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Yachtspeople of the Year and Sailors of the Year

US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year

US Sailing honors the year’s top-performing sailors with the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. The nomination period is now open to the public. Fans can nominate male and female sailors who they believe turned in the most outstanding on-the-water performances during the 2021 calendar year.

Do you know of an American sailor who performed extraordinarily well at the highest levels of competition in 2021? Your nomination(s) may ensure a deserving sailor will receive the proper recognition in the history of the sport. Make your nominations at

Nominations will close on December 31. US Sailing will then select three finalists for each gender based on the merits of the nominees. The finalists will be posted to a ballot and presented to panels of past award winners and sailing media journalists. Following the success of including a public vote in 2019, the public will again have an opportunity to vote online for the 2021 winners. The online public voting will begin in January following the shortlist announcement. Votes from the three voting groups will count equally toward determining the winners.

Also like last time, the 2021 winners will be announced live at the US Sailing Awards Ceremony in late winter/early spring on a date and at a location to be determined later this year. Winners will receive the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year award and specially engraved Rolex timepieces.

International 5O5 World Champions Mike Martin and Adam Lowry (both of Mill Valley), and IKA Formula Kite Class World Champion Daniella Moroz (of Lafayette) were selected as Rolex Yachtsmen and Yachtswoman of the Year for their remarkable sailing performances in 2019.

Daniela Moroz on the podium
Daniela Moroz celebrated her fifth consecutive Kite Foiling World Championship in Sardinia, Italy, on October 17, 2021.
© 2021 Robert Hajduk / IKA Media

Awards Criteria

  • Awards recognize the individual male and female US sailors who have demonstrated on-the-water excellence in the calendar year. In the past, there have been outstanding situations resulting in a skipper-and-crew nomination being accepted (Olympic years).
  • Must be eligible to represent the USA under World Sailing regulations, and actually have represented the USA at the event(s) for which the nominee is being considered.
  • Must have won a major international or national event and/or performed at a high level consistently in multiple events against elite competition.
  • There is no minimum age to win the award.
  • The awards are not based on career racing results (lifetime achievements) or philanthropic contributions to the sport.

Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards

The World Sailing Awards 2021 — celebrating the outstanding achievements and exceptional contributions to sailing — is now open for online voting (click here). Public voting will close at 1500 UTC on December 2. (That’s 7 a.m. for those of us in the Pacific time zone.) The winners will be revealed that day on the World Sailing Awards online show. World Sailing’s news release doesn’t say how to watch the online show, but you can find the organization’s YouTube channel at

World Sailing’s 146 Member National Associations and its 119 Classes nominated a record number of 39 athletes representing 19 countries this year. Thirteen athletes — including Olympic medalists, major offshore series winners, a kite world champion and new around-the-world record-setter — made the shortlist for their achievements between September 1, 2019, and August 31, 2021.

Female Nominees

• Annie-Marie Rindom (DEN)
• Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA)
• Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR)
• Clarisse Cremer (FRA)
• Daniela Moroz (USA)

Male Nominees

• Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL)
• Tom Slingsby (AUS)
• Yannick Bestaven (FRA)
• Kiran Badloe (NED)
• Giles Scott (GBR)

Read about the nominees here.

An international nine-member panel including five former World Sailing Award winners chose the nominees for the shortlist. The panel consists of Jo Aleh (NZL), Theresa Zabell (ESP), Santiago Lange (ARG), Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL), Shirley Robertson (GBR), Dee Caffari (GBR), Craig Leweck (USA), Yann Rocherieux (FRA), and Luca Rizzotti (ITA). This panel and the public vote will decide the winners.

Daniela Moroz

In the bio for nominee Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, CA), World Sailing wrote: “Nobody has dominated a discipline during the qualifying period of the World Sailing Awards like Moroz, who has set the standard for women through the entire evolution of kite competition. With gold at the 2019 World Beach Games contributing to her recognition in 2020 as US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, she stamped her authority on the Formula Kite Class by steamrolling the fleets in the 2021 European and World Championships, her fifth world title. Her ability is now being applied as a member of the United States SailGP Team.”

We’ve covered Moroz’s career quite a bit in ‘Lectronic Latitude and in Latitude 38 magazine.

Due to the limitations on travel in 2020, there were no awards for that year.

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