*AFP photo
*AFP photo

Best sportsman

Nahki Wells

This was the tightest of all the categories as two Bermuda sporting heavyweights, Nahki Wells and Tyler Butterfield, went head to head.

Just THREE votes separated the pair but in the end it was the year of Nahki. 2013 saw the Bradford City striker carve out a reputation as a goalscorer that now has Premier League clubs interested in a big-money move.

It was a year that also saw Wells not only help the Bantams to promotion to League One (see below) but also reach the League Cup final.

The closeness of the voting, though, showed that Butterfield’s epic Ironman performances, in particular at the World Championship in Kona, Hawai’i have earned him a special place in the hearts of the Bermuda sporting public.

Full shortlist:

Nahki Wells, Tyler Butterfield, Janeiro Tucker (cricket), Domico Coddington (football), Chris Estwanik (athletics).

 Best sportswoman

Shianne Smith

A well-contested category this one, which saw support for all the athletes shortlisted. Two stood out above the pack, though, in the readers’ eyes. Runner Rose-Anna Hoey’s season and May 24 win saw her claim second but it was Smith’s five golds on the track at the Island Games that caught the public’s attention the most.

Full shortlist: Shianne Smith (athletics), Lisa Blackburn (swimming), Teresa Perozzi (boxing), Rose-Anna Hoey (athletics), Ashley Estwanik (athletics).

Best young sportsman

Chase Cooper

This category was a three-horse race. In third was Tre Manders, the Somerset batsman, and in clear second was the fast-improving Jesse Washington, who appears destined for big things in the pool. But out in the lead was sailor Cooper, who enjoyed a fine year in the Optis and impressed hugely at the IODA North American Championships. 

Full shortlist: Jesse Washington, Tre Manders, Rai Simons (football), Chae Brangman (football), Chase Cooper.

Best young sportswoman

Ashley Yearwood

The most voted for category came down to two charming and wonderfully-talented girls — Ceci Wollmann and Yearwood. Both deserve huge credit but the overhwleming winner was Yearwood, whose 10 medals at the Island Games and good nature out of the pool have clearly earned her a lot of fans.

Full shortlist: Ashley Yearwood, Kyrah Scraders (athletics), Tyler Smith (tennis), Aaliyah Nolan (football), Ceci Wollmann.

Best one-off performance

Nahki Wells, Wembley, League Two play-off final

It’s hard to ignore when a player becomes the first from this island to ever score at arguably the most famous ground in the world. Wells’ strike helped Bradford destroy Northampton 3-0, above, book a place in League One and put his name in the history books forever.

Full shortlist: Tre Manders (Cup Match), Tyler Butterfield (Kona), Dage Minors (track clean sweep), Chris Estwanik (Boston Marathon), Nahki Wells.

Best sporting event

Island Games

The most convincing margin in all the voting. The Island Games was held here for the first time in 2013 and on the whole was organised supremely well, setting the stage for days of sporting entertainment. Other islands raved about Bermuda, while the public came out in their droves, especially at the National Sports Centre hub.

Full shortlist: Cup Match, Island Games, Dockyard Grand Prix, May 24 Half Marathon, World Rugby Classic.

Best team

Bermuda swimming team

All the contenders received a healthy number of votes, with people doffing their caps to Cougars and Bermuda Women’s Under-17s in particular. But it seems those balmy nights down at the National Sports Centre pool during the Island Games have lingered on in the memory, meaning the swimmers get to top the podium once again. 

Full shortlist: Somerset (Cup Match), St David’s, Devonshire Cougars, Bermuda Women’s Under-17s, Swimming team, (Island Games)

Best coach

Duke Nelligan

Either this man already has his own organised fan club or he’s just a damn good coach who has influenced a lot of athletes — we suspect it’s the latter. Nelligan is a force of nature down at the gymnastics centre in St David’s. Bermuda national swimming coach Ben Smith and rugby’s Patrick Calow were well supported and came joint second.

Full shortlist: Wendall Smith (cricket), Dennis Brown (football), Ben Smith, Patrick Calow, Duke Nelligan.