Olympic gold medalist and 2011 Travel & Training Fund winner Anna Tunnicliffe has won the women’s 2011 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year award. The award, considered to be the sport’s highest honor, has only been awarded to two other American sailors in its 17-year history. This was Tunnicliffe’s fourth nomination and second win, having been presented with the prestigious award for the first time in 2009.
Tunnicliffe and her crew recently won the 2011 Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta, the first of two selection events to determine the U.S. representative in women’s match racing, which will make its Olympic debut in London next year. They are No. 1 in the world rankings and won the overall gold medal for the 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup season.
Fighting off stiff competition from Dee Caffari (Great Britain), Sarah-Quita Offringa (Aruba) and Alexandra Rickham (Great Britain), Tunnicliffe took to the stage in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at the International Sailing Federation's Annual Conference, to receive the award.
“It is so amazing to win the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year award again, and I truly did not expect it this year, as I was up against so many great competitors, and so many fine accomplishments. When I first read the bios of all the competitors, it is pretty impressive and then when they showed the videos of everybody it puts it all into a new perspective – you know you are up against great competition,” said Tunnicliffe of her achievement.