US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards.
For U.S. sailors in northern latitudes, the yacht club commissioning ceremonies taking place over the next few weekends are just the latest signal that the 2011 sailing season is about to kick into high gear.
And while it may be too early to place odds on which outstanding male and female sailor will ultimately be recognized as US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman or Yachtswoman of the Year 2011, it has been announced that 32nd presentation of the awards will take place at St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco, Calif.) in February, 2012.
The move to the west coast will start a new tradition of alternating the award’s ceremonies between St. Francis and New York Yacht Club’s iconic Manhattan clubhouse where the awards have been held since Rolex began sponsoring them in 1980. Founded in 1927, St. Francis Yacht Club was built on a site rich in local lore; its yacht harbor having gotten it’s start as part of the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915 to mark the opening of the Panama Canal. Over the years the club has been host to many prestigious national and international sailing championships, and is home to the West Coast’s premiere regatta, the Rolex Big Boat Series.
'St. Francis Yacht Club will be a spectacular west coast venue for US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards,' said Gary Jobson, President of US Sailing. 'For the first time in the award’s 50-year history the presentation will be held outside of New York City allowing more sailors to participate in recognizing the outstanding achievers in our sport.'
The process of determining the 2012 award winners will be initiated on Friday, September 30, 2011, when US Sailing members will be invited to make nominations online. From there a shortlist of 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 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year 2011. The ultimate winners will be announced in mid-January and honored in February, 2012, during a luncheon at St. Francis Yacht Club, 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 38 men and 32 women, including these notable 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, Anna Tunnicliffe and Ted Turner.
For information on the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards: http://about.ussailing.org/Awards/Rolex.htm