SAILING Mag Blog Raymarine Sailor of the Year 2018 is TINA PLATTNER

This is always a pleasurable time of the year as it’s when I get to announce the Raymarine SAILING Mag Blog Sailor of the Year.

This award is made in conjunction with MDM Marine Services who are the local RSA importers of Raymarine sailing electronics. Sincere thanks to them for their on-going support and sponsorship of the cash prize the winner receives.

It is also appropriate at this juncture to thank the anonymous judges who evaluate the nominations each month and vote on whom they think is the worthy recipient. It’s no easy task as at times all nominees are worthy recipients.

Please note that ANYONE can make a nomination for the Raymarine Sailor of the Month – so please remember this and send your nominations to: editor@sailing.co.za

Tina Plattner was Sailing Magazine’s Sailor of the Month TWICE in 2018 – in March, for her outstanding performances with her team on the Cape 31 ‘TnT’, and in July, for her accomplishments in the TP52 Super Series in Europe aboard ‘Phoenix’, where she became the first ever female helm to win a Super Series race.

Luke Scott caught up with Tina to reflect on her year and find out what’s in store for 2019.

Luke: Tina, you’ve had a really busy and successful sailing year aboard your Cape 31 and TP52 campaigns. You must be enjoying your holiday now, but can you give a brief overview of these two campaigns this season?

Tina: It’s obviously been a really good season for us sailing wise – so on the TP52 I think we did a lot better than we expected we would do at the beginning of the season, and with the Cape 31 season in Cape Town there has been a lot of fun and competitive sailing.

We are currently pretty busy putting the TP 52 campaign together for the next season. We start training again for the TP52 Super Series in March, and we are putting the crew together, ordering sails and the boat is on the hard with James (Largier) working on that.

Luke: With the TP52, you’ve got a crew of really good professional sailors aboard with you, but you also have a bunch of talented amateur sailors from South Africa as well. How’s the learning curve going?

Tina Plattner acknowledging her fine victory in the 52 Super Series.
pic by Nico Martinez / 52 SUPER SERIES

Tina: I think it was pretty steep for all of us that have come from South Africa this year! In general, putting a new team together, you have to learn how everyone works on the boat. We’ve taken quite a few of our friends with us, so there’s a nice vibe on the boat which makes the learning really nice and easy, because people don’t feel one person is better than another person and everyone is learning together. That’s been pretty cool and special.

In this fleet we are probably the boat that can still advance and improve the most, and we are looking forward to that next season.

Luke: You also brought your learning curve back to Cape Town with you, when you initiated and hosted the Cape 31 Training Regatta at the end of November. That was an incredibly generous gesture, and the Cape 31 fleet are sincerely appreciative. How do you think the Cape 31 fleet is progressing?

Tina: The Cape 31 fleet is progressing AMAZINGLY! Actually, when we came back from overseas, it took us quite a bit of training on the boat to catch up with the teams that had been sailing throughout the winter, and to now have 12 of the same boats on the water racing against each other, the sailing will just sky rocket and the people will just get better and better and see how fast these modern boats are. We are really looking forward to the second half of the season on the 31. They are attracting all the best sailors in South Africa. It’s a good fleet, and it’s really fun.

Luke: Do you have other sporting interests? You have horses?

Tina: Yes, I do dressage, but I have not competed for a while with all this sailing! I am trying to find time in 2019 to actually get back and do more of that, and get the mind going on other things and do something different that’s not just sailing.

Luke: You have also campaigned on a Melges and a 505. What’s happening with them?

Tina: We used to sail the Melges 20 circuit, but this summer she was packed away as there was just so much other sailing happening. The 52 campaign takes up about ten days a month for six months in a row, which is quite a bit. The 505 is also packed away.

With the TP52 and Cape 31 campaigns, and all the travelling that requires, and trying to live a normal life and trying to fit some work in between, there’s only so much sailing you can do.

Sadly those boats are packed away – hopefully not for good, but they are definitely wrapped up for now!

Luke: You are the first female helm to win a TP52 Super Series race. There is a big push to promote women in sailing, and with Stacey Jackson’s all female crew doing really well in Sydney to Hobart, and the Volvo Ocean Race successes (Donfeng’s Carolijn Brouwer and Marie Riou are World Sailing’s Sailor of the Year 2018), do you have any strong aspirations to push women in sailing, or are you in it for the general love of sailing?

Tina: I think I’m just in it for the general love of sailing! I always think it’s a topic one shouldn’t really have to talk about. There are positions on the boat that women can do just as well as men, like helming and trimming. It keeps coming up that women have got to fight for their spot on board, which is really sad. There are enough really good female sailors around and they’ve proven themselves in the Volvo Race and races like Sydney to Hobart. There shouldn’t really be a thing that we need to push for women’s sailing, it should be a thing that is just accepted by everybody.

Luke: I know on our 31, the first sailor pencilled in on the crew list every time is female and she is absolutely invaluable to our team! It’s more about good sailing than it is about gender.

Tina: Exactly!

Luke: Cool, thanks Tina. All the best for 2019. Nice to catch up and have a great holiday.

Sailor of the Month – NOMINATIONS

Who can make nominations? Anyone (individuals, clubs, class associations or administrators) may submit nominations.

What are the criteria? The award is strictly for ‘sailing excellence’ or in exceptional circumstances, for ‘dedication to the sport’.

What is the procedure? All nominations must be fully motivated in writing, and must be accompanied by a head-and-shoulders picture of the candidate, plus an action sailing pic aboard his/her boat. Motivations must include current performances, a brief CV of the nominee, and other pertinent, personal background information (age, school, employment, home town etc) so that an interesting editorial on the winner may be written.

SEND YOUR NOMINATION TO: editor@sailing.co.za

Roll of Honour – Sailors of the Year

2018Tina Plattner
2017Alex Burger & Benji Daniel
2016Rob van Rooyen
2015Stefano Marcia
2014Blaine Dodds
2013Asenathi Jim
2012Roger Hudson
2011Stefano Marcia
2010Asenathi Jim
2009Taariq Jacobs
2008David Hudson
2007Dominique Provoyeur
2006Craig Millar
2005Shaun Ferry
2004Justin Onvlee
2003Dominique Provoyeur
2002Golden Mgedza
2001John Eloff