Ebba Berntsson and Henric Wigforss have been named this year’s Mange Olsson Memorial Fund Fellows. At a ceremony on Tuesday at Djurgården in Stockholm, the two future names in Swedish sailing received their scholarships. At the same time, Simon Fisher of Great Britain received the Mange Olsson Prize.
Henric Wigforss, KSSS, is 15 and has come a long way in KSSS Children and Youth Sailing. He started on the classic Jolleskoj and worked his way up to the KSSS where he rose through the ranks of the KSSS and is now on his way to the 29er. Henry East determined and understands both tactics and strategy, and can navigate a boat quickly. This means that he is already a very capable sailor.
Last year he showed he was one of the best optimist sailors in the world by competing in a team silver medal at the Optimist Dinghy World Championships and finishing fifth in the individual competition. In 2023, it takes a new step. He started the year by winning the Garda Optimeet, which is the biggest Optimist competition in the world, and then won the World Championship in the Optimist – the first Swedish gold medal at the World Championships in the Optimist dinghy in 43 years.
– I think it is a great honor to receive this award. I’m looking forward to it and it will be fun to meet Olympic sailors and many big names in sailing, says Henric.
Ebba Berntsson, KSSS, is 21 years old and is already one of the best Swedish guests. Ebba switched to the 29er at an early age and in the meantime has become a very good girl at the sailing school in Motala. During her last year at Motala she moved to 49erFX and is now part of the Swedish development team where she sails with Klara Utterström.
Ebba is positive, ambitious and determined and does not shy away from new challenges. In the spring, Ebba had to step in and replace Sweden’s top 49erFX crew when Rebecca Netzler, who sails with Vilma Bobeck, had back problems. Ebba did so well that she and Vilma were the top Swedish crew at the sailing world cup in Palma last spring, when they finished in eighth place.
– It is great to receive this beautiful scholarship. I am currently at the stage where I want a lot, but time and money are not enough. The scholarship will allow me to experience a completely different winter season where I can continue to train. It’s also cool to become a Mange Scholar because I know many talented sailors have already received this scholarship and it’s truly an honor to be one of them, says Ebba.
Just as Ebba and Henric received their respective scholarships, the Mange Olsson prize was awarded to Briton Simon Fisher. The prize is awarded annually to a sailor who has left an indelible mark on the world of sailing. Simon Fisher will be the tenth recipient of this award which will recognize international sailors who, like Mange, have developed the sport of sailing both as a human being and as a sport. Previous winners of the award are sailing legends such as Torben Grael, Sir Ben Ainslie, Stan Honey, Santiago Lange, Grant Dalton, Carolijn Brouwer, Peter Burling, Martine Grael and Pelle Petterson.
Simon Fisher, or SiFi as he is known in the world of international sailing, lives up to the values of the foundation and the memory of Mange. The British sailor has competed in The Ocean Race six times and won two – including the last edition with the 11th Hour Racing Team. He is the first sailor in the race’s 50-year history to claim two victories.
This scholarship also means that Ebba and Henric will have 2023 Mange Olsson International Prize winner Simon Fisher as a mentor for a year.
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