ODU Sailing Greats Honored With Rolex Awards

March 04, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 4, 2009

Alumnus of the ODU Sailing Team - each of whom is an Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association All American - celebrate the awarding of the 2008 Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards to two of their own - Anna Tunnicliffe and Terry Hutchinson. Presented annually, the Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards are widely regarded as the top honors in competitive sailing. Left to right: Mitch Brindley ('89), Brad Funk ('02), Anna Tunnicliffe Funk ('05), Terry Hutchinson ('90), and Shelley Schepker Hutchinson ('92). Brindley is also the current Head Coach of the ODU Sailing Team. Both Funk and Tunnicliffe sailed for Brindley at ODU, and Brindley was Tunnicliffe's coach at the 2008 Olympic Games in China.

New York, N.Y. (March 3, 2009) - While it may be moored in the concrete canyons of Manhattan, the New York Yacht Club's unequivocal ties to the sea were on full display last Friday during US SAILING's Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards luncheon. The club's renowned Model Room was the setting for celebrating Terry Hutchinson's (Annapolis, Md.) and Anna Tunnicliffe's (Plantation, Fla.) 2008 competitive sailing achievements as family, friends, sailing dignitaries and members of the press looked on.

Emceeing the event, which included video highlights of Hutchinson and Tunnicliffe's rise to the top of the sport, was one of sailing's most familiar media personalities, Gary Jobson, with additional tributes from US SAILING Executive Director Charlie Leighton and 2007 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Jeff Linton. Rolex Watch U.S.A.'s Vice President and Director of Communications Peter Nicholson awarded each winner with a specially engraved stainless steel and platinum Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master.

Determined from nominations submitted by the members of US SAILING, a short list of nine male and five female sailors was evaluated by a panel of sailing journalists who ultimately selected Hutchinson and Tunnicliffe the 2008 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year.

Hutchinson, a first-time winner, redefined himself as a well-rounded fleet racer after emerging from his stint as tactician aboard Emirates Team New Zealand in the 32nd America's Cup. He racked up four major European victories in the TP52 before skippering to become that class's World Champion. He also scored major U.S. regatta victories in the Farr 40, Melges 24, M30 and Melges 32 classes, also as tactician.

"Every morning I get up and go to work doing something that I love," said the 40-year-old Hutchinson, a four-time Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) All-American and two-time College Sailor of the Year ('89 and '90) at Old Dominion University, who is a professional sailor by trade. "This is one of the coolest moments in my sailing career."

Tunnicliffe, also a first-time winner, was cited for her rise to number one in the world rankings and her gold-medal performance in the Laser Radial at the 2008 Olympic Games in China. Her excellent 2008 sailing resume made her the panel's unanimous choice for the award.

"I'm very, very excited," said the 26-year-old Tunnicliffe, a three-time ICSA All-American (at Old Dominion University) and the 2005 Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year. "It's a fantastic end to a great year." Tunnicliffe sails full-time and has announced her intention to train for the 2012 Olympics. "Winning the Olympic medal was a dream, and branching out to other boats and expanding myself as a sailor is one of my goals. I want to win another gold medal for the U.S.A."

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.

A video podcast from the awards luncheon, produced by Gary Jobson, is available www.jobsonsailing.com, as well as at www.ussailing.org/awards/rolex.

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 supporting the US SAILING Team AlphaGraphics, 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.