BOATS.COM YJA YOUNG SAILOR OF THE YEAR 2016
Topper World Champion, Elliott Kuzyk has won the Boats.com YJA Young sailor of the Year.
The Young Sailor of the Year Award was first awarded in 1993 and recognises endeavour and achievement by Britain’s upcoming young sailors. Elliott Kuzyk was voted the winner for the ‘Young Sailor of the Year’ for winning the Topper World Championships in 2016, the Winter U.K. Regatta 2016, and 5 x Southern Area Championships, in succession.
Elliott became 2016 Topper World Champion at Ballyholme Yacht Club in Northern Ireland, following in the footsteps of older brother Giles who became Topper World Champion four years ago (in the same Topper). It was the first time in the 40-year history of the class that two brothers had triumphed with World Championship wins.
The presentation was shown on the BBC news and streamed live on facebook. Two time Olympic medalist and winning Volvo skipper Ian Walker, who presented the award, praised the efforts of hard working parents who support their youngsters to achieve their dreams. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston CBE, Rio gold medalist Saskia Clark and two times Olympic gold medallist Rodney Pattisson MBE applauded as the Parkstone sailor received the award.
Elliott extended his thanks to the whole of ITCA (GBR) Topper Class “for their 100% support with his sailing, training and beyond, as without this none of this would have been possible over the years, thank you!”
Elliott went on to say “I’m so happy to win this. It’s been a great summer of sailing and after moving into the youth class and being thrown back into the mix in competitions it’s good to get a confidence boost. There are a lot of great names on this trophy: I feel very proud to have won. It’s been a great day.”
Those names include: Ben Ainslie, Ellen MacArthur, Nick Thompson and 2015 winner Eleanor Poole making this the second year in a row that a Topper sailor has won the title.