by Jan Harley
With the record books near closing on another year of racing, US Sailing is celebrating the most outstanding performances of the year with the release of its shortlist of nominees for the 2012 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards. Those making the 2012 shortlist represent the diversity of the sport from kite boarders to one-design champions.
US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards trophy
Nominees shortlisted for US Sailing's 2012 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award: Audi Melges 32 European Champion Jason Carroll (New York, N.Y. ) ; SKUD-18 Paralympic Silver Medalist JP Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.); IKA Speed Sailing World Champion Rob Douglas (Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.); Rolex Farr 40 World Champion Bill Hardesty (San Diego, Calif.); Kiteboarding World Champion Johnny Heineken (Larkspur, Calif.); Melges 32 World Champion John Kilroy (Los Angeles, Calif. ); J/24 North American Champion John Mollicone (Newport, R.I.); and Delta Lloyd Regatta Finn Champion Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.).
Nominees shortlisted for US Sailing’s 2012 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award: ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds Bronze Medalist Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.); Skandia Sail for Gold Silver Medalist Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.); Farr 30 World Champion Deneen Demourkas (Santa Barbara, Calif.); SKUD-18 Paralympic Silver Medalist Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.); Kiteboard Racing World Champion Erica Heineken (Larkspur, Calif.); and Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre Elliott 6m Champion Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.).
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 2012 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. The winners will be announced in January and honored on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, during a luncheon at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, 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 39 men and 32 women, including these distinguished 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, Cory Sertl, Lynne Shore, Jody Swanson and Ted Turner.
For highlights from the year’s racing results for each nominee, please visit: http://about.ussailing.org/Awards/Rolex.htm.