BRISTOL, R.I. (December 21, 2017) – US Sailing announced the six men and eight women who have been shortlisted for the 2017 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards.
The nominees and their complete 2017 sailing resumes will be reviewed by a panel of noted sailing journalists who discuss the merits of each sailor’s racing results before voting to determine US Sailing’s 2017 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. The winners will be announced in January and honored on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, during a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, when they will be presented with specially-engraved Rolex timepieces.
The all-star line-up of standout sailors hails from various disciplines from around the country and represents different stages in their respective careers. Many of these sailors were selected based on their consistent exceptional performances throughout the 2017 season and some were chosen for their signature win(s) at major international events.
Finalist Nominees for US Sailing’s 2017 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award (alphabetical order):
- Steve Benjamin (Coconut Grove, Florida.): The 2015 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year claimed the Etchells World Championship and National Championship, while winning several TP52 events.
- Peter Duncan (Rye, New York) Duncan won the 161-boat J/70 World Championship and placed second at the J/70 North American Championship.
- Marcus Eagan (Mandeville, Louisiana): Eagan captured the Viper 640 North American Championship and also won the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup in the Swan 42.
- Drew Freides (Pacific Palisades, California): Freides won both the Melges 20 World Championship and National Championship.
- David Hughes (Miami, Florida): Hughes’s active year featured success in both Olympic and professional sailing disciplines. Hughes earned wins as crew at World Cup Series Miami in the 470 and as part of the winning Etchells World Championship team.
- Stu McNay (Providence, Rhode Island): McNay won the World Cup Series Miami 470 event as helm with Dave Hughes. He was also tactician for the J/70 World Championship runner-up.
Finalist Nominees for US Sailing’s 2017 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award (alphabetical order):
- Carmen Cowles and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, New York): The sister tandem took home the Gold Medal from the Youth World Championships in the International 420 event. They were also the top women’s team at the U.S. Youth Sailing Championships in the International 420.
- Libby Johnson McKee (Seattle, Washington): McKee won her fourth Tasar World Championship as crew with Jonathan McKee.
- Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, California): Last year’s Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year won the IKA Formula Kite World Championship again and was dominant on the Hydrofoil Pro Tour.
- Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Florida): The ICSA Women’s National Champion and Quantum Women’s College Sailor of the Year also placed third at the ICSA College Co-Ed Nationals and won the Enoshima Olympic Sailing Week event in the Laser Radial.
- Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisconsin): Roble helmed a 49erFX with Maggie Shea to a bronze medal at the Aarhus World Championships Test Event. She also served as bow and strategist for a contending team at the Melges 20 World Championship and National Championship.
- Charlotte Rose (Houston, Texas): Rose finished the year on top with a win at the Youth World Championships in the Laser Radial event. She also placed third at the 106-boat Laser Radial Youth World Championships.
- Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Illinois): Shea crewed with Stephanie Roble in the 49erFX and earned the bronze medal at the Aarhus World Championships Test Event. She also crewed for the third place team at the M32 North American Championship.
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 44 men and 35 women, including these distinguished sailors who have claimed the honor multiple times: Ed Adams, Betsy Alison, Sally Barkow, Dave Curtis, Dennis Conner, JJ Fetter, Terry Hutchinson, Allison Jolly, John Kostecki, Buddy Melges, Lowell North, Jan O’Malley, Jane Pegel, Ken Read, Cory Sertl, Lynne Shore, Jody Starck, Anna Tunnicliffe and Ted Turner.
For more information about these awards, please visit: http://rolex.ussailing.org.
Media Contact: Jake Fish, US Sailing, firstname.lastname@example.org, 401-342-7925
About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the National Governing Body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and advancement for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Bristol, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
Rolex, the leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, is headquartered in Geneva and enjoys an unrivaled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905, the brand pioneered the development of the wristwatch and is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces all the essential components of its watches in-house, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities as well as philanthropic programs.