North Sails NEWS

January 11, 2019


A Successful Year On The Water Pays Off For North Experts

The annual rundown of the year’s “best in the U.S.” represents a wide range of accomplished sailors from various disciplines and at different stages of their respective careers. All Yachtsman finalists earned their spot on this exclusive list by winning a J/Boat World Championship in 2018. These finalists are seasoned veterans in the sport, and have been tested over time and exceeded expectations. Each sailor on this list represent their own unique pathway after a victorious season on the water within their respective classes.

Some of these sailors were selected based on their consistent exceptional performances throughout the 2018 season and some were chosen for their signature win(s) at major international or national events. These sailors have mastered their craft and have focused on the importance of precision and performance in their competitive sailing efforts, which has shown as a result in their success at major events.

Among the group of fantastic sailors chosen for the shortlist, we are pleased to share that our very own Will Welles and Zeke Horowitz have made the Finalist List for US Sailing’s 2018 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award. Both Will and Zeke have shown utmost talent in One Design classes all over the world, and we couldn’t be happier for the both of them after all of the hard work they have put into their 2018 sailing season.

Will Welles (Portsmouth, R.I.) – Will Welles is a Two-time J/24 World Champion works out of North Sails Rhode Island and has more than eighteen years of sailmaking experience. Will has won multiple National and North American titles since he joined North in 2007. In 2018, Will won his second J/24 World Championship title in five years. Welles was the runner-up at the J/24 North American Championship and later in the year he dominated the fleet of 89 boats at Worlds.

Zeke Horowitz (Annapolis, MD.) – Zeke Horowitz is also a two-time World Champion and is a key member of the North Sails One Design Team based in Annapolis, MD since 2015. Zeke attended the College of Charleston where he was selected as an Honorable Mention All-American twice as well as an Academic All-Conference All-American. Zeke holds eight North American / National championship titles in various classes. In 2018, Zeke won the J/22 World Championship and secured the Flying Scot North American Championship title. He also placed second at the Viper 640 North American Championship.

Awards Criteria: What Makes A Yachtsman?

  1. Must be eligible to represent the USA under World Sailing regulations, and actually representing the USA at the event(s) for which the nominee is being considered for the award.
  2. Awards recognize the individual male and female U.S. sailor who has demonstrated on-the-water excellence in the calendar year. In the past, there have been outstanding situations resulting in a skipper and crew nomination being accepted (Olympic years).
  3. Must have won a major international or national event and/or performed at a high level consistently in multiple events against elite competition.
    There is no minimum age required to win the award.
  4. The awards are not based on career racing results (lifetime achievements) or philanthropic contributions to the sport.

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 of the Year awards are considered the sport’s ultimate recognition of an individual’s outstanding on-the-water achievements for the calendar year.

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