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US Sailing accepting nominations for 2019 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year

by US Sailing 13 Nov 14:01 PST
Rolex Yachtsman, Yachtswoman of the Year award © US Sailing

Every major sport has their own iconic award to recognize and celebrate excellence.

College football recognizes the most outstanding player of the year with the Heisman Trophy and Major League Baseball honors their best pitchers of the season with the Cy Young Award.

US Sailing honors the year's top performing sailors with the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year, widely acknowledged as the premiere individual sailing honors in the nation.

The nomination period is open to the public. Fans can nominate male and female sailors who they believe turned in the most outstanding on-the-water performances during the 2019 calendar year.

Do you know of an American sailor who performed extraordinarily well at the highest levels of competition in 2019? Your nomination(s) may ensure a deserving sailor will receive the proper recognition by making the shortlist or even winning one of these prestigious sailing awards to earn their place in the history of the sport.

US Sailing is now accepting nominations for these prestigious awards at rolex.ussailing.org.

Following the close of the nomination period on December 20, 2019, US Sailing will select three finalists for both the Yachtsman and Yachtswoman based on the merits of the nominees. The finalists will be posted to 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. The online public voting begins in January following the shortlist announcement.

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.

US Sailing President and two-time winner of the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, Cory Sertl, expressed the importance of nominating worthy sailors for these awards. "Rolex in partnership with US Sailing matches our quest for excellence in competitive sailing. Being nominated for the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards in a given year is recognition from our peers for excellence in sailing over the last 12 months. The nomination process is an opportunity to hear from all sailors about who has impressed us over the last year across the variety of racing U.S. sailors have excelled in. We need to hear from you about who should be considered."

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 recognize the individual male and female U.S. sailors who have demonstrated on-the-water excellence at international and/or national events.

J/70 World Champion, Jud Smith (Gloucester, Mass.), and Girl's International 420 Youth Sailing World Champions, Carmen and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, N.Y.), were selected as Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswomen of the Year for their remarkable sailing performances in 2018.

Previous recipients who have earned the honor multiple times include, Ed Adams, Betsy Alison, Sally Barkow, Dave Curtis, Dennis Conner, JJ Fetter, Terry Hutchinson, Allison Jolly, John Kostecki, Buddy Melges, Lowell North, Jan O'Malley, Jane Pegel, Ken Read, Cory Sertl, Lynne Shore, Jud Smith, Jody Starck, Anna Tunnicliffe, and Ted Turner.

Awards Criteria

  • Awards recognize the individual male and female U.S. sailor who has demonstrated on-the-water excellence in the calendar year. In the past, there have been outstanding situations resulting in a skipper and crew nomination being accepted (Olympic years).
  • Must be eligible to represent the USA under World Sailing regulations, and actually representing the USA at the event(s) for which the nominee is being considered for the award.
  • Must have won a major international or national event and/or performed at a high level consistently in multiple events against elite competition.
  • There is no minimum age required to win the award.
  • The awards are not based on career racing results (lifetime achievements) or philanthropic contributions to the sport.

Learn more about the awards' criteria and submit your nomination(s) today at rolex.ussailing.org

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