Established in 1961 by US SAILING and sponsored by Rolex Watch, U.S.A. since 1980, the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards recognize outstanding on-the-water achievement in the calendar year just concluded. Generally acknowledged as the sport's highest individual accolade in the United States, the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards have honored such sailing standouts as Ed ADAMS, Betsy ALISON, Dave CURTIS, Dennis CONNER, Courtenay DEY, JJ ISLER, John KOSTECKI, Ken READ and Ted TURNER, all of whom have won the coveted award multiple times.
The nominees, determined by the membership of US SAILING, will be reviewed by a panel of noted sailing journalists, who together will discuss the merits of each nominee and vote by secret ballot to determine the 2004 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. The winners will be announced in January and honored during a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in New York City, on February 25, 2005, where they will be presented with Rolex timepieces.
Nominees for the 2004 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year are:
- Congressional Cup Champion Ed BAIRD (St. Petersburg, Fla.);
- 2.4 Metre Paralympic Silver Medallist Tom BROWN (Northeast Harbor, Maine);
- J/80 and J/105 North American Champion Glenn DARDEN (Ft. Worth, Texas);
- Interlake National Champion Skip DIBALLl (Toledo, Ohio);
- 470 Men's Olympic Gold Medallists Paul FOERSTER (Rockwall, Texas) and Kevin BURNHAM (Miami, Fla.);
- around-the-world sailing record holder Steve FOSSETT (Chicago, Ill.);
- Rolex Farr 40 World Champion Terry HUTCHINSON (Annapolis, Md.);
- Lightsurf International 505 World Champion Morgan LARSON (Santa Cruz, Calif.);
- Tornado Olympic Silver Medallists John LOVELL (New Orleans, La.) and Charlie OGLETREE (Houston, Texas);
- Rolex Farr 40 World Champion Jim RICHARDSON (Boston, Mass./Newport, R.I.);
- Sonar Paralympic Bronze Medallist John ROSS-DUGGAN (Newport Beach, Calif.).
Nominees for the 2004 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year are:
- ISAF Women's Match Racing World Champion Sally BARKOW (Nashotah, Wis.);
- Olympian - Women's Windsurfing, Mistral, Lanee BEASHEL (Aliso Viejo, Calif.),
- Olympian - Women's Keelboat, Yngling, Carol CRONIN (Jamestown, R.I.),
- Olympian - Women's single-handed dinghy, Europe, Meg GALLAIRD (Pelham, N.Y./Jamestown, R.I.),
- Olympian - Women's double-handed dinghy, 470, Katie McDOWELL (Barrington, R.I.) and Isabelle KINSOLVING (New York, N.Y.);
- U.S. Jr. Women's Singlehanded Champion Paige RAILEY (Clearwater, Fla.);
- U.S. Women's Match Race Champion Cory SERTL (Rochester, N.Y.);
- Lightning North American Champion Jody SWANSON (Buffalo, N.Y.)