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The University of Southampton

Southampton graduate named Rolex World Sailor of the Year

Published: 31 October 2018
Pavlos Kontides
Southampton alumnus Pavlos Kontides is the 2018 male Rolex Sailor of the Year.

University of Southampton graduate Pavlos Kontides has added to his illustrious list of achievements after winning the male Rolex Sailor of the Year for 2018.

Kontides, who completed his Ship Science degree at Southampton in 2013, won his second successive World Championship title in the Laser class earlier this year. The 28-year-old etched his name into the history books in his home nation of Cyprus, becoming the country’s first Olympic medallist after winning silver in the Laser at the London 2012 Olympic Games. His success inspired the nation and since then he has continued to inspire nationally and globally with his achievements.

Speaking on receiving the honour during the World Sailing Awards in Florida, Kontides said, "There are lot of great legends of our sport on that trophy. Since I was 14, I've been dreaming of winning that award. I used to write it on lots of pieces of paper that it's what I wanted. Maybe it sounded a bit too far away, maybe it was too big of a dream but here I am today.

"I managed to achieve this from a really small island in the middle of the Mediterranean so I hope this achievement will inspire a lot of other young sailors to prove you should dream big and not be too scared to chase it,” he continued.

"Impossible is something you only have in your brain. Your brain is the biggest barrier but once you figure it out, it can be your biggest weapon and your biggest ally as well so just dream big and go for it."

The World Sailing Awards celebrate outstanding achievement and exceptional contributions to the sport of sailing and represent the highest award a sailor can receive. The winners were decided on the basis of a public vote, contributing 30% of the final result, with World Sailing’s Member National Authorities making up the final 70%.


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