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Olympic champion and University graduate named best in world

AN OLYMPIC gold-medallist and graduate of the University of Chichester has been named the Rolex world sailor of the year.

Rio 2016 champion Saskia Clark (left) was awarded the title with teammate Hannah Mills following their summer triumph in the 470 women’s event in Brazil.

The Team GB sailors beat four other Olympic winners at the annual ceremony, held in Barcelona, which recognises the best achievements in sailing of the last year.

Ms Clark, who graduated from the BSc (Hons) in Sports and Exercise Sciences in 2013, said the award was completely overwhelming.

She added: “Rio was a fantastic Games and the Brazilians put on an amazing show. Everyone had to deliver their absolute best performance.”

The sailors, who have competed together since 2010, were awarded honorary master of science degrees by the University of Chichester three years ago.

After claiming silver at London 2012 – when they were edged out by New Zealand – the duo dominated the Rio event winning three races and finishing in the top eight in all ten sprints.

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark sailing

The Rolex World Sailor of the Year title brings an end to their medal-laden partnership after Ms Clark decided to bow of out all Olympic competition.

The award was bestowed to the athletes following a combination of votes from the public, world sailing’s member national authorities, and on-the-night attendees.

Speaking at the ceremony Ms Mills added: “This is just an amazing end to our partnership together.”

To find out more about how Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills triumphed at the Rolex World Sailor of the Year awards visit www.sailing.org.

Alternatively for more about the sailor’s Olympic successes go to www.chi.ac.uk/news/olympic-gold-chichester-graduate-rio.

Photos courtesy of the Royal Yachting Association.