Coronadan Finalist For U.S. Sailing’s 2019 Rolex Yachtsman And Yachtswoman Of The Year Award - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Sports

Coronadan Finalist For U.S. Sailing’s 2019 Rolex Yachtsman And Yachtswoman Of The Year Award

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Posted: Monday, January 20, 2020 1:10 pm

U.S. Sailing is proud to announce the shortlist for U.S. Sailing’s 2019 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards. Willem Van Waay of Coronado, has made the list of six finalists.

The top performing U.S. sailors of the year have been shortlisted for US Sailing’s 2019 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards. The annual determination of this year’s awards represents a wide range of accomplished sailors at different stages of their respective careers and from various disciplines in the sport. All six of these finalists represent their own unique pathway to the top of the sport and have each mastered their craft with a dedicated focus on precision and performance on the grandest stage.

Van Waay proved his wide array of skill sets again in 2019 for several teams across many events and various classes.

“In half of the regattas listed in my 2019 resume I’m the trimmer as well as the tactician,” explained Van Waay. “In the other half, I’m listed as a trimmer, but always played a role in tactics as well. I’m often the one with eyes outside the boat making big picture tactical calls. I’ve been racing close to 200 days per year, on all sorts of different boats, for as long as I can remember. My ability to transition from class to class and team to team is, I would say, a result of my work ethic.”

The tactician’s year was highlighted by a win at the J/24 World Championship in Miami with skipper Keith Whittemore aboard Furio. Van Waay and crew outlasted the fleet of 79 to claim the first-place prize by 16 points through 10 races. They won two races, including two of the last three of the regatta, and posted six top five finishes. The stacked fleet featured five former J/24 World Champions.

“The apex of the year was winning the J24 Worlds with Keith Whittemore,” said Van Waay. “I’ve been racing J24s for 25 years, on and off, but Keith and his team have been hard at it even longer. The average age of our sailors is 57, perhaps the oldest of any team in the fleet. To help the team pull off the win in a very difficult venue, with lots of boats and five former World Champions, was extremely rewarding.”

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