420 SAILORS CARMEN AND EMMA COWLES WIN US SAILING ROLEX YACHTWOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
International 420 Youth Sailing World Champions, Carmen Cowles/Emma Cowles were selected as Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year for their remarkable sailing performances in 2018.
J/70 World Champion, Jud Smith was selected as Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.
Over the past six decades, the sailing community has had the unique opportunity to discuss and analyze the fascinating contrasts between the winners of US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. The 2018 award winners will once again offer us, as fans and stewards of the sport, the chance to reflect and appreciate their respective 2018 achievements, but perhaps more importantly, how they got to this special place in their careers and what the future holds.
The selection follows the announcement in January of the three men and three women who were shortlisted for these prestigious awards and recognized as sailing’s top performers of the year by US Sailing.
The slate of finalists, nominated by members of US Sailing and determined by US Sailing, was presented to a panel of 28 accomplished sailing media professionals and past winners of the awards, who analyzed the merits of each finalist and individually voted to determine the ultimate winners using a weighted point system (1st place vote – 5 points; 2nd place vote – 3 points; 3rd place vote – 1 point).
Carmen and Emma Cowles collected 88 points and nine first place votes. The sister tandem narrowly edged a pair of past winners of the award, Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), 2018 Laser European Championship Silver Medalist, and Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, Calif.), 2018 Women’s Formula Kiteboard Sailing World Champion. Railey and Moroz each had 82 points. Railey led all Yachtswomen finalists with 11 first place votes and Moroz had eight first place votes.
Jud Smith tallied 116 points, including 20 first place votes. Placing second was 2018 J/22 World Champion, Zeke Horowitz (Annapolis, Md.), with 86 points and seven first place votes. Will Welles (Portsmouth, R.I.), 2018 J/24 World Champion, finished third with 50 points and one first place vote.
Smith and the Cowles sisters will be honored on Thursday, February 28, 2019, at the Awards Ceremony hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, where they will be celebrated by family and friends, teammates and crew, past winners, 2018 finalists, sailing dignitaries, and representatives from US Sailing and Rolex. They will also be presented with specially-engraved Rolex timepieces and designed picture frames of the winners commemorating their outstanding 2018 accomplishments.