Tenacious, brave, intelligent and highly skilled: these were the four words used to describe the winner of the Land Rover Above and Beyond Award in Sydney, Australia, after three days of thrilling racing in the heart of Sydney Harbour. Oman Air’s Tom Slingsby (AUS) was awarded the trophy for showcasing the greatest tactical performance and improvement seen this year on a debut appearance at the Extreme Sailing SeriesTM.
Series Main Partner, Land Rover presents the Award to teams or individuals in recognition of those who have demonstrated the finest examples of skill, sportsmanship and strength of mind at each of the Extreme Sailing Series Acts in the true spirit of Land Rover’s Above and Beyond ethos.
Slingsby, an Olympic Gold Medallist and five times Laser World Champion, was presented with the Land Rover Above and Beyond Award by Global Brand Ambassador, Hannah White, who explained the decision by the committee.
“The global stadium racing circuit is renowned in the world of professional sailing for being one of the toughest events to win. With such huge talent on the racecourse it’s easy to languish at the bottom of the pack, but Tom went up against the very best and in the space of three days, watched them, learned from them, battled with them, and beat many of them at their own game. Finishing in last position at the end of day one of racing, Tom and his team from Oman Air quietly clawed their way up the leaderboard, impressing everyone and leaving some of the biggest names in sailing in his wake, finishing the final Act of the 2014 just one place off the podium. We can only speculate on where he might have finished if there had been another day of racing. Tom’s tenacity and intelligent racing has impressed everyone and we hope he’ll be back next year.”
Mark Cameron, Jaguar Land Rover Global Brand Experience Director, commented, “The Extreme Sailing Series has exceeded expectations and the finale here in Sydney has been show stopper. The skills of the professional sailors have thrilled spectators around the world racing in the stadium format and it is a fitting close here in Sydney Harbour in such style. Congratulations to Morgan Larson in their hard fought Series victory and also Tom Slingsby for a truly outstanding performance in front of his home crowd. The 2015 season starts in just six weeks in Singapore and we look forward to another year of partnership with the Extreme Sailing SeriesTM.”
The final Act of the year was won by Swiss team Alinghi, skippered by Morgan Larson (USA), which also put the red and black team at the top of the overall 2014 Series podium.