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2 March 2009, 10:02 am
HUTCHINSON And TUNNICLIFFE Honoured At US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Ceremony
From left, Rolex Watch U.S.A.'s Peter NICHOLSON, Anna TUNNICLIFFE, Terry HUTCHINSON, US SAILING's Charlie LEIGHTON
From left, Rolex Watch U.S.A.'s Peter NICHOLSON, Anna TUNNICLIFFE, Terry HUTCHINSON, US SAILING's Charlie LEIGHTON


While it may be moored in the concrete canyons of Manhattan, the New York Yacht Club's unequivocal ties to the sea were on full display during US SAILING's Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards luncheon.
The club's renowned Model Room was the setting for celebrating Terry HUTCHINSON's and Anna TUNNICLIFFE's competitive sailing achievements in 2008 as family, friends, sailing dignitaries and members of the press looked on. Emceeing the event, which included video highlights of HUTCHINSON's and TUNNICLIFFE's rise to the top of the sport, was one of sailing's most familiar media personalities, Gary JOBSON, with additional tributes from US SAILING Executive Director Charlie LEIGHTON and 2007 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Jeff LINTON. Rolex Watch U.S.A.'s Vice President and Director of Communications Peter NICHOLSON awarded each winner with a specially engraved stainless steel and platinum Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master.

Determined from nominations submitted by the members of US SAILING, a short list of nine male and five female sailors was evaluated by a panel of sailing journalists who ultimately selected HUTCHINSON and TUNNICLIFFE the 2008 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year.

HUTCHINSON (age 40), a first-time winner, redefined himself as a well-rounded fleet racer after emerging from his stint as tactician aboard Emirates Team New Zealand in the 32nd America's Cup. He racked up four major European victories in the TP52 before skippering to become that class's World Champion. He also scored major U.S. regatta victories in the Farr 40, Melges 24, M30 and Melges 32 classes, also as tactician.

"Every morning I get up and go to work doing something that I love," said the 40-year-old HUTCHINSON, a four-time Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) All-American and two-time College Sailor of the Year (1989 and 1990) at Old Dominion University, who is a professional sailor by trade. "This is one of the coolest moments in my sailing career."

TUNNICLIFFE (age 26), also a first-time winner, was cited for her rise to number one in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings and her gold-medal performance in the Laser Radial at the 2008 Olympic Games in China. Her excellent 2008 sailing resume made her the panel's unanimous choice for the award.

"I'm very, very excited," said the 26-year-old TUNNICLIFFE, a three-time ICSA All-American (at Old Dominion University) and the 2005 Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year. "It's a fantastic end to a great year." TUNNICLIFFE sails full-time and has announced her intention to train for the 2012 Olympic Games. "Winning the Olympic medal was a dream, and branching out to other boats and expanding myself as a sailor is one of my goals. I want to win another gold medal for the USA."

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 the outstanding on-the-water competitive achievement of an individual man and woman in the calendar year just concluded.

A video podcast from the awards luncheon, produced by Gary JOBSON, is available at www.jobsonsailing.com, as well as at www.ussailing.org/awards/rolex.

For additional information on the awards please visit www.ussailing.org/awards/rolex.
Barby MacGowan
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