The Yachting Journalists' Association (YJA) has extended its nomination period after receiving few entries

In the past, the YJA Yachtsman of the Year award has attracted some of the most famous names in sailing.

The accolade is regarded by many as “the knighthood of yachting”.

But this year, the Yachting Journalists’ Association (YJA) has been forced to extend its nomination period after receiving a surprising lack of entries.

Nominations for YJA Yachtsman of the Year 2017 and Young Sailor of the Year 2017 can now be made until Sunday, 29 October 2017.

Clipper Round the World Sailor Gavin Reid wins the Yachtsman of the Year Award 2016

Clipper Race sailor Gavin Reid won the 2016 award. Credit: onEdition

The association has also launched a new accolade for 2017 – the YJA Young Blogger of the Year.

In a media release, the YJA encouraged the public not to delay in making their suggestions.

“Please submit your nominations for your sailing heroes as soon as possible,” it urged.

“Remember, the Yachtsman and Young Sailor nominations may be made by any member of the public who wishes to make a proposal as well as by our members,” it added.

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Nominations can be made via the YJA website or by post to 45 The Ridgway, Brighton BN2 6PD.

Entrants for the YJA Young Blogger of the Year must be under the age of 21 on 31 December, 2017. Nominations for this award close at midnight on 30 November 2017.

Ellen MacArthur Trust.

Dame Ellen MacArthur is also a previous winner of the award

This year’s YJA Yachtsman of the Year and Young Sailor of the Year Awards and Young Blogger of the Year award winner will be announced at Trinity House on Tuesday, 9 January 2018.

The first recipient of the Yachtsman of the Year award was Eric Hiscock in 1955 for his round the world voyage in Wanderer.

Previous winners include Volvo Ocean Race winner, Ian Walker, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Sir Francis Chichester, Keith Musto, Dame Ellen MacArthur, Chay Blyth, Dee Caffari , Pete Goss, Sir Ben Ainslie, and the Rev Bob Shepton, who writes for Yachting Monthly – a feature on his trip around St Kilda will be in the December issue of the magazine.

Last year, the trophy was won by Clipper Race sailor Gavin Reid, who swam mid-ocean to rescue a yachtsman taking part in the Sydney Hobart Race who was trapped at the top of a mast.