SA boys claim top international sailing award

Brandon Wijtenburg and Todd Fisher

Brandon Wijtenburg and Todd Fisher

Two South African sailors were honoured with a top international award in Portugal as the ISAF Youth World Championships came to an end over the weekend.

They may not have claimed a podium finish at the event, which saw 367 young sailors from 67 nations competing over five days, but SA’s Brandon Wijtenburg and Todd Fisher walked away with the ISAF Bengt Julin Trophy.

Nominated by their fellow competitors, Wijtenburg and Fisher were handed the award for demonstrating “good sportsmanship, respect, graciousness, helpfulness and friendliness to their fellow competitors.” The trophy was presented by ISAF Vice President Nazli Imre.

According to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF): “First awarded in 1990, the ISAF Bengt Julin Trophy is a unique trophy which is awarded to a competitor or a national team that has done the most to foster understanding and displayed attributes that are encouraged at the ISAF Youth Worlds.”

President of SA Sailing, Rob M’Crystal said: “Congratulations to Brandon and Todd. This award says more about them than winning the regatta. They can be very proud of themselves. SA Sailing certainly are as they are a credit to their parents and our sport and have represented South Africa in the best way possible.”

Wijtenburg and Fisher put in some impressive performances in the SL16 class, managing a win in Race 8, second place in Race 7 and a fourth place in Race 9, eventually finishing in a creditable 10th place overall.

Spain lifted the Nations Trophy for the first time in their history as they celebrated four medals from the eight classes racing in the Algarve. South Africa were 35th out of the 67 nations taking part.

The next Youth World Championships will take place in Langkawi, Malaysia in 2015.