Melges 20 winner nominated for Yachtsman of the Year

BRISTOL, Rhode Island — Another decorated sailor from Southern California is on the shortlist for U.S. Sailing’s 2017 Yachtsman of the Year award, it was announced Dec. 21.

Drew Freides of Pacific Palisades is among six sailors in the running for the latest Yachtsman of the Year award.

Seven women populate the field for the 2017 Yachtswoman of the Year award, including last year’s winner from Northern California.

Freides was nominated due to his wins at the Melges 20 World Championship and National Championship events. The Southern California sailor won the world championship, his first ever, event in Newport, Rhode Island on Oct. 7 aboard his Pacific Yankee. He had bought his first boat less than four years earlier, at the insistence of his mother who was battling cancer at the time.

The other nominees are 2015 Yachtsman of the Year Steve Benjamin (Coconut Grove, Florida), 161-boat J/70 World Championship winner Peter Duncan (Rye, New York), Viper 640 North American Championship winner Marcus Eagan (Mandeville, Louisiana), and World Cup Series Miami winners David Hughes (Miami) and Stu McNay (Providence, Rhode Island).

Nominees for the 2017 Yachtswoman of the Year award are:

  • Carmen Cowles and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, New York), Youth World Championship winning sister tandem
  • Libby McKee (Kirkland, Washington), Taser World Championship winner
  • Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, California) 2016 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, IKA Formula Kite World Championship winner
  • Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), ICSA Women’s National Champion and Quantum Women’s College Sailor of the Year
  • Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisconsin), Bronze medal winner at the Aarhus World Championships Test Event
  • Charlotte Rose (Houston, Texas), Laser Radial winner at Youth World Championships
  • Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Illinois), bronze medal at the Aarhus World Championships Test Event.

Winners will be announced Feb. 28, 2018 during a luncheon at New York Yacht Club and presented with specially engraved Rolex timepiece.

Caleb Paine, who earned Bronze in Sailing at the 2016 Rio Games, was last year’s Yachtsman of the Year.

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