FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Pro Int’l for Rolex Watch U.S.A.
New York, N.Y. (Feb. 26, 2010) – Neither rain nor sleet nor snow, all of which had combined to cancel flights and delay trains in the Northeast, could deter Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.) and Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.) from getting to Manhattan today for their moment in the spotlight at US SAILING’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards ceremony.
The award recipients, chosen for their outstanding on-water sailing accomplishments in 2009, were joined by family, friends, sailing dignitaries and members of the press at the New York Yacht Club’s renowned Model Room for an intimate retrospective on their rise to the top of the sport. Gary Jobson, president of US SAILING and one of the sport’s most familiar media personalities, presented highlight videos for each winner, which led to emotional acceptance speeches before the two received specially engraved stainless steel and platinum Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Masters, symbolic of their achievements in excellence. Also participating in the program were Rolex Watch U.S.A.’s President and CEO Allen Brill, US SAILING Executive Director Charlie Leighton and US SAILING Olympic Sailing Program Chair Dean Brenner.
Tunnicliffe, who also won the award in 2008, was cited for her win at French Sailing Week, an ISAF Sailing World Cup event, in the Laser Radials, among other notable events. Gulari, a first-time winner, was cited for winning the CST Composites International Moth World Championship. A shortlist of 10 male and five female sailors – determined from nominations submitted by members of US SAILING – was evaluated by a panel of sailing journalists who then selected the sailors for the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman distinction, the country’s highest sailing honor.
“I’m proud to say I’ve had another great year,” said Tunnicliffe, “but I am so humbled by the recognition from the sailing community, and this award is a fantastic way to top everything off.” With a nod to her crew at the luncheon -- Molly Vandemoer, Debbie Capozzi, and Liz Bower -- she added, “What I’ve done is not an individual effort.”
Gulari acknowledged support from his family as well as friends and fellow American sailors in the Moth class, who pushed each other to excel. “By the time we got to the worlds we really had raised the bar for the Americans and had the dominant edge as a nation,” said Gulari. “This award means so much to me; I don’t have words for it.”
Gulari, heads immediately to Dubai to defend his title at the 2010 Puma Moth World Championships. Tunnicliffe prepares for the Princess Sofia Trophy, an ISAF Sailing World Cup event in March.
A video podcast from the awards luncheon, produced by Gary Jobson, will be available later this evening at www.ussailing.org.
Picture Caption: (from left) Rolex Watch U.S.A.’s President and CEO Allen Brill, 2009 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), 2009 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.), US SAILING President Gary Jobson. Credit Dan Nerney/Rolex
About US SAILING
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
About Rolex Watch U.S.A.
Since Rolex Watch U.S.A. first presented timepieces to America's Cup defenders in 1958, the company has consistently recognized and encouraged excellence in every important arena of competitive sailing, including US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics preparation, US SAILING championships, disabled sailing, offshore, one-design and women's events. In 2010, Rolex will sponsor over 20 prestigious yachting events globally, including the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Rolex Big Boat Series, Rolex Capri Sailing Week, Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race and the New York Yacht Club Race Week presented by Rolex.