ROLEX WORLD SAILOR OF THE YEAR 2022: THE WINNERS ARE TITA AND BANTI

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© CARLO BORLENGHI

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli’s sailor in the olympus of world sailing

Ruggero Tita, one of the top sailors of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team, wins the highest award in world sailing in the men’s category, triumphantly concluding his Annus Mirabilis after winning the gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the World and European titles in the Nacra 17 mixed catamaran together with bow woman Caterina Banti, who won in the women’s category.

The announcement of the winners of what is considered the highest award a sailor can receive for sporting achievements took place on Tuesday 25 October in Abu Dhabi during the World Sailor Annual Conference and World Sailing Awards.

«I have lived my professional career pursuing one dream at a time», said Ruggero Tita after the award was presented. «The first one I realized was to make my passion a job, then to participate in the Olympics. As my sports career was developing I dreamt of winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games and I achieved that too. The Rolex World Sailor of the Year was a goal I had in my sights for a long time because it is a coveted award. I am very happy because, one by one, I have fulfilled all my wishes. The next one? To win the America’s Cup…».

Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti beat a shortlist of high level finalists that included olumpic and world champions and record holders, thanks to their extraordinary achievements over 12 months of uninterrupted success in the Nacra 17 Olympic Class.

The winners of this award, established in 1994, were voted for by the members of national authority of World Sailing (MNA) and the public.

Tita and Banti will therefore have their names engraved on the iconic silver and marble trophy depicting the globe, crowned by five silver spinnakers representing the continents.

Ruggero Tita is the third sailor currently sailing with Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli who can boast this coveted and prestigious title. Beforehim, in 2014, it was won by Jimmy Spithill following his incredible victory in the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco after an epic comeback; in 2019, the prize was awarded to Marco Gradoni, at the time age 15 (the youngest winner ever), for his extraordinary achievements in the Optimist Class.

In addition to Tita and Gradoni, Italy won the Rolex World Sailor of the Year a third time, thanks to Olympic champion Alessandra Sensini (2008).