ODU Alumna Sally Barkow Named US SAILING's 2007 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year

January 16, 2008
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Jan. 16, 2008

NORFOlK, Va. -- Former ODU sailing standout Sally Barkow ('02) was named US SAILING's 2007 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year today, honored for the second time with the award. Barkow joins a short prestigious list of now 10 females that have received the honor more than once. The former Monarch was a two-time ICSA All-American and graduated with a degree in Psychology in 2002.

Sally becomes just the 10th female to received the award for a second time and she has now been honored twice in the last three years as the Yachtswoman of the Year. She is currently training for the Yngling World Championships being held in February, the final event in a series to determine whether or not Barkow and her team will represent the USA in the 2008 Olympics.

While at ODU she helped the Lady Monarchs win the team's third Women's National Championship in her senior season. She was a two-time ICSA All-American and sailed with current Yngling teammate Debbie Capozzi as well.

From the U.S. SAILING official press release:

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (January 16, 2008) - Lightning World Champion Jeff Linton (Tampa, Fla.) and Princess Sofia Trophy Yngling Champion Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.) today were named, respectively, US SAILING's 2007 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. A shortlist of 10 male and nine female sailors - determined from nominations by the membership of US SAILING - were evaluated by a panel of sailing journalists who selected these two sailors for the noteworthy distinction.

Established in 1961 by US SAILING and sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. since 1980, the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards recognize the outstanding on-the-water competitive achievement of an individual man and woman in the calendar year just concluded. The winners will be honored and presented with specially engraved Rolex timepieces during a luncheon on February 29, 2008, at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan.

Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year - Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.) has reclaimed her position as the top woman racer in the U.S.A. upon being named the 2007 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. First recognized with the honor in 2005, Barkow was nominated to the shortlist for the sixth consecutive year and now joins a select group of women who have received the accolade more than once.

"This is exciting and unexpected! I was shocked when I got the call," said Barkow, who is training in Florida until the end of February with her Yngling teammates Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) and Carrie Howe (Grosse Pointe, Mich.). "The other nominated sailors are extremely distinguished and accomplished, all very deserving of this great honor."

Like the football star who cannot win the Heisman Trophy without his team, Barkow acknowledged she would not be receiving this award for the second time without the support of the talented team on which she relies. "I have not sailed a single-handed boat since 2002 and I believe that teamwork is our biggest asset on the water. Debbie has sailed with me in every event this past year, not to mention the preceding five years. Carrie has also been racing with me for the past five years, only missing a few events this year, and Annie Lush (GBR) has raced every match race event and all three of our successful Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championships. Beyond these three, there have been numerous fantastic crew who all deserve a piece of this award. Our sport involves a great deal of teamwork, and it is the entire team that makes success happen. This award is for my entire team!"

Although Barkow's primary focus has been helming her Yngling with a goal of representing the U.S.A. at the 2008 Olympic Games in China, her performance in other classes, whether fleet or match racing, were what set her apart in 2007. Barkow started the year with her third consecutive win of the Rolex Miami OCR in the Yngling class. On task in the Yngling, she finished second at the North American Championship in Miami, won the Princess Sofia Trophy in Spain and collected silver at both Semaine Olympique Française in France and the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Portugal.

Barkow's turn on the match racing circuit was highlighted by wins at the Boat U.S. Santa Maria Cup in Annapolis, Md., and the Vitória Brasil Women's Cup in Brazil. Flying straight from Brazil to Houston, Texas, Barkow took the helm of a J/22 to close the year as she had started it -- collecting another championship title for the third consecutive time. She won US SAILING's Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship (IWKC) without having to sail the final race of the series after topping a field that included past winner and fellow Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year ('95, '01) Cory Sertl (Rochester, N.Y.), as well as Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.) who will represent the U.S.A. at the 2008 Olympic Games in the Laser Radial event. Only one other woman has won the Rolex IWKC multiple times: Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.) has won not only the regatta but also the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award a record-setting five times.

The 27-year-old Barkow grew up in a sailing family and started receiving national recognition as two-time ICSA (Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association) All-American (2001 and 2002) while studying Psychology at Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Va.). Since graduating from ODU, her single-minded focus has been her goal of competing at the Olympics in the Yngling class. The linchpin to that quest will be the Yngling World Championship in February which will be the final event in a series that will determine if Barkow's team represents the U.S.A. at the 2008 Olympic Games in China.

For additional information on the awards please visit www.ussailing.org/awards/rolex.

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 preparation, US SAILING championships, disabled sailing, offshore, one-design and women's events.

About US SAILING The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING) is the national governing body for sailing. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, the organization provides leadership for the sport of sailing in the United States. 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 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.