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St. Francis Yacht Club sweeps 2019 US Sailing Rolex Awards

by Scott Armstrong 9 Feb 15:46 PST
Left: Daniela Moroz poses with her second career US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Award. Right: Mike Martin and Adam Lowry (far right) post with their first career US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Awards. © Matthew Cohen Photography / US Sailing

Aboard the USS Midway at San Diego's Navy Pier Thursday night, St. Francis Yacht Club members swept the US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards.

Days after her 19th birthday, IKA Formula Kite Class World Champion Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, Calif.) received the second Rolex Award of her career. Mike Martin (Mill Valley, Calif.) and Adam Lowry (Mill Valley, Calif.), the incumbent World and North American 505 Class Champions, each captured their first Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award.

"Without the support of StFYC and the St. Francis Sailing Foundation, I would not be where I am today, and I would like to extend a massive thank-you to this community," said Moroz, previously the youngest Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year in US Sailing history.

Moroz and Caleb Paine swept this award for StFYC in 2016, when Moroz was women's champion of the Hydrofoil Pro Tour, and Finn sailor Paine took the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics.

"I am so proud to represent this Club," Moroz added, "and look forward to continue doing so in my Paris 2024 campaign." Kiteboarding is set to make its Olympic debut in the Paris cycle.

It was the first career Rolex Award win for Martin after five previous nominations. "It's great to have the support of the whole Club," Martin said. "Every time you're out there training, people think it's great and they're encouraging you. That sort of culture leads to developing good sailors."

Lowry pointed to the duo's chemistry on the water as the main key to their success in the 505's. "The way that we work together," he said, "is a manner in which we have an incredible amount of trust in the skill and capability of the other person. Therefore, we meld...In that way, we really do make each other better. I've never sailed as well as when I sail with Mike. I hope he feels the same."

Also representing StFYC in San Diego as a Yachtswoman of the Year finalist was Nicole Breault (San Francisco, Calif.), who begins 2020 ranked 4th in the World Sailing Women's Match Race Rankings. Breault and her St. Francis crew reached the finals of the 2019 U.S. Match Racing Championship, and she also skippered the American entry at the 2019 Women's Match Racing World Championship.

While continuing along the burgeoning kiteboarding circuit, Moroz is in her freshman year at the University of Hawaii, where she trains with the sailing team. Martin and Lowry now seek to defend their North American 505 title, and possibly campaign at the 2020 Worlds as well.

To read interviews with all three 2019 US Sailing Rolex Award recipients, visit the official St. Francis Yacht Club website, stfyc.com, and click on "News."

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