Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 5

Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards – Sailors honored

by Jake Fish on 26 Feb 2014
Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Jody Starck with (from left) US Sailing President Tom Hubbell; Justin Hogbin, Rolex Watch U.S.A.’s Vice-President, Communications; Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Brian Porter; and Peter Nicholson, Rolex Watch U.S.A’s Senior Advisor, Communications (Photo Credit Rolex/Tom O’Neal) - US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards Ceremony © Rolex/Tom O'Neal
At US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards Ceremony winners Brian Porter and Jody Starck were honored today.

With San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop, Brian Porter (Fontana, Wisc.) and Jody Starck (Amherst, N.Y.) took the stage at St. Francis Yacht Club to formally accept US Sailing’s 2013 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards. Announced in January after being chosen for their outstanding on-water sailing accomplishments in 2013, the honorees were joined at the bayfront clubhouse by family, friends, sailing dignitaries, fellow sailors, and members of the media for a special luncheon program. Emceed by Gary Jobson, the event included heartfelt acceptance speeches by the winners and the awarding of specially engraved stainless steel and platinum Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Masters, symbolic of achievement in excellence, by Rolex Watch U.S.A.’s Peter Nicholson, Senior Advisor, Communications.

Starck, age 48, who also won the award in 1989 and 2004, said winning a third time was different but 'still a thrill.' She won the Lightning World Championship as crew for her husband David Starck (a 2013 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year shortlisted nominee), and after that event, she switched to helming, most notably skippering to victory at the Lightning Atlantic Coast Championship and finishing third at the Lightning North American Championship.

'The question was asked of me, ‘what does the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year title mean this time?,’' said Starck. 'A lot of things came to mind, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. My daughter Jamie (age 6) suggested I tell everyone how much fun I have when I go sailing, and my other daughter Sabrina (7) suggested I tell everyone how much I love sailing with my friends, which is true but then I realized it’s pretty simple. Being here today proved to me that it’s still possible. It’s possible to have fun, do what I love and still do well at it. The most important part of that is it’s possible for everyone else to do the same thing; it doesn’t matter if you are a junior sailor heading out for your first race or a veteran who hasn’t been out in a long time. If you put your heart in it and put in the time and effort, it’s possible to achieve your goals.'

Starck gave credit to her husband David for encouraging her to 'venture back out to the starting line.' As well, she said, an incredible family support system that had been backing her and her husband, 'sprung into action' again.

'My dad taught me a long time ago to surround myself with smart, talented people, and that’s what I did,' said Starck. 'I thank my crew for their dedication and their determination and for sharing their free time with me. The year was full of great memories.'

Porter, age 55 and a first-time winner, said he was honored to join the 40 men and 33 women on the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards roster, especially when he had to measure up to the deep talent of 2013’s shortlisted nominees. 'One of the things that struck me when I was told I won this award was just how difficult it is to win. Like sailing in any regatta, you need some luck, and I had my fair share of it last year.'

Porter won the Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship, scored an additional Melges 24 victory at Quantum Key West 2013 and finished third at both the Rolex Big Boat Series and the E Scow National Championship. He mentioned many great Midwestern sailors who shaped his life, including Olympic medalist Buddy Melges, who taught him how to set up his boat and 'present it to Mother Nature.'

'Although we are all competitive and want to win, I think we would all agree that the journey is what’s most important. The people we meet, the friends we make, and the great sportsmanship are what it’s all about. I’ve been very fortunate to have been blessed with many great moments, and nothing has touched my heart more than the outpouring of support and good wishes from friends and competitors.'

The two sailors topped a shortlist of nine men and six women who were nominated by members of US Sailing and then evaluated by a panel of sailing journalists to determine who was most worthy of America’s highest sailing distinction for the calendar year. Jobson, who has emceed the luncheon for the last 15 years, noted that the list of nominees grows in stature every year, reinforcing how well American sailors are doing both nationally and internationally.

Past winners in attendance were Paul Cayard (1998), JJ Fetter (1986, 1991, 1997 and 2000), John Heineken (2012), and Dave Ullman (1996). Fetter and Heineken had the honor of formally introducing Starck and Porter, respectively, to the audience.

Established in 1961 by US Sailing and sponsored by Rolex Watch, U.S.A. since 1980, 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. The process of determining the recipients starts each September when US Sailing invites its membership to make online nominations. A shortlist of nominees is then reviewed by a panel of noted sailing journalists who discuss the merits of each nominee and vote to determine the winners.

A video podcast from the 2013 awards luncheon, produced by Gary Jobson, will be available by Thursday at the event website: Click here

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Barz Optics - Melanin LensesNorth Technology - Southern SparsSchaefer 2016 660x82