PORTSMOUTH, R.I. – The most significant sailing performances of the year are being heralded by US Sailing with the announcement of the 12 men and six women who have been shortlisted for the 2015 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards.
The nominees will be reviewed by a panel of noted sailing journalists who discuss the merits of each sailor’s racing results before voting to determine US Sailing's 2015 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. The winners will be announced in mid-January and honored on Thursday, February 25, 2016, during a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, when they will be presented with specially-engraved Rolex timepieces.
Nominees shortlisted for US Sailing's 2015 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award:
- Lightning World Champion Geoff Becker (Annapolis, Md.);
- Distance racing record-breaker Ryan Breymaier (Annapolis, Md.);
- Etchells North American Champion Steve Benjamin (Norwalk, Conn.);
- J/70 World Champion Bill Hardesty (San Diego, Calif.);
- Etchells World Champion Skip Dieball (Toledo, Ohio);
- Rolex Farr 40 World Champion John Demourkas (Santa Barbara, Calif.);
- Rolex Maxi 72 World Champion Hap Fauth (Minneapolis, Minn.);
- 470 European Champion Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.);
- Melges 20 World Champion John Kilroy (San Francisco, Calif.);
- 470 European Champion Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.); d
- Distance racing record breaker Lloyd Thornburg (Santa Fe, New Mexico); and
- J/24 North American Champion Will Welles (Portsmouth, R.I.).
Nominees shortlisted for US Sailing’s 2015 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award:
- US Women’s Match Racing Champion Nicole Breault (San Francisco, Calif.);
- Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta 470 Women’s Champion Anne Haeger (Lake Forest, Ill.);
- Pan Am Games Laser Radial Gold Medalist Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.);
- Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta 470 Women’s Champion Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.);
- Buddy Melges Challenge winner Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.); and
- Lightning North American Champion Jody Starck (Buffalo, N.Y.).
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 43 men and 34 women, including these distinguished sailors who have claimed the honor multiple times: Ed Adams, Betsy Alison, Sally Barkow, Dave Curtis, Dennis Conner, JJ Fetter, Allison Jolly, John Kostecki, Buddy Melges, Lowell North, Jan O’Malley, Jane Pegel, Ken Read, Cory Sertl, Lynne Shore, Jody Starck, Anna Tunnicliffe and Ted Turner.
For highlights from the year’s racing results for each nominee, please visit rolex.ussailing.org