Friday, 18 December 2009

US SAILING’s Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards: Sailing’s Best of 2009 Are Shortlisted

Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer and Anna Tunnicliffe made the list in 2009 (Anna won the award in 2008). They are pictured at USMRC, St Petersburg YC, Florida, USA. Image copyright Renee Athey.

by Jan Harley and Jake Fish

It wouldn’t be December without the annual “year in review” and “best of” lists, and the release of US SAILING’s shortlist of nominees for the 2009 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards marks that traditional milestone for the sport of sailing in the United States. It was an outstanding year of achievement on-the-water during the 2009 calendar year: American men won nine world championships, while competitive excellence was achieved by American women in both fleet and match racing events.

The nominees will be reviewed by a panel of noted sailing journalists who discuss the merits of each nominee and vote to determine US SAILING's 2009 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. The ultimate winners will be announced in mid-January and honored on February 26, 2010, during a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, when they will be presented with Rolex timepieces.

Established in 1961 by US SAILING and sponsored by Rolex Watch, U.S.A. since 1980, the annual presentation of US SAILING's Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards are considered the sport's ultimate recognition of an individual’s outstanding on-the-water achievements for the calendar year. Over its history the coveted award has been presented to 37 men and 33 women, including these notable sailors who have claimed the honor multiple times: Ed Adams, Betsy Alison, Sally Barkow, Dennis Conner, JJ Isler, Allison Jolly, John Kostecki, Buddy Melges, Ken Read, Lynne Shore, Jody Swanson and Ted Turner. The 2008 winners were Terry Hutchinson and Anna Tunnicliffe.

Nominees shortlisted for US SAILING's 2009 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award: Lightning World Champion Matt Fisher (Columbus, Ohio); CST Composites International Moth World Champion Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.); Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis Melges 24 World Champion Chris Larson (Annapolis, Md.); Sunfish World Champion David Loring (Charleston, S.C.); SAP 505 World Champion Mike Martin (Newport Beach, Calif.); Finn Gold Cup Silver Medalist Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.); Rolex Farr 40 World Champion Jim Richardson (Boston, Mass./Newport, R.I.); 2.4 mR World Champion John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wisc.); DN Iceboat World Champion Matt Struble (San Diego, Calif./Bay City, Mich.); and Star World Champion George Szabo (San Diego, Calif.).

Nominees shortlisted for US SAILING’s 2009 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award: ICSA/Laser Performance Women’s Singlehanded National Champion Anne Haeger (Lake Forest, Ill.); Kieler Woche Laser Radial Champion Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.); U.S. Women's Match Racing Champion Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.); Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Champion Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer (San Diego, Calif.); and Semaine Olympique Française Laser Radial Champion Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.).

US Sailing's 2009 Rolex Yachtsmen of the Year Finalists
Anna Tunnicliffe

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