Northland's Olympian and Paralympians have been nominated for the Westpac Halberg Awards, New Zealand's top sporting honour.
Kerikeri sailor Blair Tuke and his team-mate Peter Burling are nominated for Team of the Year, while Waipu Paralympic cyclist Fiona Southorn and Whangarei Paralympic swimmer Cameron Leslie will contest the Disabled Sportsperson of the Year title.
Tuke, who was recently named Northland's Sportsperson of the Year, won a yachting silver medal at this year's London Olympics alongside Tauranga-based Burling in the 49er class. The medal was also New Zealand's 100th in Olympic competition.
Swimmer Cameron Leslie, who now works as sports editor for the Northern Advocate, smashed his own world record to win gold in the 150m men's individual medley nearly 10 seconds ahead of second-placed Mexican Martin Sanchez. It followed up a gold-medal winning race in the same event at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Cyclist Fiona Southorn, who works at a real-estate office in Waipu, won a bronze medal in the C5 individual women's pursuit.
Tuke and Burling's rivals for Team of the Year include sailors Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, Olympic cycling and rowing teams, and the All Blacks, while also in the running for Disabled Sportsperson of the Year are Paralympic swimmers Mary Fisher, Phillipa Gray, Sophie Pascoe, and Daniel Sharp.
The Voting Academy of media representatives, former athletes and coaches will now vote to determine finalists, which are announced on January 1. Any outstanding performances by individual athletes or teams are still considered until December 31 this year.
At the Halberg Awards on February 14, category winners for Sportsman, Sportswoman, Disabled Sportsperson, Team of the Year, Coach of the Year and Emerging Talent will be announced, and the main award then chosen from the category winners.
The full list of nominations for the 50th Westpac Halberg Awards:
High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportsman of the Year:
Jack Bauer (Cycling), Scott Campbell (Baseball), Mahe Drysdale (Rowing), Mitch Evans (Motorsport), Westley Gough (Cycling), Richie McCaw (Rugby), Brook MacDonald (Cycling - Mountain Biking), Peter Michael (Speed Skating), Andrew Nicholson (Equestrian), Hayden Paddon
(Motorsport), Levi Sherwood (Freestyle Motocross), Simon van Velthooven (Cycling).
High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year:
Valerie Adams (Athletics), Lauren Boyle (Swimming), Lisa Carrington (Canoeing), Joelle King (Squash), Lydia Ko (Golf), Sarah Walker (BMX), Alison Shanks (Cycling), Linda Villumsen (Cycling).
Halberg Disability Sport Foundation Disabled Sportsperson of the Year:
Mary Fisher (Para Swimming), Phillipa Gray (Para Cycling), Cameron Leslie (Para Swimming), Sophie Pascoe (Para Swimming), Daniel Sharp (Para Swimming), Fiona Southorn (Para Cycling).
Westpac Team of the Year:
All Blacks (Rugby)
The Chiefs (Rugby)
New Zealand Diamond Blacks (Baseball)
John Kennard and Hayden Paddon (Motorsport)
NZ Eventing Olympic Team (Equestrian)
NZ Men's 49er Class Team - Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (Sailing)
NZ Men's Double Scull - Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan (Rowing)
NZ Men's Lightweight Double Sculls - Peter Taylor and Storm Uru (Rowing)
NZ Men's Pair - Eric Murray and Hamish Bond (Rowing)
NZ Men's Pursuit Team - Sam Bewley, Marc Ryan, Jesse Sergent, Westley Gough, Aaron Gate NZ (Cycling)
New Zealand SKYCITY Breakers (Basketball)
NZ Men's Sprint Team - Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster, Edward Dawkins (Cycling)
New Zealand Surf Life Saving Team (Surf Lifesaving)
NZ Women's 470 Team - Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (Sailing)
NZ Women's Pair - Rebecca Scown and Juliette Haigh (Rowing)
Silver Ferns (Netball)
Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic (Netball)
Westpac Emerging Talent:
Anton Cooper (Mountain Biking), Macauley Fox (Baseball), Trent Jones (BMX), Dylan Kennett (Track Cycling), Lydia Ko (Golf), Andrew McKenzie (Sailing), Corey Main (Swimming), Mathew Ogden (Orienteering), Sophie Williamson (Road Cycling).
Coach of the Year:
Scott Bartlett (Surf Lifesaving), Roly Crichton (Para Swimming), Erik Duvander (Equestrian), Calvin Ferguson (Rowing), Nathan Handley (Sailing), Steve Hansen (Rugby), Dave Rennie (Rugby), Waimarama Taumaunu (Netball), Noeline Taurua (Netball), Richard Tonks (Rowing), Gordon
The 30-strong Voting Academy comprising media representatives, former athletes and coaches is:
Philippa Baker-Hogan, Richard Becht, Richard Boock, Hamish Carter, Ron Cheatley, Graeme Crosby, Greg Ford, Andy Hay, Rachael Henderson, Debbie Hockley, Michael Jones, Jayne Kiely, Dave Leggat, Danyon Loader, Te Arahi Maipi, Jonathan Millmow, Peter Montgomery, Ron Palenski,
Farah Palmer, Ramesh Patel, Michelle Pickles, Mark Richardson, Susie Simcock, Mark Sorensen, Mike Stanley, Rikki Swannell, Howie Tamati, Brendan Telfer, Sarah Ulmer and Adine Wilson.