Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award – Support Marco Gradoni

Hi Sailors and Families,This appeal has just come from IODA, our world sailing headquarters. Marco Gradoni as you will see below has been nominated for sailor of the year. We believe this is an amazing gesture for a young sailor such as yourselves and a recognition of this class and his achievement in it. We all know the important part the Opti plays in developing sailing skills in what is the biggest international class in the world of yachting. We hope you will support his nomination and be inspired by his remarkable achievements.

Good sailing,
David Kayrouz
President NZIODA

To Our Members:

Support Marco Gradoni – Public Vote Opens October 22nd

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 since September 1, 2018 to August 31st.

This is the first time ever that a sailor in the Optimist Class has been a nominee for this award. For Marco to win this award, he needs the support of every Optimist Sailor from around the globe.

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 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 (48 Nations).

No other sailor in the history of the International Optimist Dinghy Class has won the Optimist World Championship three times.

Marco has also 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 Optimist 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 results are as follows:

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 Optimist Class.

From Tuesday 22 October 2019 until 12:00 UTC on 29 October, members of the public will be invited to vote for who they think should be crowned 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.

All Optimist sailors, families and friends are invited to vote for Marco for this award.

On October 22nd there will be a press release and fan communication from World Sailing when the voting opens. We will share this with all of you on the IODA Website, Facebook and Instagram accounts and through email.

We ask that you share and promote this opportunity with your Optimist sailors, families and friends in your country so that they can vote.

We also ask that you contact your MNA and ask for their support as well. We sent out a mailing to the MNA’s recently, but contact from you directly is probably more effective.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday 29 October at the World Sailing Awards in Bermuda, during the World Sailing Conference.

Together let’s support Marco!


Nominee for
Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award

International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA)

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