Who will be the Sailor of the Year? Come and find out in Genoa on April 11

collage-sailorsOnce we defined the 5 candidates vying for the 2014 Sailor of the Year award(you chose them, with over 12 thousand online votes: here’s who they are in detail and why we decided to nominate them), the ball was passed to the Quality Jury, composed of our editorial staff and influential jurors in the field. Who will win? And who will win the TAG Heuer Passion, Performance and Innovation awards? You will only find out by coming to the TAG Heuer VELAFestival in Genoa (April 10-13), where as part of the “Champions Day” on Friday, April 11, the identity of the winner and the “special awardees” will be revealed.

We noticed meanwhile that another similarly named award is back, in Rome. Causing no small amount of confusion. And we feel it is only fair to reveal why there is a clone of our award, the most coveted in the Italian sailing world, which Il Giornale della Vela has organized, without interruption, since 1991.

THE STORY OF THE SAILOR OF THE YEAR
The idea for the award came to Giornale della Vela founder Mario Oriani, along with then Gazzetta dello Sport editor Gino Palumbo. This is the early 1980s. The idea was to be inspired by soccer’s Ballon d’Or, organized by a French trade magazine, France Football. But it lacked a sponsor to give nourishment and dignity to the award. The sponsor materialized in the early 1990s; it was the Rothmans brand that accompanied the award for years thanks to the good offices of sports communications manager Alberto Acciari.

THE “SPLITTING”
Then, the paths of the Sailing Newspaper and Acciari parted. Our newspaper continued, without interruption, to organize the Sailor of the Year, and Acciari did the same, albeit with some interruption, effectively duplicating the award. Acciari has resumed organizing his Sailor of the Year this year. We ours. Hence a lot of confusion. Is this good for the sailing world? No, we are the first to know.

A PROPOSAL TO END THE CONFUSION
As the dean journalist of sailing, Fabio Colivicchi, so well says, it should be a superpartes body that should provide clarity. As was the case with the very Ballon d’Or, which since 2010 has merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year, creating a new award called the FIFA Ballon d’Or, jointly organized by France Football and FIFA. We are waiting for signals for the next edition. Meanwhile, let’s celebrate on Champions Day on the stage of the VELAFestival in Genoa, April 11, this year’s winners. They deserve it.


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