Reigning champions of the prestigious world match racing tour (WMRT) Adam Minoprio and his BlackMatch Racing crew were named 2010 Sailor of the Year at the New Zealand Yachting excellence awards in Auckland last night.

Minoprio, 25, and his crew of Nick Blackman, Dave Swete, Dan McLean and Tom Powrie - all products of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's youth programme - are top of the international rankings and out to defend their title at the deciding event of the 2010 WMRT, the Monsoon Cup regatta in Malaysia.

The New Zealand crew are a narrow second behind the French outfit skipped by Mathieu Richard going into the regatta starting on Wednesday.