Waikato writer and Christchurch photographer scoop the top prizes at the Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards
15 April 2015 – Auckland: Hamilton's Venetia Sherson won the Cathay Pacific Travel Writer of the Year Award and Christchurch's Paul Daly took the Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award, presented tonight at the Travel Media Awards Gala Dinner at the Heritage Auckland's Grand Tearoom.
The Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards are organised by Travcom (New Zealand Travel Communicators) to celebrate excellence in travel writing and photography.
Venetia Sherson took top spot with her story Counting Sheep published in NZ Life & Leisure magazine. Sherson is a Waikato-based writer and former Waikato Times editor, who has won numerous awards.
The writing judge was Sarah Barrell from London. A travel journalist and editor with 20 years in the field, Sarah Barrell is a former travel editor of British national newspaper The Independent on Sunday and former acting travel editor of BBC Olive magazine. She is currently associate editor of National Geographic Traveller (UK) and contributes as a freelance travel writer to a variety of leading UK publications.
Barrell said 'The winner of the Cathay Pacific Travel Writer of the Year Award is a writer in possession of that rare talent: a distinctive style. Venetia Sherson is blessed not only with a strong voice, but also a lightness of touch that shows clear confidence as a writer. The journey she has made has been done by thousands before her, but she recounts it with a fresh, down-to-earth insight that allows the reader to become completely immersed in a wild, remote travel experience.'
Sarah Barrell judged all travel writing categories excluding the New Travel Writer of the Year Award, which was judged by NZ Herald staff writer Steve Braunias. Braunias has won the Cathay Pacific Travel Writer of the Year Award three times. The winner of the AA Directions New Travel Writer of the Year Award is Linda Moser for Slainte. Braunias said: 'It was almost unfair that Linda Moser entered a category which is generally a place where naif writers - enthusiasts, amateurs, first timers - come to tell stories with energy but perhaps not a lot of craft. But her story about a wedding in Ireland was exquisitely crafted, beautifully told, and just plain better than many professional travel writers could ever hope to achieve. It's brilliant and I would like to read it published. There was also a freakishly high standard in other entries, notably the runner-up Lisa Holland with her story Not all who wander are lost about travelling the world, and the third place Norma Riley with Ashes to Life, about an expat who returns to NZ to bury his father's ashes at sea. Bravo to all who entered. I read these authors with pleasure and none more so than the remarkable Linda Moser.'
The winner of Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award is Paul Daly, renowned landscape photographer of nzpanorama.com, Christchurch.
The photography awards were judged by a panel of three: Chris Coad, a former winner of the Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award and freelance commercial and editorial photographer based in Wellington, Rob Lile, owner/director of photonewzealand photo library and Babiche Martens, a New Zealand Herald photographer who shoots predominately for Viva magazine and has been working as a fashion, food and lifestyle photographer for 13 years. She is also a past winner of the Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award.
The Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award was judged on the entire portfolio of published images entered in every award category (not including the Best Unpublished Travel Award entries).
Chris Coad said: 'In judging the amalgamated portfolios one stood out. Paul Daly's photographs were not only of a high technical standard and professionally presented but visually communicated a wealth of information and detail about the location they were shot in. It was his ability to capture context in his photographs that provided the narrative that kept us coming back. His images are constructed in such a way that the viewer's eye is led around the photograph revealing layers of detail. Paul was the unanimous choice of the judging panel.'
The new award for 2015 is the Christchurch Airport Award for the Best Travel Blog of the Year. The judge for this inaugural award was Simon Wilson, editor of Metro magazine and former editor of Cuisine and Consumer magazines. The winner is Liz Carlson, who blogs as Young Adventuress. Wilson said: 'I chose Liz Carlson as the winner because she's got things to say. She believes in the virtue of being an independent woman travelling alone, which provides a real strength to the blog. She's also determined to communicate her enthusiasm, her ideas, her experiences. She cares that she communicates. She does interesting things. She's a bit infectious and she's also very popular: 1.4 million visitors and 2.4 million views.'
Venetia Sherson and Paul Daly each win double tickets to Zurich flying Cathay Pacific. Liz Carlson wins $2000.
The awards were MCed by Toby Manhire columnist for the NZ Herald and the NZ Listener.
Cathay Pacific Travel Writer of the Year
Winner: Venetia Sherson
Runner Up: Joanna Wane
Runner Up: Pamela Wade
maui Award for the Best Travel Story over 1000 words
Winner: Venetia Sherson
For Counting Sheep published in NZ Life & Leisure magazine,
Runner up: Jill Worrall
For Solitude Among the Canals published in the Timaru Herald
Runner up: Mike White
For Fossils and Ferraris in Lebanon published in North & South magazine
Westpac Award for the Best Travel Story under 1000 words
Winner: Brett Atkinson
For Encounter Culture published in NZ Listener
Runner up: Sharon Stephenson
For In the Brat Pack published in the Sunday Star-Times
Runner up: Paul Rush
For Where the Cold Things Are published in NZ Listener
Heritage Hotels Award for the Best Travel Story about New Zealand
Winner: Joanna Wane
For The End of the Line published in North & South magazine,
Runner up: Pamela Wade
For Winding Down on Waiheke published in the Herald on Sunday
Runner up: Laura Borrowdale
For The Art of Renewal published in Kia Ora magazine
Interislander Award for the Best Story about a Journey
Winner: Liz Light
For Coasting with the Post published in North & South magazine
Runner Up: Tom Fitzsimons
For In Imperfect Harmony published in the Sunday Star-Times
Runner Up: Peter de Graaf
For Doing the Island Hop published in the Northern Advocate
British High Commission and Tourism Ireland Award for the Best Travel Story about Britain and/or Ireland
Winner: Jill Worrall
For My Own Dear Galway Bay published in The Timaru Herald
Runner Up: Ewan McDonald
For Glasgow's Real Kiss published in the NZ Herald
Runner Up: Sharon Stephenson
For The City that Changed its Spots published in On Mas magazine
NZ Maori Tourism Award for the Best Travel Story about a Maori Experience
Winner: Mike White
For Survivor Island published in North & South magazine
Runner Up: Jacqui Gibson
For On the Track of the Ancestors published in Heritage NZ magazine
Runner Up: Paul Rush
For Connecting with the Whakapapa published in Otago Daily Times
Treadright Foundation Award for the Best Responsible Tourism Story
Winner: Pamela Wade
For Hoofing it up Hump Ridge published in NZ Herald
Runner Up: Pamela Wade
For Saddle up for Paradise Ride published in NZ Herald
Runner Up: James Borrowdale
For Enchanted Forest published in KiaOra magazine
Christchurch Airport Award for the Best Travel Blog of the Year
Winner: Liz Carlson
For her blog http://youngadventuress.com/
To read awards results from 1992 to today download the Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards winners' list here.
AA Directions Magazine Award for the Best New Travel Writer
Winner: Linda Moser
Runner Up: Lisa Holland
For Not All Who Wander Are Lost
Highly Commended: Norma Riley
For Ashes to Life
Karla Breen Rickerby
For A Landscape of Eccentricity
For Mandolin on the Wind
Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year
Winner: Paul Daly
Runner Up: Amos Chapple
Highly Commended: Fay Looney
Heritage Boutique Collections Award for the Best Travel Image taken in New Zealand
Winner: Fay Looney
For her image published in The Real New Zealand 'Forgotten World Highway, Whangamomana, day breaks, just me and a solitary sheep share first light.'
Runner Up: Tessa Chrisp
For her image published in NZ Life & Leisure magazine 'The Stewart family farm hilltop dining boasts views from the Tasman sea back to Mt Ruapehu. Rangitikei.'
Runner Up: Fay Looney
For her image published in The Real New Zealand 'Migrating Canadian Geese glide across the face of Mount Taranaki as I travel surf highway south of New Plymouth.'
Air Vanuatu and Mangoes Resort Award for the Best Travel Image taken Outside New Zealand
Winner: Paul Daly
For his image published in D Photo '100 years on, a the rusting hull of a boat still gives a glimpse to this places past, Anzac cove, Gallipoli, Turkey.'
Runner Up: Liz Light
For her image published in The Press 'Got you covered, social comment, Oman.'
Runner Up: Paul Daly
For his image published in D Photo, 'Turkey's number 1 bucket list item. Ballooning, Cappadocia, Turkey.'
AA Directions Magazine Award for the Best Travel Image with People
Winner: Paul Daly
For his image published in D Photo with the caption 'Nothing is more alive than the backstreets of cities such as Istanbul, Turkey.'
Runner Up: Amos Chapple
For his image published in Smithsonian magazine 'A Russian woman enters a cathedral in a swirl of freezing mist in Yakutsk, the coldest city on earth.'
And: Amos Chapple
For his image published in The Atlantic 'Getting on with it the wettest village on earth.'
NZ Maori Tourism Award for the Best Travel Image that Captures the Essence of Maori
Winner: Peter Drury
For his image published in the Waikato Times 'A multi Iwi Haka group performs for arriving dignitaries at the 150th commemoration of the battle of Orakau near Kihikihi.'
Runner Up Liz Light
For her image published in North & South magazine 'Wongi, street artist, Christchurch'
Destinations magazine Award for the Best Unpublished Travel Image
Winner: Peter Graney
For his image 'Beauty and the Beast. Selling pork doesn't stop a sales girl from taking an interest in her appearance at a market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.'
Runner Up: Kelly Lynch
For her image of 'Wyoming, USA, near Yellowstone National park: a bison takes the highway and heads towards Cody town.'
Runner Up: Lynn Clayton
For her image of 'The Blue mosque in Istanbul at sunrise, here reflected in the fountain pool.'
For further information or to source winning photographic images contact Travcom administrator Helen Davies
Ph: (09) 624 5707 or contact us
To see the winners' photographs click here, to read the winners stories click here, for images of the gala dinner awards presentation click here