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In a dazzling ceremony in Malaga, Spain, the global luminaries of the sport of Sailing were awarded. The 2023 Rolex World Sailor of the Year awards were presented to Tom Slingsby and Kirsten Neuschäfer.

In a competition where public voting played a crucial role alongside the expert panel, Tom Slingsby edged out his closest competitor by fewer than 20 votes, making the selection both close and emotional. Slingsby was named the 2023 male Rolex World Sailor of the Year for the third time at the 2023 World Sailing Awards, after leading his team, Australia SailGP, to a third consecutive title, ensuring he remains the only skipper to have won the SailGP trophy. He is also the skipper of American Magic, which will seek success in the America's Cup next year.

Upon receiving the award, Slingsby said, "I feel incredibly honored to be in this position. Previously, when I won this award, it was after a Laser world title or a Moth world title, but this time it was purely sailing with teams."

© World Sailing Media
© World Sailing Media

Meanwhile, South African Kirsten Neuschäfer was named the female 2023 Rolex World Sailor of the Year after etching her name into the history books by becoming the first woman to finish first in the solo Golden Globe Race, a journey around the world reliant on no modern technology. She also came to the rescue of a fellow sailor during the event.

Although she couldn't be present at the ceremony held in Andalusia, she sent a video message of gratitude, stating, "It's such an incredible honour to be a nominee among such amazing, acclaimed, and iconic sailors, but to win this award, to be given this recognition by such an esteemed panel of judges and by the public means so, so much to me. Thank you to everyone who has believed in me and cheered me on."

© World Sailing Media
© World Sailing Media

The Magenta Project won the 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award from World Sailing. As a global leader in female empowerment in sailing, The Magenta Project's nine-month mentoring program has helped 150 women accelerate their progress in their chosen sailing field over the last four years.

The Magenta Project advocates for gender diversity in the sailing industry. It also hosts international events to raise awareness and expose successful applicants to career opportunities in the sailing industry. The aim is to continue growing diversity globally in sailing through mentoring, events, and governance. Investment in The Magenta Project has shown long-term returns, fostering diversity in the sport and developing industry leaders who go on to support the next generation: a truly socially sustainable movement.

All the winners:

Slingsby was named the 2023 male Rolex World Sailor of the Year.

Neuschäfer was named the 2023 female Rolex World Sailor of the Year.

The Magenta Project won the 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award.

The AC40 was named Boat of the Year.

11th Hour Racing won Team of the Year.

Dick Rose was presented with the Beppe Croce Trophy.

The Andrew Simpson Foundation won the President’s Development Award.