Marco Gradoni a Nominee for 2019 Rolex Sailor of the Year
Three-time Optimist World Champion, Marco Gradoni (ITA) has been selected as a Nominee for the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2019 in recognition of his achievements over the past year.
The Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards is the most prestigious award of recognition in the sport of sailing. Since the awards' inception in 1994, the trophy has proudly accumulated the names of those who have demonstrated unparalleled endurance, performance and accomplishment in sailing.
Past winners include Sir Peter Blake (NZL) and Robin Knox Johnson (GBR), Ben Ainslie (GBR), Russell Coutts (NZL), Robert Scheidt (BRA), Torban Grael (BRA), Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) and Santiago Lange (ARG) to name just a few. Former Optimist Sailors Lijia Xu (CHN) won the award in 2012 as did Carolyn Brouwer in 1998 and again in 2018 after winning the Volvo Ocean Race.
Marco Gradoni is undoubtably the most talented and accomplished sailor of his generation. A three-time Optimist Class World Champion from the age of 13 to 15, Marco made IODA history by winning the largest Optimist World Championship with 65 nations in the history of the class by taking the 2019 World Championship title for the 3rd consecutive year. He also along with his teammates won the 2019 Optimist World Team Racing Championship.
Marco has finished 1st in every Optimist event that he has participated in since September 2018.
He started the period off by winning the 2018 Optimist World Championship in Cyprus for the 2nd time winning 9 out of 10 races. In April he topped 940 boats to take the Garda Meeting Title for the 2nd year in a row, and for his final event of his Optimist career, he won the 2019 Optimist World Championship again winning 7 out of 12 races as well as winning the Optimist World Team Racing Championship with his teammates.
Marco won his first World Championship Title in 2017 in Thailand at the age of 13. Since that time, he has won almost every event that he has participated in. Since September 1st, 2018, Marco's finishes are the following:
1st/ 264 - Optimist World Championship
1st / 171 - Campobasso
1st /366 - Torrevieja
1st /211 - Kinder Cup Crotone
1st /123 - Cesar Manrique Lanzarote
1st/184 - Kinder Cup Senigallia
1st /940 - Meeting Garda
1st /300 - Kinder Cup Marina di Carrara
1st/300 - Optimist Argento Torbole
1st/90 - Meringa Cup, Campione
1st / 259 - Optimist World Championship
1st /48 Teams - Optimist World Team Racing Championship
1st/273 - Kinder Cup and Class Aico Cup Ravenna
1st - National Team Racing
Prior to that time. Marco won the 2018 Meeting Garda, 2018 Torrevieja, 2018 Campobasso, 2018 Workum, 2018 Optimist Argento Torbole
There is no other sailor of his age that has accomplished as much as Marco. He is a role model for young sailors and is an inspiration for the next generation of sailors coming through the Optimis Class.
From Tuesday 22 October 2019, members of the public will be invited to vote for who they think should be crownd the 2019 ROlex World Sailor of the year. The public vote will contribute to 50% of the overall count with the remaining 50% to be decided by World Sailing's Member National Authorities.
The winners will be announced on Tuesday 29 October at the World Saiing Awards
IODA and the Optimist family congratulates Marco for his selection as a Nominee for the 2019 Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award in recognition of his achievements in the Optimist Class over the past year.