South African yachtswoman Kirsten Neuschäfer has been named the 2023 World Female Sailor of the Year at an awards ceremony in Malaga, Spain.
Neuschäfer, the first woman to finish first in the solo Golden Globe race earlier this year, beat three other finalists to the award.
“It’s an incredible honour to be a nominee among such amazing, acclaimed and iconic sailors, but to win this award, to be given this recognition by such an esteemed panel of judges and by the public, means so much to me,” she said in a video message played at the function, as she was unable to attend in person. “Thank you to everyone who has believed in me and cheered me on.”
HAVE YOU ALSO READ?: PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: PHILIP BAUM
SA Sailing President Michael Robinson lauded Neuschäfer’s remarkable achievements.
“We are proud of what Kirsten has achieved and send our heartfelt congratulations on adding this prestigious award to her already significant list of accolades,” he said. “Kirsten accomplished what no South African sailor has done before — winning a round-the-world race, and what’s more, she did it without the use of modern GPS systems and single-handedly.”
Tom Slingsby was named Male Sailor of the Year for the third time after guiding his Australia SailGP to a third consecutive title.