by Jan Harley
The record books are preparing to close on another year of racing and with this comes the celebration by US Sailing of most outstanding performances with the release of the shortlist of nominees for the 2011 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards. Individuals who make the 2011 shortlist represent the diversity of the sport and include round the world racers, kite boarders, one-design champions and Olympic hopefuls.
Trophy - Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards
The nominees shortlisted for US Sailing's 2011 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award are:
Melges 32 World Champion William Douglass (Southport, Conn.); Etchells World Champion Bill Hardesty (San Diego, Calif.); IKA Kite Course Racing World Champion Johnny Heineken (Larkspur, Calif.); Laser North American Champion Clay Johnson (Toms River, N.J.); Allstate Sugar Bowl J/22 World Champion Rob Johnston (Heath, Texas); Finn U.S. National Champion Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.); Star North American Champion George Szabo (San Diego, Calif.); and Velux 5 Oceans Winner Brad Van Liew (Charleston, S.C.).
The nominees shortlisted for US Sailing’s 2011 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award are:
Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre Eliott 6m Champion Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wisc.); Farr 30 World Champion Deneen Demourkas (Santa Barbara, Calif.); 29erXX North American Champion Kristen Lane (Tiburon, Calif.); Kieler Woche 470 Women Champion Erin Maxwell (Stonington, Conn.); Kieler Woche Laser Radial Champion Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.); Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Champion Cory Sertl (Rochester, N.Y.); and Skandia Sail for Gold 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 2011 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. The winners will be announced in mid-January and honored on Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 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, click here.