Winners Announced for Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award 2016

Published on November 29th, 2016

Valetta, Malta (November 29, 2016) – No less than 149 professional photographers spanning twenty-five nations submitted a picture for the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2016 and generated an exceptional selection of images that summarize the yacht racing season better than words.

French photographer Jean-Marie Liot (FRA) won the main award thanks to an extraordinary picture of Morgan Lagravière training ahead of the Vendée Globe onboard his IMOCA Safran, entirely submerged by a wave at high speed.

Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2016 – Top 10:
Jean-Marie Liot (FRA)
Benoît Stichelbaut (FRA)
Mark Lloyd (UK)
Guy Nowell (UK)
Richard Gladwell (NZL)
Claire Matches (UK)
Nico Martinez (ESP)
Eugenia Bakunova (RUS)
Alex Irwin (UK)
Tim Thomas (UK)

“When I took this picture, I immediately knew I would send it to the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award,” says Jean-Marie. “The conditions were perfect and Morgan was pushing hard. I am very happy to win this contest, because it reassembles the best yacht racing photographers and the jury is made of professionals from within the yacht racing industry. It’s a real achievement.”


Based in La Trinité-sur-Mer, in Brittany, Jean-Marie Liot has been working as a professional yacht racing photographer since 1994. His assignments allow him to travel around the world, working for many skippers, sponsors and races and collaborating with the greatest yacht racing magazines.

“I never realised how hard judging a competition like this would be,” said Ian Walker, winner of the Volvo Ocean Race and a member of the Jury. “There are so many wonderful shots, each with their own beautiful story to tell. If ever there was a competition that didn’t deserve to have winners and losers then this was it! It was a privilege to be able to study these wonderful photos from so many talented photographers.”

Yachting journalist and writer Keith Taylor, on what stood out for the winning photo: “The savage beauty of Jean-Marie’s stunning white welter of water was a stand-out choice in an exceptional field of entries. It speaks volumes about personal courage, vast technological growth, sailing skill and performance.”

Also a member of the jury, Christian Février said: “Jean-Marie Liot’s picture of a fully immersed racing boat is rare. Despite the help offered by the chopper – stability, angle of the shot, context, situation… – this image is very impressive.”

Anna-Lena Elled, picture editor at Searchmagasine added, “Most people don´t think about all the hard work that lays behind each photography. I do. I have so much respect for all the contributors in this year’s competition. As much as I enjoyed looking at the photographies It was a difficult task to make a judgement but I´m very pleased with the result in the end.”

The Jury of the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2016:
Andy Hunt (World Sailing CEO, UK)
Keith Taylor (marine writer, editor and marine publicist, NZL)
Antonio Palma (Managing Partner of Mirabaud, SUI)
Anna-Lena Elled (yachting journalist and picture editor, SWE)
Ian Walker (pro sailor, winner of the Volvo Ocean Race, UK)

Nico Martinez (ESP) won the Yacht Racing Forum award, chosen by the delegates from both World Sailing’s annual conference in Barcelona in November and the Yacht Racing Forum which concludes today in Malta.


Yacht Racing Forum award – Top 5:
Nico Martinez (ESP)
Mark Lloyd (UK)
Luis Fernandez (ESP)
Pedro Martinez (ESP)
Jean-Marie Liot (FRA)

Christophe Huchet (FRA) won the public award, selected by the number of votes on Internet. No less than 34,680 votes have been taken into account, whilst 1.8 million pages have been viewed on the event’s website.


Public award – Top 5:
Christophe Huchet (FRA)
Ricardo Pinto (POR)
Matias Capizzano (ARG)
Andras Kollmann (HUN)
Joka Gemesi (HUN)

The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image contest, held annually, was started in 2010 to provide an opportunity for professional yacht racing photographers to share their passion for yacht racing with a wide community. It is the world’s premier photography competition dedicated to the sport of sailing.

Of the 149 images submitted, 80 finalists were initially put forth. The next stage reduced the field to the top 20 pictures which were eligible for the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award and the Yacht Racing Forum Award. The Public Award was still based on the previously released 80 images.

Top twenty photographers (in alphabetical order):
• Eugenia Bakunova (RUS)
• Christian Beeck (GER)
• Matias Capizzano (ITA)
• Rachel Fallon-Langdon (UK)
• Luis Fernandez (SPA)
• Richard Gladwell (NZL)
• Alex Irwin (UK)
• Pierrick Jeannoutot (FRA)
• Jean-Marie Liot (FRA)
• Mark Lloyd (UK)
• Gilles Martin-Raget (FRA)
• Nico Martinez (SPA)
• Pedro Martinez (SPA)
• Claire Matches (UK)
• Mauro Melandri (ITA)
• Guy Nowell (UK)
• Benoit Stichelbaut (FRA)
• Tim Thomas (UK)
• James Tomlinson (UK)
• Jasper Van-Staveren (NED)

Top 20 Images:

Top 80 Images:

Source: MaxComm Communication

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