Prominent Australian sailing administrator David Tillett AM has been awarded the prestigious World Sailing Beppe Croce Trophy, which honors a person for an outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of sailing.
Tillet received the trophy at the World Sailing annual conference in Abu Dhabi, becoming the second Australian to receive the honor following recognition from David Kellett AM in 2014.
“It’s a huge honour,” Tillett said upon accepting the award. “We have a former Australian winner of this award in David Kellett, and joining him in winning sailing’s most prestigious award is a huge honor for me and a real surprise.”
Tillett, 68, has spent the past 30 years making big calls to the highest echelons of international sailing as a referee and jury president.
His list of accomplishments is long. He has taken part in eight America’s Cups, five Olympic Games and five Volvo Ocean Races as a referee, jury member and/or jury president.
He has also made a significant contribution to World Sailing, having served on their Racing Rules Committee (2000-12), Constitution Committee (Member 2012-present, Chairman 2020-present) and as a Council Member from 1998 to 2017.
“David has given so much to the sport of sailing,” said Sarah Kenny, Vice President of World Sailing.
“In addition to his list of volunteer roles, David is a wonderful mentor and very generous in volunteering his time and sharing his experience with others. He is a credit to the sport, to our country and a very worthy recipient of the award. »
In 2000 David was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for service to national and international sailing, including judging, officiating and administration, and at the 2014 Australia Day Honors he was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the sport of sailing.
“On behalf of the Board of Australian Sailing, I would like to congratulate David on this honour,” said Australian Sailing Chairman Alistair Murray AM.
“David continues to be one of the most active volunteers and is a wonderful ambassador for our sport, both at home and abroad.”
Tillet has not slowed down as he remains actively involved in the sport, including his roles as Chairman of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race International Jury and Chairman of the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame Selection Committee, among others.
It was a great night for Australia, with the Australia SailGP team also winning the World Sailing Team of the Year award.
The Australian team remains the only team to have lifted the SailGP Trophy, winning it in Seasons 1 and 2. Skippered by Tom Slingsby, 2021 Rolex World Sailor of the Year, and featuring four SailGP winners America and 2022 Australian Sailor of the Year runner-up Nina Curtis, Team Australia are currently leading SailGP Season 3 and could be on course to claim their third consecutive championship.