If there was drama or calamity during the 39,000 nautical miles of the Volvo Ocean Race, you could safely bet there was always a Kiwi sailor on hand to drive through it, resolve it, or capture it on film. So it's only natural that New Zealanders have dominated the honours in the race's grand finale awards.
As well as being part of the overall winning crew, Groupama bowman Brad Marsh was presented with the overall Abu Dhabi Seamanship award. The 28-year-old from Auckland was recognised for his "incredible contribution" to the team's winning campaign, and putting himself at risk on countless occasions.
In leg four, Marsh patched a hole in Groupama's bow, helping his team claim their first offshore leg win into Auckland. In the fifth leg through the Southern Ocean, Marsh scaled the broken mast to cut away the mainsail, needing five staples in his wrist and treatment for shock from an accidental knife injury.
He also scaled the mast three times in stormy conditions on Leg 8 to free a jammed mainsail.
Hamish Hooper, Camper's media crew member, scooped the 10,000 euro prize for outstanding on-board coverage during the nine-month race.
Highlights included his storytelling of Camper's boat damage in the Southern Ocean and the monumental repair during Leg 5, capturing the moment helmsman Chuny Bermúdez swerved at more than 20 knots to avoid a whale in the North Atlantic, and skipper Chris Nicholson being washed off the helm by a monster wave.
Second overall in the race, Camper also collected the award for the best 24-hour distance run, for their 566 nautical miles on Leg 8.
Auckland sailmaker David Swete won the Hans Horrevoets award for Young Sailor of the Race, given in memory of the Dutch sailor who died after being swept from ABN AMRO TWO in the 2005-06 race. A former world matchracing champion, with Adam Minoprio's BlackMatch team, this was Swete's first round-the-world campaign.
Swete's mostly-Kiwi Team Sanya campaign also received the overall Shore Crew award for their efforts in keeping Mike Sanderson's crew in the race after a series of misfortunes and breakages.
Argentinian designer Juan Kouyoumdjian was recognised for his outstanding contribution to the race, with the Ericsson Design Award for his work on Groupama 4. Kouyoumdjian also designed the third and fourth placed boats Puma and Telefonica.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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