US Sailing Announces Shortlist for 2019 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards

Top (L to R): Mike Martin and Adam Lowry, Daniela Moroz, David and Peter Askew. Bottom (L to R): Berta Puig and Bella Casaretto, Willem Van Waay, Nicole Breault

Yachtsman Finalists – David and Peter Askew; Mike Martin and Adam Lowry; Willem Van Waay

Yachtswoman Finalists – Nicole Breault; Daniela Moroz; Berta Puig and Bella Casaretto

Fan Voting is Open!

Fan Voting Closes Sunday, January 26.

BRISTOL, R.I. (January 9, 2020) – The top performing U.S. sailors of the year have been shortlisted for US Sailing’s 2019 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards. The annual determination of this year’s awards represents a wide range of accomplished sailors at different stages of their respective careers and from various disciplines in the sport. All six of these finalists represent their own unique pathway to the top of the sport and have each mastered their craft with a dedicated focus on precision and performance on the grandest stage. The winners will be announced on February 6, 2020 in San Diego, Calif. aboard the USS Midway museum as part the Sailing Leadership Forum, organized by US Sailing.

Click to vote or make your selections in the poll at the end of this announcement.

Finalists for US Sailing’s 2019 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award:

David Askew (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Peter Askew (Baltimore, Md.): David and Peter Askew’s team on Wizard enjoyed a tremendously successful 2019. The team won the 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy, scoring the best corrected time under IRC. They completed the 600-mile non-stop race in 43 hours, 38 minutes and 44 seconds. Wizard also become the first U.S. boat in 30 years to win the overall title at the Rolex Fastnet Race.

On winning the Caribbean 600:

“In winning the Caribbean 600, it was important for us to have put in a significant amount of time to refine how we were sailing the boat. To do that, we drew upon several key team members recent experience in the 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race. We spent the fall of 2018 perfecting the use of a triple headed rig incorporating the use of a J0 and whisker pole, as permitted under IRC. We also began racing with our largest “spinnakers” being the A3 and the MH0. Everything was on furlers and we were able to sail very efficiently in the true wind angles typically experienced in this race. Because our polars had become so refined, we knew exactly what sail configurations to use at every corner. There are so many sail changes in the Caribbean 600, so you have to get them right they must be flawlessly executed. We were able to do this on every leg and I think that made a difference.” – Peter Askew

On winning the Rolex Fastnet Race:

“Winning the Fastnet Race overall was the highlight of the season. When I was dreaming of making my way into big league offshore racing in the early 80’s, the Admirals Cup and the Fastnet Race were the top premier events. I have always wanted to do that iconic race. The last U.S. boat to win the Fastnet Challenge Cup was Great News in 1989; 30 years ago. I am also proud of the fact that we did so well representing the USA on the broader International offshore racing stage.” – Peter Askew

On winning the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series:

“I am very proud that our concept to win the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series actually worked! When we set out to do the series we picked the boat that we thought would give us the best chance to win. Instead of building a boat, we decided to go with a known performer, the Volvo 70. We waited until the best one became available, bought it and immediately started racing it. We also focused heavily on acquiring the best talent available and commencing the optimization plan. We even ran a full crew race simulation from Newport to Florida prior to the Trans-Atlantic Race. All-in-all it was a fantastic season and we owe all the success to our boat and our crew, and our supportive families!” – David Askew

David and Peter Askew aboard Wizard at the Rolex Fastnet Race. Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo.

2019 Sailing Resume Highlights:

RORC Caribbean 600
Antigua / February 18-20, 2019
IRC Overall Results: 1/42
Line Honors

Rolex Fastnet Race
London, UK / August 3-5, 2019
Overall Results: 1/333
First in Class (Monohull)

Transatlantic Race
Newport, RI to Cowes, UK / June 25-July 6, 2019
Overall Results: 1/13
IRC Results: 1/2

Pineapple Cup – IRC Division
Miami, FL to Montego Bay, Jamaica / January 27, 2019
Results: 2/3

Atlantic Ocean Racing Series
First Overall

Mike Martin (Mill Valley, Calif.) and Adam Lowry (Mill Valley, Calif.): It was yet another triumphant season on the 505 circuit for Mike Martin and Adam Lowry. The California tandem won the 2019 International 505 World Championships held in Fremantle, Australia in January. They defeated the large fleet of 89 teams with a dominating performance. Martin and Lowry clinched the regatta before the final day of racing and did not race in the final two races of the championship and still won by 14-points over Mike Holt and Carl Smit. The win for Martin marked his fourth 505 World Championship, and for Lowry it was his second.

On a successful 2019 505 campaign:

“I am most proud of several aspects of our 2019 season. Adam and I won every event that we sailed together. Given the strength of the West Coast 505 fleet, with multiple World Champions at every event, it was incredibly satisfying to have a perfect season. Personally, I’m also really proud to have won the 505 North American Championships for the 10th time, becoming the most winning 505 North American Champion of all time.” – Mike Martin

“I think Mike and I really made strides in our weaker conditions. We’ve always been fast when the breeze is up, but this year we really turned a corner in light air, choppy, shifty, sloppy stuff. Winning the NA’s in Kingston in really challenging conditions was really satisfying.” – Adam Lowry

Mike Martin and Adam Lowry at 2019 505 Worlds. Photo by Tom Hodge.

2019 Sailing Resume Highlights:

International 505 World Championship
Fremantle, Australia / January 2-7, 2019
Results: 1/89

505 North American Championship
Ontario, Canada / August 22-26, 2019
Results: 1/39

505 Canadian Championship (CORK)
Ontario, Canada / August 16-18, 2019
Results: 1/23

Columbia Gorge One-Design Regatta- 505
Portland, OR / July 26-28, 2019
Results: 1/21

Willem Van Waay (Coronado, Calif.): Willem Van Waay proved his wide array of skill sets again in 2019 for several teams across many events and various classes. The tactician’s year was highlighted by a win at the J/24 World Championship in Miami with skipper Keith Whittemore aboard Furio. Van Waay and crew outlasted the fleet of 79 to claim the first-place prize by 16 points through 10 races. They won two races, including two of the last three of the regatta, and posted six top five finishes. The stacked fleet featured five former J/24 World Champions.

On winning J24 Worlds:

“The apex of the year was winning the J24 Worlds with Keith Whittemore. I’ve been racing J24s for 25 years, on and off, but Keith and his team have been hard at it even longer. The average age of our sailors is 57, perhaps the oldest of any team in the fleet. To help the team pull off the win in a very difficult venue, with lots of boats and five former World Champions, was extremely rewarding.” – Willem Van Waay

On his role as Tactician:

“In half of the regattas listed in my 2019 resume I’m the trimmer as well as the tactician. In the other half, I’m listed as a trimmer, but always played a role in tactics as well. I’m often the one with eyes outside the boat making big picture tactical calls. I’ve been racing close to 200 days per year, on all sorts of different boats, for as long as I can remember. My ability to transition from class to class and team to team is, I would say, a result of my work ethic.” – Willem Van Waay

Willem Van Waay (center) at 2019 Rolex Big Boat Series. Photo by Sharon Green.

2019 Sailing Resume Highlights:

J24 World Championship (Tactician)
Miami, FL / October 19-26, 2019
Results: 1/79

J24 Kiel Race Week (Tactician)
Kiel, Germany / June 22-30, 2019
Results: 1/28

J24 D-10 District Championship / Pre-Worlds Regatta (Tactician)
Miami, FL / October 12-13, 2019
Results: 1/14

J70 Midwinters (Tactician)
Miami, FL / February 21-24, 2019
Results: 1/50

Rolex Big Boat Series – J70 (Tactician)
San Francisco, CA / September 11-15, 2019
Results: 1/14

San Diego NOOD Regatta – J70 (Tactician)
San Diego, CA / March 15-17, 2019
Results: 1/15

Marblehead NOOD Regatta – J70 (Tactician)
Marblehead, MA / July 25-28, 2019
Results: 1/25

Long Beach Race Week (Tactician)
Long Beach, CA / June 21-24, 2019
Results: 1/18

New England Championship/Newport Regatta- J70 (Tactician)
Newport, RI / July 6-7, 2019
Results: 1/10

Cedar Point Regatta – J70 (Tactician)
Westpoint, CT / June 1-2, 2019
Results: 1/10


Finalists for US Sailing’s 2019 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award:

Nicole Breault (San Francisco, Calif.): Renowned match racer Nicole Breault has always been a well-rounded and versatile sailor. Her skills as a tactician aboard Good Trade were on full display at the 2019 J/105 North American Championship, held last September in Marblehead, Mass. at the Corinthian Yacht Club. Breault and the crew on Good Trade defeated the fleet of 18 teams. They posted 18 points over eight races and won by an eight-point margin. They won three races, including the final race of the regatta, and never placed outside the top five.

On winning with teammates:

“The feeling of accomplishment when we win is really special. Sharing that feeling with teammates truly amplifies it. This is the same for our J/105 program and my match racing program.”

On match racing and fleet racing:

“My experiences in match and fleet racing fuel one another. Because of my roll on the J/105, I get to focus more on racecourse strategy and tactical situations, all while finessing boat speed with input on trim and angles. I need these elements of racing to be second nature when I am match racing. In turn, match racing gives me a strong understanding of rules and tactics of the game, and I am more effective at anticipating and managing outcomes among boats in fleet racing.”

Nicole Breault (right) at California Dreamin’ Regatta. Photo by Chris Ray.

2019 Sailing Resume Highlights:

J105 North Americans (Tactician)
Marblehead, MA / September 5-8, 2019
Results: 1/18

Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta – J/105 (Tactician)
Marblehead, MA / July 25-28, 2019
Results: 1/15

Block Island Race Week – J/105 (Tactician)
Block Island, RI / June 23-29, 2019
Results: 2/16

J88 North Americans (Crew)
Larchmont, NY / October 16-20, 2019
Results: 3/14

Nations Cup (Skipper) – Match Racing
San Francisco, CA / April 9-14, 2019
Women’s Results: 2/10

California Dreamin’ Series Stop #1 (Skipper) – Match Racing
San Francisco, CA / March 9-10, 2019
Results: 1/8

U.S. Match Racing Championship (Skipper)
San Francisco, CA / October 3-6, 2019
Overall Results: 4/8 (Semifinalist)
Women’s Results: 1/2

Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, Calif.): Kiting phenom Daniela Moroz makes the shortlist for the fourth consecutive year. In 2016, she became the youngest to ever win the award, female or male, at the age of 15 when she burst onto the kite foiling scene. Moroz once again defended her Formula Kite World Championship with a resounding victory on Lake Garda in Italy, her fourth consecutive World Championship against a growing and increasingly talented women’s fleet of 30 competitors. Moroz continued her dominance by winning five of seven races and placing second in the two races she did not win. She won by three points over Russian challenger Elena Kalinina.

On winning another World Championship:

“I’ve won pretty much every title I can get this year which was my goal for the year so I’m really happy with that and it feels awesome. It’s been a really good year, probably the best of my career so far.” – Daniela Moroz

On winning the World Beach Games:

“Although I am extremely proud of all of my results, I am most proud of my gold medal win for the U.S. at the 2019 World Beach Games. The extremely marginal conditions and different racing format made it very challenging to consistently win.” – Daniela Moroz

Daniela Moroz at Hempel World Cup Series Final. Photo by Sailing Energy.

2019 Sailing Resume Highlights:

IKA Formula Kite Class World Championship
Lake Garda, Italy / May 1-5, 2019
Results: 1/29

European Championship
Sardinia, Italy / September 25-29, 2019
Results: 1/30

ANOC World Beach Games
Katara Beach, Qatar / October 13-15, 2019
Results: 1/20

Hempel World Cup Series Finale
Marseille, France / June 2-9, 2019
Overall Results: 12/20
Women’s Results: 1/4

Kite Foil World Series
Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy / October 2-6, 2019
Overall results: 18/64
Women’s results: 1/23

Kite Foil World Series
Gizzeria, Italy / July 24-28, 2019
Overall Results: 18/80
Women’s Results: 1/20

Kite Foil World Series
Weifang Beihai, China / September 5-9, 2019
Overall Results: 12/35
Women’s Results: 1/9

Kite Foil World Series
Pingtan, China / September 12-17, 2019
Overall Results: 12/27
Women’s Results: 1/8

Berta Puig (Miami, Fla.) and Bella Casaretto (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.): Berta Puig and Bella Casaretto made huge strides in 2019 by winning their first Youth Sailing World Championship in the Girls 29er Event last July in Gdynia, Poland. After placing in second at this event in 2018, the duo took the next step this year by capturing gold by a convincing score. Puig and Casaretto bested the fleet of 25 and won by 32-points over 13 races. They won five races and had eight top three finishes on their way to first place honors overall.

On winning Gold at the Youth World Championship:

“There was definitely a lot of hard work that has been put into the 29er and having it all pay off to win the gold medal at the World Championship was an incredible experience. But I think what was even better was that we had a lot of fun while we trained really hard. It was an awesome journey to be on with Bella.” – Berta Puig

“I’m most proud that in a relatively short period of time, we‘ve done some great sailing together by respecting each other’s sailing knowledge and keeping our focus while having fun. I believe our success is a result of our priorities when sailing together. We respect each other’s opinion on regatta tactics, conditions, and we strive to always have fun while training or competing. We like that the 29er is challenging because it requires complete focus at all times. Berta and I are currently learning to sail the 49erFX together and I’m always trying new boats, right now it’s the Techno 293. ” – Bella Casaretto.

Berta Puig and Bella Casaretto at 2019 Youth Worlds. Photo by Sailing Energy.

2019 Sailing Resume Highlights:

Youth Sailing World Championships – 29er
Gdynia, Poland / July 13- 20, 2019
Results: 1/25

29er Youth World Qualifiers
Miami, FL / February 16-18, 2019
Overall Results: 2/24
Women’s Results: 1/7

29er Midwinters East
Miami, FL / March 16-17, 2019
Overall Results: 2/17
Women’s Results: 1/3

29er Midwinters West
Coronado, CA / March 22-24, 2019
Overall Results: 3/33
Women’s Results: 1/5


Established in 1961 by US Sailing and sponsored by Rolex since 1980, the annual presentation of US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards recognize the individual male and female U.S. sailors who have demonstrated on-the-water excellence at international and/or national events.

The nomination period was open to the public. Fans nominated male and female sailors who they believe turned in the most outstanding on-the-water performances during the 2019 calendar year. US Sailing selected three finalists for both the Yachtsman and Yachtswoman based on the award criteria and merits of the nominees. These finalists will be listed on a ballot and presented to panels of past award winners and sailing media journalists who will vote for the winners. In an exciting twist to this year’s process, the public will have an opportunity to be part of the selection process and vote online for the 2019 winners. Votes from the three voting groups, including the sailing media, past award winners, and the public will count equally towards determining the winners.

In another interesting revision to the presentation of the awards, the winners will be announced live at the US Sailing Awards Ceremony on February 6, 2020 as part of the Sailing Leadership Forum in San Diego, Calif. Winners will be presented with US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year award and specially engraved Rolex timepieces.

Learn more about the awards and vote for the winners at rolex.ussailing.org.

For working media interested in covering the US Sailing Awards Celebration, please contact US Sailing for credentials:

US Sailing Communications:
Jake Fish, jakefish@ussailing.org

C3 Public Relations:
Joice Truban Curry, joice@c3publicrelations.com

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.

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Rolex has always associated with activities driven by passion, excellence, precision and team spirit. It naturally gravitated towards the elite world of yachting six decades ago and today supports the most prestigious clubs, races and regattas. The brand is Title Sponsor of 15 major international events – from leading offshore races, such as the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Rolex Middle Sea Race and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, to grand prix competition at the Rolex TP52 World Championship and spectacular gatherings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup. It also supports the exciting new SailGP global championship, where national teams race in supercharged F50 catamarans on some of the world’s most famous harbours. Rolex’s partnerships with the likes of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Royal Malta Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron are the foundation of its enduring relationship with this dynamic sport.

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