The Australian Yachting Awards enjoys a long history. The first ‘Australian Yachtsman of the Year’ award was presented in 1962 to Jock Sturrock, four time Olympic representative, Olympic Bronze medallist and skipper of the America’s Cup challenger ‘Gretel’.
In 1996 the Awards were restructured and new awards introduced. The Yachtsman of the Year Award was divided into two categories – ‘Male Sailor of the Year’ and ‘Female Sailor of the Year’. Both awards were based on outstanding sailing achievements and good sportsmanship.
Also in 1996, the Media Award was introduced to acknowledge the significant contribution journalists make to the positive promotion and enhanced publicity of the sport. Media includes print, electronic, radio and television.
The Youth Award was introduced in 1986 to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of sailors under 19 years of age. In 2007 the award was re-named the ‘OAMPS Insurance Brokers Youth Sailor of the Year Award’ in recognition of their sponsorship of Youth Development at the National level.
In 2000, the Sailor of the Year with a Disability Award was introduced. This award aims to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of those sailors with a disability who have overcome adversity and exemplified the spirit of sailing.