Posted: 14 December 2005
Sailing trio to share ‘Northland Sailor of the Year’ trophy
A team of three internationally successful women sailors is to share the ‘Northland Sailor of the Year’ trophy.
Northland Regional Council Chairman Mark Farnsworth says the trio – Olympic sailor Sharon Ferris, together with Raynor Smeal and Ashley Holtrum - was nominated for the annually presented Council award by the Northland Yachting Association.
The three women sail under the name “Team Inspiration” and are aiming to compete in the 2008 Olympic Games in China. The team was presented with the trophy at a ceremony in Whangarei today. (Wednesday 14 December).
In May this year, the Bay of Islands Yacht Club members won second place in the Yngling Women’s World Championships in Austria.
Mr Farnsworth says both skipper Sharon Ferris of Opua (who competed in the last two Olympic Games) and Raynor Smeal (who hails from Whangarei but works in Auckland) began sailing at a young age.
“They have amassed an impressive mix of experience, competitive successes and deep sea miles so far.”
In contrast, American-born Ashley Holtrum, a Russell resident, had not sailed before teaming up with her two crewmates earlier this year.
The Yngling is a 20-foot open keelboat class and will be the women’s keelboat class at the 2008 Olympics. “Team Inspiration” is working to be nominated for inclusion in the New Zealand Olympic Team for those Games.
The Sailor of the Year trophy was first presented by the Whangarei Harbour Board in 1964 and was then known as the “Northland Blue Water Trophy”.
It was rededicated in 1995 by the Northland Regional Council as the Northland Sailor of the Year trophy.
Mr Farnsworth says the award can be made “for all or any acts or services, which either directly or indirectly have the effect of promotion, advancement or betterment of the sport of yachting”.
- Design and building of boats.
- Administrative services to the sport on a regular basis.
- Outstanding examples of seamanship or sailing ability in both competitive and non-competitive spheres.
- Outstanding examples of sportsmanship.
- Services in the promotion and encouragement of active participation in the sport of yachting.
Last year’s Northland Sailor of the Year was record-breaking Auckland to Noumea sailor Boyd Smith – a Whangarei resident and Onerahi Yacht Club member.