Blanca Manchón: smile, you're the best

It's third time lucky for Blanca Manchón [ESP] who won the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award, last night in Athens.

Nominated with three other top boardsports performers, she was gracious in accepting the prestigeous trophy.

"My goal is to win gold at the Olympic Games, this would truly be a dream come true for me," said Manchón at last night's ceremony. "No Spanish sailor has ever won an Olympic windsurfing medal so I am going to do my best, we will have to see in 2012. I am still very young and I have many dreams, I want to do so many things. This will not be the last you hear of me and, who knows, I hope I will be seeing you again some day here again at these Awards!", said Manchón.

Born in Spain in 1987, Manchón has been on the water for almost as long as she remembers, starting out sailing in the Optimist class at only seven years old. She began windsurfing at nine and by age ten she was already participating in her first World Championship, joining the Junior class despite her unusually young age.

Manchón claimed the silver medal at the 2009 RS:X Worlds in Weymouth, but she had her sights set on gold. One year on and the RS:X fleet were in Denmark this August for the 2010 World Championship. This time Manchón would settle for nothing less than the top of the podium, working hard and digging deep to come from behind in the Medal Race to take the win.

The 2010 nominees were:

Female
Kristin Boese (GER) - Nine Time Kitesurf World Champion
Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam (THA) - Youth Olympic Games gold medallist
Blanca Manchón (ESP) - RS:X World Champion & Double World Cup Winner
Lisa Westerhof & Lobke Berkhout (NED) - 470 World Champions

Male
Antoine Albeau (FRA) - Professional Windsurfing Association & Formula World Champion
Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) - 470 World Champions and World Cup winners
Lorenzo Bressani (ITA) - Melges 24 and 32 Champion
Franck Cammas (FRA) - Record breaking offshore racer
Tom Slingsby (AUS) - Laser & Etchells World Champion
Ed Wright (GBR) - Finn World Champion and double World Cup Winner