Sailors from Massachusetts and New York take sailing’s top prize for 2018 performance.
BRISTOL, Rhode Island—The coveted Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards for 2018 will be in the hands of sailors hailing from the East Coast, as Jud Smith and the Cowles sisters claim U.S. Sailing’s top prize, it was announced on Feb. 21.
Smith of Gloucester, Massachusetts was recognized for his J/70 World Championship, while Carmen and Emma Cowles from Larchmont, New York collectively won the Yachtswoman of the Year trophy as the International 420 Youth Sailing World Champions.
A panel of 28 sailing media members voted on the top yachtsman and yachtswoman, giving Smith 116 points (20 first place votes) to edge out Zeke Horowitz (Annapolis, Maryland, 86 points, seven first place votes) and Will Welles (Portsmouth, Rhode Island, 50 points, one first place vote).
The Cowles sisters, meanwhile, earned 88 votes (nine first place) to finish ahead of Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, California, 82 points, eight first place votes) and Paige Railey (Clearwater, Florida, 82 points, 11 first place votes).
Moroz was the only finalist from California and not from the East Coast.
Smith, at age 62, is the oldest winner of the Yachtsman of the Year award. The Cowles sisters, meanwhile, are the second youngest winners of the Yachtswoman of the Year award, winning the prize at age 18. Moroz is the youngest winner of the award, claiming her Yachtswoman of the Year title in 2016 at the age of 16.
All three winners were recognized at an awards ceremony at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco on Feb. 28.