by Jane Moffat
Monday night at the MCG saw two of sailings most well known faces recieve well deserved recognition for their years of service within the field of race management. Identical twins Kevin and Ross Wilson received the Victorian Olympic Council's Julius L Patching Sports Official of the Year Award.
Bruce Patching with Ross Wilson and Glenys Wilson - VOC Julius L Patching Sports Official of the Year Award
A State sporting body can normally only nominate one person for the award, however as those who know Kevin and Ross you can't separate them for their committment to race management - many people can't separate them any other way either! With Kevin unable to attend the ceremony it made presenting the right award to the right Wilson much easier.
Whilst the focus in this Olympic year is on the Austrlalian sailors who are going for gold the on water race management is critical to ensuring the best sailor takes home the gold, both Kevin and Ross have been involved in running Olympic sailing regattas from Sydney, Athens, Beijing and the upcoming London Games, from training race officials in the procedures for running and Olympic level regatta to taking to the water as race officer.
The list of the events that the Wilson's have been involved in as Race Director, Principal Race Officer or Judge reads like a sailing version of Wisden's cricket almanack and covers, World championships in a variety of classes, too many National championshps to name, and they are always keen to be on the water for youth and junior class titles.
They have been instrumental in training race officials and assisted in the development of the Yachting Australia accredited courses and Ross Wilson sits on the ISAF Race Officials Committee.
The criteria for the award includes the level of contribution, longevity of service, impact to sport, demonstration of excellence, attitude and peer feedback, without doubt the Willsons excel in all these areas..