Team New Zealand's Peter Burling has been named as the world's best foiling sailor after winning the World Sailor of the Year award for the second time.
Burling picked up the award following his impressive performance within Team New Zealand's crew that sailed the mighty 50-foot catamaran to victory at the America's Cup in June.
The 26-year-old won the prestigious gong from Foiling Week, an organisation that holds foiling forums for innovation in the sport's development areas and regattas around the world.
The award ceremony was held in Garda, Mexico, but the sailing star couldn't attend as he was racing with Team Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race set to conclude in the Netherlands.
"It has been a really cool year up in Bermuda. It's awesome to get the accolade," said Burling at the awards ceremony via a video message from Cape Town where he has arrived following the second leg of the race.
"Thanks to the foiling community, it is obviously an immense honour to be given this award," he said, "It has been an incredible year pushing the boundaries with the America's Cup with the whole team over there, pushing the boats super hard."
"Definitely the improvements we made throughout that cycle were pretty amazing and then to be able to jump on a Moth and have a good bit of fun with so many other people doing the same thing and enjoying foiling around in Lake Garda, was pretty cool as well."
Nominees for the award included Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby, along with two French ocean sailors, Thomas Coville and Armel Le Cleac'h.
Burling has joined Sir Russell Coutts, who won the title in 1995 and 2003, as the only two Kiwis to have won the award twice.
Burling said he's excited to see the foiling game challenged once more by Team New Zealand's new 75-foot foiling monohull boat design, which was revealed in November, ahead of the 2021 America's Cup scheduled for Auckland.
"I am sure it will be pretty fast and we keep pushing the edge of technology and the edge of the sport ... something that is going to be really cool," he said.
"The future looks pretty exciting for foiling, a pretty cool concept for the next Cup boat, hopefully other teams will get behind it."
The individual award comes after Team New Zealand turned down the offer to nominate Burling for the Halberg awards Sportsman of the Year, saying they did not want Burling to be elevated above the team.