Coronadan Willem Van Waay Nominated For Rolex Yachtsman Of The Year Award - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Sports

Coronadan Willem Van Waay Nominated For Rolex Yachtsman Of The Year Award

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Posted: Monday, January 27, 2020 3:46 pm

Coronado resident and 20-year professional sailor Willem Van Waay is one of three sailing entries who have reached the Finals of the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award, which is the MVP Award of American Sailing. The other two entries include the tandems of Mike Martin/Adam Lowry and brothers David Askew/Peter Askew.

Either by chance or design, the three Finalists compete in different boat formats, which Van Waay described. “There are three very different disciplines. Martin/Lowry sailed a 505 which is a super-fast skiff and the Askew brothers are in big boat racing, where 15-18 guys sail the boat. I race a lot of different keel boats, usually with either three or 10-person teams. Martin won the Worlds in the 505.” Ironically, Van Waay hasn’t met or competed against the other Rolex Finalists.

Van Waay’s resume from 2019 is superb and includes being tactician on the boat which won the J24 World Championship in October with Keith Whittemore, finishing first out of 79 entrants. He also won J24 competitions in Kiel, Germany and a the J24 Pre-Worlds Regatta also in Miami. In addition, Van Waay achieved success in the J70 boats including victories in San Francisco in September; in San Diego in the NOOD Regatta; the NOOD Regatta in Marblehead, Massachusetts; and the Newport Regatta in Newport, Rhode Island. He won a total of 10 regattas in 2019 as a tactician, while also simultaneously serving as the sail trimmer in many instances.

It turns out you can help Van Waay win the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award, as the winner is determined by one-third public vote, one-third vote from sailing journalists and one-third from sailing representatives. All you need to do to vote for Van Waay is to Google ‘Rolex Yachtsman of the Year 2019’ and follow the voting instructions. There is also a Yachtswoman of the Year Award and you have to vote in both categories before hitting the send button. The whole process takes about 30 seconds.

Van Waay said of the award, “It’s a huge honor to be nominated. Some of San Diego’s very best sailors have earned this award in the past. It’s the biggest, most prestigious award a yacht racer in the United States can win. I would love to win it and it would be amazing for my career and future in the sport.” As an added bonus, the awards dinner will be held aboard the USS Midway Museum Feb. 6, 2020. It will be the first time the city of San Diego has hosted the event. And what will Van Waay do to celebrate if he wins? “I have a red-eye flight to Florida an hour after the presentation.”

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