SANTIAGO LANGE FROM ARGENTINA is the male winner, while Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark from the UK claimed the female title at the 2016 Rolex World Sailors of the Year presented at the Casa Llotja De Mar in Spain before 500 guests.
The Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award marks out sailing as a sport that encourages and rewards determination, precision and passion. Lange was recipient of a specially engraved Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 and a marble and silver trophy depicting the globe, crowned with five silver spinnakers representing the continents.
Lange provided Rio 2016 with the fairy tale storyline of the Olympic Games as he won gold with Cecilia Carranza Saroli in the Nacra 17. At 54-year-old, six-time Olympian and two-time bronze medal winner, Lange was the oldest sailor competing. Just one year prior to the Games, he was diagnosed with cancer and had to have a lung removed. Making the start line of the competition was an achievement in itself for the resilient Argentinean.
Spurred on by missing out on London 2012 gold in the 470 Class, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark set about the Rio Games in determined fashion. Gold at the 2015 Sailing World Cup Final, silver at the 2015 World Championships and two 2016 World Cup golds proved Mills and Clark were a force to be reckoned with in Brazil. Once at Rio, the British pair kept their focus on the task ahead. Clark and Mills finished what they had started and wiped clean the disappointment of London.
Marking their triumph, Mills and Clark both received engraved Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 35s and the same marble and silver trophy as Lange.
PHOTOS: WORLD SAILING & ROLEX.