PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (LOG NEWS SERVICE) — Steve Benjamin and Annie Haeger have been named US Sailing’s 2015 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year.
A total of 12 men and six women had been shortlisted for the honors based on nominations submitted by members of US Sailing, with these two sailors then selected for the award by a panel of sailing journalists.
Established in 1961 the Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards are considered the sport’s ultimate recognition of an individual’s outstanding on-the-water achievements for the calendar year.
Benjamin from Norwalk, Conn. received the award in recognition of a year that featured 10 wins, including the Etchells North American Championship in Rye, NY. Benjamin skippered his team to victory in the 35-boat fleet. Benjamin won the championship by 15 points through eight races.
Benjamin’s dominance in the Etchells went beyond the North American Championship. He placed second out of 43 boats at the World Championship in Hong Kong. His teams won at the Piana Cup, Long Island Sound Championship and
Coral Reef Cup.
Haeger from East Troy, Wisc. received the Yachtswoman award in recognition of her impressive list of top results in 470 Class competition throughout 2015.
Haeger and crew Briana Provancha of San Diego made their mark on the international stage by winning gold at the Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They won the event by seven points through 10 races in a highly competitive fleet.
Haeger and Provancha experienced success in other high-caliber women’s 470 events, including the European Championship (3rd place) and the South American Championship (4th place).
The winners will be honored on March 3, 2016, during a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, when they will be presented with specially-engraved Rolex timepieces.