The first big question of 2017 is who will win the boats.com YJA Yachtsman and Young Sailor of the Year awards? The votes are now being counted for the annual boats.com sponsored Awards ahead of the announcement at a Gala Lunch at Trinity House London next week.

This is the third year running that boats.com has sponsored the UK's most prestigious boating awards. Previous winners include Sir Ben Ainslie, Dame Ellen MacArthur Sir Robin Knox Johnston. Last year the title was won by Ian Walker, who has just been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours list.

Ian Walker, last year's winner of the boats.com YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award, presented by Ian Atkins, CEO of boats.com (left) and Paul Gelder, Chairman of the Yachting Journalists' Association, at Trinity House, London.

Ian Walker, last year's winner of the boats.com YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award, presented by Ian Atkins, CEO of boats.com (left) and Paul Gelder, Chairman of the Yachting Journalists' Association, at Trinity House, London.



As ever, the stage is set for a fantastic celebration of the sport. On the shortlist for this year's award are Olympic Finn gold medallist Giles Scott, Round the Island Race record setter Brian Thompson, and Clipper Race crewman Gavin Reid.

Also due to be announced next week is the 2016 boats.com Young Sailor of the Year Award, for which the shortlisted finallists are 15 year old 2016 Topper world champion Elliott Kuzyk, Bronze medalists at the 2016 29er World Championships Tom Darling (18) and Crispin Beaumont (18), and powerboat racer Thomas Mantripp (15), who won last season's GP RYA British GT15 and British Sprint Championship titles.

Ian Atkins, President of boats.com, commented: “The open nominations process for these two Awards highlighted the number of exceptional achievements that we have witnessed in 2016. Creating a shortlist of just three nominees for each category is never easy. We already look forward to announcing the winners on January 10."

Read more about the 2016 boats.com YJA Yachtsman of the Year shortlist here.

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