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Anna Tunnicliffe Honored at US SAILING's Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Ceremony

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: February 28, 2011
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Feb. 28, 2011

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Former Old Dominion sailing great Anna Tunnicliffe was celebrated as US SAILING's Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year during a luncheon held at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan on February 25. The award was formally announced in January and Tunnicliffe was chosen for her outstanding on-water sailing accomplishments in 2010.

Past award winners JJ Fetter (1986, ` 91, '97, '00) and Bora Gulari (2009) introduced Tunnicliffe and Stan Honey (Rolex Yachtsman of the Year), while Gary Jobson, president of US SAILING and long-time emcee for the event, warmed up the crowd by showing highlight videos of the two, which led, in turn, to emotional acceptance speeches. Tunnicliffe and Honey received specially engraved stainless steel and platinum Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Masters, symbolic of their achievements in excellence, from Rolex Watch U.S.A.'s Vice President, Director of Communications Peter Nicholson. Also in the audience were Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year Liz Baylis (2002), Sally Lindsay Honey (1973, '74) and Dawn Riley (1999).

"There were so many great nominees on the list this year, that to be picked is a great honor," said Tunnicliffe, who is the first woman in the award's history to earn it three years in a row*. "We had some great regattas this year, and we tried to come out of each one having learned at least one thing, so we could keep the fun factor involved and continue to pursue the dream of bringing home Olympic Gold in 2012."

During 2010, Tunnicliffe, a 2008 Laser Olympic Gold Medalist and member of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, won both the 2010 Snipe Women's Worlds and Laser Radial Women's North Americans and raced in the Elliott 6 Metre (with crew Molly Vandemoer of Redwood City, Calif. and Debbie Capozzi of Bayport, N.Y.) to win US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR; place second at French Sailing Week in Hyères, France; and take third at Skandia Sail For Gold in Weymouth, England, site of the 2012 Olympic Regatta. She won the XII International Women's Match Race Criterium in Calpe, Spain, sailed in Tom 28s, and was second at the Toyota International Match Race in Detroit, Michigan, in Ultimate 20s. She picked up a bronze medal in the match racing event at Kiel Week in Germany and also placed third in the BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup in Annapolis, Md., sailing in J/22s.

"I only sailed a few regattas without Molly and Debbie, so I'd like to say that they are not only amazing sailors but also great people, and I'm honored to have them as my friends," said Tunnicliffe.

The 28-year-old Tunnicliffe, a native of England, grew up in Perrysburg, Ohio, sailing from the North Cape Yacht Club in Michigan. Her college sailing career at Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Va.), where she earned ICSA All-American honors three times (2003, '04, '05), was highlighted with being named the 2005 Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year. She is married to Brad Funk, who also is campaigning for the 2012 Olympic Games in the Laser class.

Established in 1961 by US SAILING and sponsored by Rolex Watch, U.S.A. since 1980, the annual presentation of 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. Over its history the coveted award has been presented to 39 men and 32 women.

A video podcast from the 2010 awards luncheon, produced by Gary Jobson, is now available at http://bcove.me/jx7t5mg5. For additional racing results for each winner, please visit: http://about.ussailing.org/Awards/Rolex.htm

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