Sunday, 29 November 2009

VOR: Ericsson 4 Watch Captains Honoured

Bannatyne receiving his award alongside Jackson's wife, Marlene. Supplied image.

by Victoria Low

Brad Jackson and Stu Bannatyne, watch captains on Ericsson 4, the winner of the 2008-09 race, have been jointly named Sailor of the Year at the 2009 Yachting New Zealand Excellence Awards.

Jackson and Bannatyne, two of the world's most successful ocean racers, join an elite group of three, joining another New Zealander Mark Christensen as the only sailors to have won the Whitbread/Volvo three times.

Jackson and Bannatyne sailed on New Zealand Endeavour in the 1993-94 winning the maxi class. In the 2001-02 race, Bannatyne, collected his second win in three races as a member of the illbruck crew. Jackson made it two as watch captain on the all-conquering ABN AMRO ONE in the 2005-06. This latest win now means both Jackson and Bannatyne have three wins each, from five races.

Jackson steering during the 24 hour record. Image copyright Guy Salter/Ericsson Racing Team.

"We think that Brad and Stuart's longevity in the sport, and the significant input that they have had in the repeated successes of their teams, is highly admirable," said Yachting New Zealand Chief Executive Des Brennan. "There are very few yachtsmen who have stood the test of time as this pair have done."

The pair have joined Sir Peter Blake (1982 and 1989, and in 2001 with the Steinlager 2 crew), Grant Dalton (2001), and Mike Sanderson (2006) in winning the Sir Bernard Fergusson trophy for New Zealand Sailor of the Year.

At the Award Ceremony in Auckland, New Zealand, Bannatyne commented " It was a very pleasant surprise to be nominated. It is humbling for Brad and I to join the list of people already on the Trophy. There are many factors that go into a winning race campaign but the key is to get the right people and we were fortunate to be able to join fairly early on and help put together a strong team of people."

Ericsson Racing Team
Volvo Ocean Race

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