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April 2014

BOB OATLEY (AUS)

 Nomination
The Australian owner of the super-successful maxi Wild Oats clearly has no intention of slowing down as he gains in ‘maturity’. Although he no longer sails onboard for longer races, Oatley is the driving force behind one of the world’s most aggressive sailboat development programmes. Wild Oats does boast a veritable quiver of appendages but the overall effect is clearly successful. And now there is an America’s Cup campaign
 Why they won
‘Bob has done so much for sailing in Australia and supported so many talented sailors that he definitely deserves this award’ – Jon Roberson. Oatley is best known as owner of a string of Wild Oats, but in Australia he is equally regarded for a great deal of behind the scenes effort to support emerging talent. His family is also keen on innovation, witness the multiple-appendage configuration of Wild Oats XI and the rotating keel Reichel-Pugh design launched two years ago. Sailing technology needs more Oatleys!