David Kellett AM is to be awarded the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Beppe Croce Trophy which honours an individual for their outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of sailing.
The Australian will be the first recipient out of Europe or the America’s to receive the prestigious Trophy, first presented in 1988 in memory Beppe Croce, the ISAF President from 1969 to 1986.
The Trophy will be presented to Kellett at the 2014 ISAF annual conference in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, in November.
A Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Kellett, 65, has been a passionate sailor throughout his life. He started out in small boats and Olympic classes before making the move to ocean racing and the America’s Cup.
A past Commodore and Life Member of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Kellett has taken part in 40 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races, including being sailing master of Sovereign which took line and overall honours in 1987.
He became President of Yachting Australia, his first involvement with ISAF being in 1992 when he became the ISAF Member of Council for Group L. Kellett represented the region and his involvement and impact within ISAF was quickly felt.
From 1994-1998 he was a member of the Events Committee and from 1997-1998 a member of the Oceanic Committee. In 1998 Kellett was elected as an ISAF Vice President and held the position through to 2008. He then served as Treasurer from 2008-2012.
Throughout his time within ISAF Kellett filled many roles around the Olympic sailing competition. For Sydney 2000 he was a Member of the 2000 Olympic Working Party, a member of the 2000 Olympic Advisory Board and President’s liaison at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games itself.
He was part of the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Management teams and served as ISAF Technical Delegates for the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games sailing competitions.
For the past 15 years Kellett has been an integral part of the safety network of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, controlling the race at sea aboard the radio relay vessel.
The first recipient of the Beppe Croce Trophy in 1988 was His Majesty King Olav V of Norway and since then the award has gone to multiple Olympic medallists, rules gurus and designers, all having dedicated an outstanding amount of time to the sport of sailing.
By Peter Campbell