On January 11, US Sailing named Bill Hardesty the 2011 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, and Anna Tunnicliffe the 2011 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. The two were selected by a panel of sailing journalists from a shortlist of eight male sailors and seven female sailors. They will be presented with Rolex timepieces on February 22, 2012 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco.
Hardesty won the Etchells World Championship in 2011 after a strong performance in the 81-boat fleet. He also had many notable performances as a tactician, including winning the 47th Congressional Cup.
“This is a huge honor,” said Hardesty in US Sailing’s press release, after receiving word that he had been named the 2011 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. “The long list of past winners is very impressive and includes people who I have always considered to be the best in the world. I would first like to thank Rolex for making sailing what it is today. Without their sponsorship of sailing, the sport would be a lot different.”
This is the fourth consecutive year that Anna Tunnicliffe has been named Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. She recently won the ISAF Sailing World Championship in Elliot 6m for women’s match racing, qualifying her Team Maclaren for a berth in the 2012 Olympic Games. During 2011, she reached the podium with Team Maclaren at three ISAF Sailing World Cup events.
“I’m honored to win the 2011 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award,” said Tunnicliffe in US Sailing’s press release. “It is a great acknowledgment of Team Maclaren’s success in 2011. Molly [Vandemoer], Debbie [Capozzi] and I worked incredibly hard to achieve our 2011 goals and we are now focused on our 2012 goal – to win a gold medal in Weymouth.”
Read more on US Sailing’s website.