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January 2007

Ian Williams (GBR)

 Nomination
Brave fella… with a rewarding legal career seemingly put on permanent hold, Ian Williams has campaigned tirelessly ­– and privately – to make an impact on the world match-race circuit. After coming so close to a first big win last month, Williams took the final step in winning this year’s Bermuda Gold Cup – the launch platform for quite a few successful America’s Cup careers. Buy now while prices remain low…
 Why they won
Ian Williams is not the first match racer to attempt to establish himself without the foundation of Olympic class success; Peter Gilmour, Harold Cudmore and most recently James Spithill followed similarly direct paths and their careers seem not to have suffered too much as a result. However, it’s a gutsy call when you first start having to fund not just yourself, but also three or four crew to attend events when many of your rivals are on the payroll of some pretty ‘monstrously funded’ America’s Cup teams. But Williams’ persistence has paid off in recent months, success in the Bermuda Gold Cup being followed almost immediately by a sponsorship agreement with Andrew Pindar’s media group, hopefully taking off some of the pressure as Williams continues to press – out on the racecourse – for a future role in a good America’s Cup team.