A well deserved one… Santi Lange has been presented this evening in Barcelona with the Rolex World Sailor of the Year, the maximum award for a sailor. Santi Lange, with Cecilia Carranza, sailed to Gold an unforgettable Nacra 17 Medal Race and the argentinians were the iconic “cover story” at the Rio 2016 Olympics. During his speech, Lange asked Cecilia to join him on the stage as “We are a team and Cecilia should be here”.

Santiago Lange and Mills-Clark

Santiago Lange and Mills-Clark

“This is a very emotional moment in a very long sailing career. It is a win for ‘us’ because I could not have done it without Ceciia. I want to thank all the other nominees, they are athletes I really admire. Only the very best win gold medals at the Games, and I have a lot of respect for all the other nominees.”

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) were presented with the Female Rolex World Sailor of the Year. Gold at the 2015 Sailing World Cup Final, silver at the 2015 World Championships and two 2016 World Cup golds proved Mills and Clark were a force to be reckoned with. Once at Rio the British pair kept their focus on the task ahead. Only a disaster in the Medal Race could separate them from gold. That was never going to happen. Clark and Mills finished what they had started and wiped clean the disappointment of London.

Saskia Clark commented afterwards: “It is totally overwhelming to win this award, to see the names of previous winners, the legends of sailing in the room with us. We really weren’t expecting this.” Hannah Mills was equally elated: “The whole basis of our campaign was teamwork, our bond. To cap our year with winning this award is absolutely incredible.

The winners of the 2016 Rolex World Sailors of the Year were announced at an impressive awards ceremony held at the 18th century Casa Llotja De Mar, in the presence of some 500 guests.