Blanck and Ashby win Victoria's top sailing Awards

'Olympic Laser Radial sailor Sarah Blank wins Female Sailor of the Year, Victoria Yachting Awards 2008' Yachting Victoria Inc
Victoria's two highest ranked Australian Olympic Sailing Team members, Sarah Blanck and Glenn Ashby were crowned winners of the state's top men's and women's annual yachting awards held on Friday 20 June 2008.

The 17th annual Victorian Yachting Awards were announced before 200 people at a glittering Champions and Awards Night held at Power House on Albert Park Lake.

Sarah Blanck hails from the Royal Brighton Yacht Club and in the last 18 months has steered her Laser Radial dinghy into number two in the world rankings, following an impressive outright win in Hyeres in France in April and earlier victories at 2008 Sail Melbourne and the Sydney Regatta last December.

Thirty one year old Sarah is a former world Europe class champion and was Australia's top placed sailor at the 2004 Olympics, but she was forced to switch boat designs to sail in this year's Olympics.

Olympic Tornado sailor Glenn Ashby - Male Sailor of the Year, Victoria Yachting Awards 2008 - Yachting Victoria Inc_.

Glenn Ashby from the Bendigo Yacht Club who crews a Tornado catamaran with NSW's Darren Bundock is ranked number one in the world with the pair also a top medal prospect for next August's Beijing Olympic Games.

In the international A Class World Titles earlier this year at Florida USA, Glenn was put to the test in a different multihull, but sailed away with the World Championship.

Sarah and Glenn have won Yachting Victoria's Sailor of the Year award a record five times, making them the most consistent top Victorian sailors in recent history.

Previous award winners include Sydney Olympic gold medalists Tom King and Mark Turnbull (2000, 01), Dual Sydney-Hobart winner Lou Abrahams 2006 and handicapped solo around the word sailor Vinny Lauwers (2001).

Victorian Yachting Awards Male and Female of the Year Trophy - Yachting Victoria Inc_. Click Here to view large photo

CEO of Yachting Victoria Ross Kilborn said, 'These annual Victorian Yachting Awards recognise both sailors and top administrators who have achieved outstanding success during 2007-08, as well as those who have contributed to the sport over many years.'

Other Award winners
Youth Sailors of the Year- Sam Kivell and Max Taylor (Sandringham YC, Mordialloc Sailing Club)
Junior Sailors of the Year - Joint winners: George Davies & Lloyd Collings (Sorrento Sailing & Couta Boat Club)
Disabled Sailor of the Year- Martin Waller (Sugarloaf Sailing & Boating Club)
Race Official of the Year - Harry Tedstone (Royal Brighton Yacht Club)
Media and Publicity Award - Doug Jarvis (Rhumbline Marketing)
Yacht Club of the Year - (Graeme Ritchie) Royal Geelong Yacht Club
Coach of the Year- Michah Shuwalow (Sandringham Yacht Club)
Instructor of the Year- Joe Wilding (Royal Brighton Yacht Club)

The 2008 Champions and Awards Night is proudly sponsored by Helly Hansen and Club Marine boat insurance and supported by Victorian State Government.

by Sabey & Associates

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