing association in France making the journey to Brazil to line the shore and support their star, Seguin could not and would not disappoint. He had guaranteed himself another Paralympic medal with one race to go, but he wanted that gold.

In the final race Seguin kept the only sailor that could challenge him, the London 2012 Paralympic champion Helena Lucas, behind him. The gold and the inspiration he craved was his.

Ironically, before a Rio 2016 race even started, Seguin had that inspiration already, but such is his humble nature he is the only one that couldn't see it. Seguin is the type of person that will say the gold is for all those that have helped him and that he has inspired, but for everyone else, that gold was just for him, he had earned it.

Bigger things are to come for the ever pleasant and courteous 

Seguin, but inspiration is his now.

Previous recipients of the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award include:
2015 Peter Burling & Blair Tuke (NZL), Sarah Ayton (GBR)
2014 James Spithill (AUS), Martine Grael & Kahena Kunze (BRA)
2013 Mat Belcher (AUS), Jo Aleh & Polly Powrie (NZL)
2012 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Lijia Xu (CHN)
2011 Iker Martinez & Xabier Fernandez (ESP), Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
2010 Tom Slingsby (AUS), Blanca Manchon (ESP)
2009 Torben Grael (BRA), Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
2008 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Alessandra Sensini (ITA)
2007 Ed Baird (USA), Claire Leroy (FRA)
2006 Mike Sanderson (NZL), Paige Railey (USA)
2005 Fernando Echavarri & Anton Paz (ESP), Ellen MacArthur (GBR)
2004 Robert Scheidt (BRA), Sofia Bekatorou & Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE)
2003 Russell Coutts (SUI), Siren Sundby (NOR)
2002 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Sofia Bekatorou & Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE)
2001 Robert Scheidt (BRA), Ellen MacArthur (GBR)
2000 Mark Reynolds & Magnus Liljedahl (USA), Shirley Robertson (GBR)
1999 Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), Margriet Matthijse (NED)
1998 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Carolijn Brouwer (NED)
1997 Pete Goss (GBR), Ruslana Taran & Elena Pakholchik (UKR)
1996 Jochen Schümann (GER), Lai Shan Lee (HKG)
1995 Russell Coutts (NZL), Isabelle Autissier (FRA)
1994 Peter Blake (NZL) & Robin Knox-Johnston (GBR), Theresa Zabell (ESP)


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