Hutchinson, Roble Honored in New York as Best of 2014

Hutchinson and Roble Honored at
US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards Ceremony

NEW YORK, N.Y. (February 26, 2015) –  After having moved to the west coast for the past three years, US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards ceremony returned to the iconic Model Room at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan to celebrate the sailing accomplishments of Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.) and Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.).

The honorees, formally announced in January after being chosen for their outstanding on-water sailing accomplishments in 2014, were joined by family, friends, sailing dignitaries, fellow sailors and members of the media for a special luncheon program. Emceed by Gary Jobson, the event included multi-media retrospectives of each winner’s sailing life followed by presentations of specially engraved stainless steel and platinum Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Masters, symbolic of achievement in excellence, by Rolex Watch U.S.A.’s President & CEO Stewart Wicht.

US Sailing President Tom Hubbell, Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Stephanie Roble, Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Terry Hutchinson and Stewart Wicht, President & CEO of Rolex Watch U.S.A. (Photo Credit Rolex/Daniel Forster) (Photo Credit Rolex/Daniel Forster).
US Sailing President Tom Hubbell, Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Stephanie Roble, Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Terry Hutchinson and Stewart Wicht, President & CEO of Rolex Watch U.S.A. (Photo Credit Rolex/Daniel Forster) (Photo Credit Rolex/Daniel Forster).

Click to download photos from the ceremony in high resolution.

In an emotional speech, Roble, age 25 and a first-time winner, stressed how important teamwork has been in getting to this point in her life and particularly this past year in securing the 2014 Etchells World Championship (as crew) and the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship (as skipper) while working her way to the top of the latter discipline’s U.S. rankings. (In the world, she is currently ranked third.)

“I feel so lucky to be a part of a lot of teams; teamwork is what I’m in love with right now,” said Roble, whose current goal is to win the Women’s Match Racing World Championship in July with crew Janel Zarkowsky and Maggie Shea. “You need  your team to be successful; this award is for all of them.

“I’m beyond the moon excited right now. This is  such a special award, and to see all the sailors who’ve won this before and to join this list means so much to me. It’s extremely motivating.”

Roble added that it makes her laugh thinking that her first connection to sailing was when she was born. “When my parents first brought me home from the hospital, my dad sailed his MC Scow on our tiny home lake in Lake Beulah with ‘It’s a Girl!’ written on the sail. Little did he know this gesture was indicative of what was to come.”

Hutchinson, who is 46 and won this honor in 2008 as well, jetted with Hap Fauth straight from the finish line at the Caribbean 600 where Bella Mente took overall and class victories. He pointed out several sailing mentors in the luncheon audience (among them his father, Gary Jobson, Doug DeVos, coach James Lyne, Alex Roepers, and Jim Richardson) who have helped him develop the instinct for doing the right things at the right time.

As the current Rolex Farr 40 and TP52 World Champion, Hutchinson said winning the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award this second time around was “different because of how it all happened.”

“It was quite a hard thing emotionally not going all the way through with the last America’s Cup,” said Hutchinson, who “bounced back” to have an exceptional 2014 racing season on the water.  “In some ways, it’s not how you get knocked down but how you get back up that’s going to be the measure. It’s a testament to the owners and their faith and trust in the process that we apply to win races. What they have placed in my hands and what they have provided me as an opportunity to do on their behalf is not taken lightly.”

As Roble did, Hutchinson thanked the New York Yacht Club and Rolex, saying about the latter: You are a tremendous asset to sailing and it’s a privilege to have this relationship with you.”

The two sailors topped a shortlist of ten men and seven women who were nominated by members of US Sailing and then evaluated by a panel of sailing journalists to determine who was most worthy of America’s highest sailing distinction for the calendar year. Jobson, who has emceed the luncheon for the last 15 years, noted that the list of nominees grows in stature every year, reinforcing how well American sailors are doing both nationally and internationally.

Past winners in attendance were Brian Porter (2013), Dawn Riley (1999) and Cory Sertl (1995, 2001). Porter and Riley had the honor of formally introducing Hutchinson and Roble, respectively, to the audience.

Established in 1961 by US Sailing and sponsored by Rolex Watch, U.S.A. since 1980, US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards are considered the sport’s ultimate recognition of an individual’s outstanding on-the-water achievements for the calendar year.  The process of determining the recipients starts each September when US Sailing invites its membership to make online nominations. A shortlist of nominees is then reviewed by a panel of noted sailing journalists who discuss the merits of each nominee and vote to determine the winners.

A video podcast from the awards luncheon, produced by Gary Jobson, will be available by Thursday at the event website.

About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth 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 Sperry. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org..

About Rolex
Leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism introduced in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities, as well as philanthropic programs. www.rolex.com