ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award 2012
By Romit Jethwaney — February 22, 2013
Ben Ainslie and Lijia Xu - World Sailors of the Year
It takes more than 130 Member National Authorities votes to decide the ISAF Sailor of the Year which is preceded by a world wide open nomination selective process.

Two awards, one for a female sailor/crew and one for a male sailor/crew, are presented to the individuals who are deemed to have outperformed themselves during the qualifying period from 1 September 2011 to 31 August 2012.

Four-time Olympic Gold medalist Ben Ainslie commented, "Winning the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year award is a huge honor, especially for everyone who has helped me. There is a huge team in the background from family, friends, coaches and sponsors who helped make it happen. It is a huge honour to be part of such a group of exceptional sailors who were put forward for this award."

Ainsile was already a 3 time world title holder, making this his fourth. He is already known as the most successful Olympic sailor of all time at the mere age of 35.

Lijia Xu, Laser Radial Gold Medallist at London 2012, expressed her delight at becoming only the second Asian athlete to be crowned ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year and spoke of her passion for the sport, "Sailing has given me the chance to chase my dreams and the stage to show my potential. It has provided me with the opportunity to see, feel and explore the world. Sailing leads me to a path of a better life, a life full of vitality, excitement and joyful experiences."

In August, Xu became the first Chinese, and indeed Asian, sailor to win an Olympic Gold medal in a dinghy sailing boat.
Ben Ainslie with his Olympic Medal
Ben Ainslie at the Olympics
 Lijia Xu with her Rolex Watch and Trophy
 Lijia Xu in action
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