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Home » Boating » ISAF Rolex Female Sailor of the Year nominee, Martine Grael & Kahena Kunze

ISAF Rolex Female Sailor of the Year nominee, Martine Grael & Kahena Kunze

Brazil's Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze on the podium at the Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds podium

ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2014. Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze on the podium at the Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds podium. Credit Sailing Energy.

Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze are the leading lights in the 49erFX and have become accustomed to podium finishes and sailing silverware.

The childhood friends know how to win with ease and how to fight back when the going gets tough.

Their success story commenced at the 2009 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Buzios, Brazil where they picked up gold in the 420. Following a short break from sailing together they teamed up again at the end of 2012 to campaign the FX and success has followed.

After finishing in second place at the 2013 49erFX World Championship in Marseille, France the Brazilians went into 2014 with a golden aim, to become World Champions at the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

Using the ISAF Sailing World Cup series to prepare they put together strong scorelines in Mallorca and Hyères that could not be matched. At both regattas they grabbed opening day leads with both hands and never looked back, sealing comfortable victories.

As the build-up to Santander 2014 continued they proved themselves on Olympic waters, taking gold at the Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014, a 2016 Olympic test event, but their eyes were on Santander.

They were up against it in the 55-boat fleet and although they trailed the leaders all week they kept their cool to stay in contention as the final day approached. Going into the Medal Race the deficit was two points, it was winner take all.

Grael and Kunze were behind early in the Medal Race they turned the tide and overtook their rivals in the penultimate upwind leg. In a nail biting finish they crossed the finish line ahead to claim their first senior world title.

View Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze’s ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Profile.

Joining Grael and Kunze as Female Nominees for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2014 are Steph Bridge (GBR) and Charline Picon (FRA).

The Voting
The winners are selected by the ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs), the national governing bodies for sailing around the world. The MNAs are now invited to vote for the male and female nominee they believe most deserves the Award.

The winners will be announced at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards presentation and dinner, taking place on Tuesday 4 November 2014. The venue for the event will be at the Pueblo Español, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Each winner will be presented with the prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award Trophy and a distinctive Rolex timepiece.

View all of the nominees here.

Who will join the list of winners?

2013 Mat Belcher (AUS), Jo Aleh & Polly Powrie (NZL)
2012 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Lijia Xu (CHN)
2011 Iker Martinez & Xabier Fernandez (ESP), Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
2010 Tom Slingsby (AUS), Blanca Manchon (ESP)
2009 Torben Grael (BRA), Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
2008 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Alessandra Sensini (ITA)
2007 Ed Baird (USA), Claire Leroy (FRA)
2006 Mike Sanderson (NZL), Paige Railey (USA)
2005 Fernando Echavarri & Anton Paz (ESP), Ellen MacArthur (GBR)
2004 Robert Scheidt (BRA), Sofia Bekatorou & Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE)
2003 Russell Coutts (SUI), Siren Sundby (NOR)
2002 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Sofia Bekatorou & Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE)
2001 Robert Scheidt (BRA), Ellen MacArthur (GBR)
2000 Mark Reynolds & Magnus Liljedahl (USA), Shirley Robertson (GBR)
1999 Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), Margriet Matthijse (NED)
1998 Ben Ainslie (GBR), Carolijn Brouwer (NED)
1997 Pete Goss (GBR), Ruslana Taran & Elena Pakholchik (UKR)
1996 Jochen Schümann (GER), Lai Shan Lee (HKG)
1995 Russell Coutts (NZL), Isabelle Autissier (FRA)
1994 Peter Blake (NZL) & Robin Knox-Johnston (GBR), Theresa Zabell (ESP)

By ISAF


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