Steve Benjamin, a past Olympic medalist, and Annie Haeger, an Olympic hopeful, today were presented the US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards for 2015.
Benjamin (60, Norwalk, Conn.) and Haeger (26, East Troy, Wis.) are first-time winners of the award that was first presented in 1961. They were feted at a celebratory luncheon that included family and guests in the New York Yacht Club's Model Room. Both are members of the New York Yacht Club. In honor of their outstanding achievements each was presented a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master timepiece and a framed print of them in action from US Sailing.
“This is one of the top achievements I can look back on in my career, along with the Olympics and college sailor of the year,” said Benjamin, who is the oldest recipient of the yachtsman award. “Through an amazing odyssey of setbacks and opportunities, I have had the support and encouragement from hundreds of dedicated crews, coaches, friends and family. Today’s Rolex award is for all of us.”
“This is really a thrill. It’s something I didn’t expect,” said Haeger. “It’s amazing to be mentioned in the same sentence with people like Steve and my coach, Dave Ullman. They’re people that I have a great deal of respect for.”