Australian follows in the footsteps of Southport sailor

MORE success for Australian sailors, with James Spithill earning Australia back-to-back male World Sailor of the Year awards.

He was nominated for guiding leading Oracle Team USA to one of the greatest comebacks in all sporting history, according to

Trailing Emirates Team New Zealand 8-1 in a first to nine quest for one of yachting’s greatest prizes, the America’s Cup, skipper Spithill inspired a comeback of epic proportion with a faultless “down but not out” approach.


Levelling the series at 8 apiece his team was victorious in the winner takes all final race; Spithill’s second triumph in the 162-year old contest.

The 35 year-old is the third Australian to win the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award, following Southport local Mat Belcher (2013) and Tom Slingsby (2010).

Spithill told ISAF Media “With such a fantastic group of nominees it’s quite humbling to be included in the same group. I feel a little awkward winning this award. It seems it is an individual award and in my case it could not be further from the truth. What happened on San Francisco Bay was an incredible team effort. I was just a small piece. I would like to accept the award on behalf of a great group of people, Oracle Team USA.”

The 2014 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards were held at the Pueblo Español in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.