Friday, January 11, 2013

The Rolex Sailor of the Year Award is Sail Canada's most prestigious award presented annually to a Canadian sailor who has been significantly involved in an activity during the award year, which brought recognition to Canadian sailing and to Sail Canada. The award was first presented in 1986 to America's Cup supporter Paul Phelan, who successfully organized a merger between Canada's most competitive 12-meter syndicates. High levels of excellence in Olympic and Paralympic class sailboat competition are given priority however, other results and accomplishments will be considered. The individual selected will have shown leadership qualities with respect to the event or activity leading to their nomination and have demonstrated sportsmanship and gained the respect of fellow sailors.

One of three top finalists, Paul Davis, was a member of the Canadian Sailing Team in the late 70’s and early80s, campaigning in the Soling class. A move to Norway saw him represent for them in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games where he finished 9th and 3rd taking the Bronze home to Norway. Paul is currently the sailor who has won the most Soling World Championship titles, taking his 4th title in 2012, sailing with Peter and William Hall. Paul also won the 2012 Shark World Championship just a few weeks earlier sailing with his son Robert Davis and Brandon Tattersall. Paul has received the Kingston Yacht Club Achievement and Leadership Award several times over the last 10 years for his continued success on the racecourse and his commitment to developing sailing at KYC where he has served as Junior Sailing Director, Vice Commodore, and as the 2012 Commodore. Under his guidance KYC’s Junior Sailing program has grown, and KYC continues to produce Canadian Youth Team, Canadian Youth World Team, and Canadian Senior Team sailors as well as being named a provincial high performance training centre.

Paul serves on the CYA Athlete Development Committee, coaches Senior Team sailors, and provides guidance to younger sailors looking to make the transition to the Senior Team.

Paul’s success on the racecourse continues to bring recognition to Canadian sailing, and his commitment to the development of sailing in Canada provides this country’s next generation of top sailors the tools necessary to gain the same recognition. 

Davis believes in Malcolm Gladwell’s premise that you need to invest 10,000 hours to achieve success in anything, adding that when you’ve done that 2 or 3 times there are very few things you haven’t seen before. ”That said,” notes Davis, “I think preparation is still very critical.  Many aspects of the Sport are equipment centric. The teams that are winning rarely use poor equipment, have excellent preparation and ensure all other aspects of planning are completely sorted out so that the only consideration on race day is performance.”

Paul considers it a great honor to be recognized for his year of results in sailing and recognizes that there are many people working hard at this sport.  To have success both on and off the water takes a high level of dedication. He adds, 
”There are so many facets to our sport it’s nearly impossible to actually compare results and contributions amongst so many that perform and contribute at a high level.”

Paul will be in attendance for the award winner announcement on January 19th 2013 at The Carlu in Toronto at the annual Sail Canada Rolex Sailor of the Year Awards. 

For tickets to the Sail Canada Rolex Sailor of the Year Awards please click here.  

For information on other recipients click here.