Finalists Selected for 2017 U.S. Yachtsman, Yachtswoman of the Year

Published on December 21st, 2017

Bristol, RI (December 21, 2017) – US Sailing announced the six men and eight women who have been shortlisted for the 2017 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards.

The nominees and their complete 2017 sailing resumes 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 2017 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year.

The winners will be announced in January and honored on February 28, 2018 during a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, when they will be presented with specially-engraved Rolex timepieces.

The all-star line-up of standout sailors hails from various disciplines from around the country and represents different stages in their respective careers. Many of these sailors were selected based on their consistent exceptional performances throughout the 2017 season and some were chosen for their signature win(s) at major international events.

Male Finalist Nominees:
• Steve Benjamin (Coconut Grove, Florida.): The 2015 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year claimed the Etchells World Championship and National Championship, while winning several TP52 events.
• Peter Duncan (Rye, New York): Duncan won the 161-boat J/70 World Championship and placed second at the J/70 North American Championship.
• Marcus Eagan (Mandeville, Louisiana): Eagan captured the Viper 640 North American Championship and also won the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup in the Swan 42.
• Drew Freides (Pacific Palisades, California): Freides won both the Melges 20 World Championship and National Championship.
• Dave Hughes (Miami, Florida): Hughes’s active year featured success in both Olympic and professional sailing disciplines. Hughes earned wins as crew at World Cup Series Miami in the 470 and as part of the winning Etchells World Championship team..
• Stu McNay (Providence, Rhode Island): McNay won the World Cup Series Miami 470 event as helm with Dave Hughes. He was also tactician for the J/70 World Championship runner-up.

Female Finalist Nominees:
• Carmen Cowles and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, New York): The sister tandem took home the Gold Medal from the Youth World Championships in the International 420 event. They were also the top women’s team at the U.S. Youth Sailing Championships in the International 420.
• Libby McKee (Kirkland, Washington): McKee won the Taser World Championship again as crew with Jonathan McKee.
• Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, California): Last year’s Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year won the IKA Formula Kite World Championship again and was dominant on the Hydrofoil Pro Tour.
• Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Florida): The ICSA Women’s National Champion and Quantum Women’s College Sailor of the Year also placed third at the ICSA College Co-Ed Nationals and won the Enoshima Olympic Sailing Week event in the Laser Radial.
• Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisconsin): Roble helmed a 49erFX with Maggie Shea to a bronze medal at the Aarhus World Championships Test Event. She also served as bow and strategist for a contending team at the Melges 20 World Championship and National Championship.
• Charlotte Rose (Houston, Texas): Rose finished the year on top with a win at the Youth World Championships in the Laser Radial event. She also placed third at the 106-boat Laser Radial Youth World Championships.
• Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Illinois): Shea crewed with Stephanie Roble in the 49erFX and earned the bronze medal at the Aarhus World Championships Test Event. She also crewed for the third place team at the M32 North American Championship.

Top Row (L to R): Steve Benjamin; Charlotte Rose; Drew Freides; Dave Hughes; Carmen and Emma Cowles… Second Row: Peter Duncan; Erika Reineke; Maggie Shea; Libby McKee… Third Row: Daniela Moroz; Stephanie Roble; Stu McNay; Marcus Eagan

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 44 men and 35 women, including these distinguished sailors who have claimed the honor multiple times: 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, Jody Starck, Anna Tunnicliffe and Ted Turner.

For more information about these awards, please visit: http://rolex.ussailing.org.

Source: US Sailing

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