Moroz, Melges earn top sailor awards
Published on March 24th, 2022
(March 24, 2022) – Harry Melges IV (Lake Geneva, WI) and Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, CA) were selected as the 2021 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year for their outstanding sailing performance in 2021 at a live ceremony in San Francisco, CA.
Melges and Moroz were awarded this prestigious honor at the St. Francis Yacht Club in front of friends, family, former award winners, and sailing journalists. The winners were presented with specially engraved Rolex timepieces and designed picture frames of the winners commemorating their outstanding 2021 accomplishments.
The honorees were among five men and four women who had been shortlisted for the awards. Moroz had advanced over Olympian Anna Weis, keelboat helm Laura Grondin, and women’s match racing champ Nicole Breault. For Melges, he eclipsed Sunfish champion Conner Blouin, Olympian Dave Hughes, versatile winner Erik Shampain, and top match racer and tactician Taylor Canfield.
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. Winners are chosen from a pool of nominees by panels of past winners and imminent sailing journalists and dignitaries.
Daniela Moroz – US Sailing’s Yachtswoman of the Year
At only 21 years old, this year marks the third time that Kiter Daniela Moroz has been named US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year.
“It’s such an honor to win this award for the third time,” said Moroz. “All year I was just focused on being the best sailor I could be, so this is a pleasant surprise.”
In 2021, Moroz dominated the female Formula Kite class, winning Women’s Formula Kite Worlds and the Formula Kite European Championships. She was the top female at both the San Francisco and Clearwater US Open Sailing Series.
Raised in the San Francisco Bay area, Moroz competed in her first international event at age 14, winning her first World Championship only a year later, at 15. Since then, she has won five world championships and four European championships. Moroz is currently a student at the University of Hawaii while she campaigns for the 2024 Olympic games, where the Formula Kite will make its Olympic debut.
Harry Melges IV – US Sailing’s Yachtsman of the Year
Winning his first-ever Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award, Harry Melges IV brings a vast amount of experience to the table for his young age. In 2021, Melges was a two-time E Scow National Champion (the rescheduled 2020 nationals were sailed in 2021), Melges 24 Gold Cup winner, and a member of the winning IC37 East Coast Championship crew, among others.
“Winning this award is such an honor to me, since my grandfather won it 60 years ago,” said Melges. “I’ve worked hard this season and I am so glad to be able to take home this trophy.”
Growing up around such accomplished sailors (his grandfather, Harry “Buddy” Melges, won Olympic gold and bronze in the Soling and Flying Dutchman), it was only natural that Melges got an early start. He began racing at age six, hitching rides on the assortment of Scows sailed on his home waters of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Besides his experience in Scows and sport keelboats, Melges is also a member of the US Sailing Team. He campaigned for the 2020 Olympic Games in the 49er with fellow Wisconsinite Finn Rowe. The pair continue to train together, preparing for the 2024 Games in Paris.
2020 – No awards due to pandemic
2019 – Mike Martin and Adam Lowry/Daniela Moroz
2018 – Jud Smith/Carmen and Emma Cowles
2017 – Peter Duncan/Erika Reineke
2016 – Caleb Paine/Daniela Moroz
2015 – Steve Benjamin/Annie Haeger
2014 – Terry Hutchinson/Stephanie Roble
2013 – Brian Porter/Jody Starck
2012 – Johnny Heineken/Jen French
2011 – Bill Hardesty/Anna Tunnicliffe
2010 – Stan Honey/Anna Tunnicliffe
2009 – Bora Gulari/Anna Tunnicliffe
2008 – Terry Hutchinson/Anna Tunnicliffe
2007 – Jeff Linton/Sally Barkow
2006 – Jud Smith/Paige Railey
2005 – Nick Scandone/Sally Barkow
2004 – Paul Foerster & Kevin Burnham/Jody Swanson
2003 – Augie Diaz/Hannah Swett
2002 – John Kostecki/Liz Baylis
2001 – Steve Fossett/Cory Sertl
2000 – Mark Reynolds & Magnus Liljedahl/JJ Isler & Pease Glaser
1999 – Eric Doyle/Dawn Riley
1998 – Paul Cayard /Betsy (Gelenitis) Alison
1997 – Chris Larson/JJ Isler
1996 – Dave Ullman/Courtenay (Becker) Dey
1995 – Ed Baird/Cory Sertl
1994 – Ken Read/Danielle Brennan
1993 – Cam Lewis/Betsy (Gelenitis) Alison
1992 – Kevin Mahaney/Julia Trotman
1991 – Ed Adams/JJ Isler
1990 – Jim Brady/Courtenay Becker
1989 – Larry Klein/Jody Swanson
1988 – John Kostecki/Allison Jolly & Lynne Jewell
1987 – Ed Adams/Susan Dierdorff Taylor
1986 – Dennis Conner/JJ Isler
1985 – Ken Read/Kathy Steele & Heidi Backus
1984 – Bill Buchan/Betsy Gelenitis
1983 – Dave Curtis/Wendy Thomson
1982 – Randy Smyth/Betsy Gelenitis
1981 – Dave Curtis/Betsy Gelenitis
1980 – Dennis Conner/Lynne Jewell
1979 – Ted Turner/Nell Taylor
1978 – Buddy Melges/Bonnie Shore
1977 – Ted Turner/Jan O’Malley
1976 – Lowell North/Allison Jolly
1975 – Dennis Conner/Joan Ellis
1974 – Ted Hood/Sally Lindsay
1973 – Ted Turner/Sally Lindsay
1972 – Buddy Melges/Jane Pegel
1971 – Ding Schoonmaker/Jane Pegel
1970 – Ted Turner/Jan O’Malley
1969 – Robert F. Johnson/Jan O’Malley
1968 – Lowell North/June Methot
1967 – Bus Mosbacher/Betty Foulk
1966 – Bill Cox/Jerie Clark
1965 – Dick Tillman/Timothea (Schneider) Larr
1964 – Bob Bavier/Jane Pegel
1963 – Joe Duplin/Leggie Mertz
1962 – Bus Mosbacher/Sue Sinclair
1961 – Buddy Melges/Timothea Schneider
Source: US Sailing