Enright and Wolfe Awarded Rolex Honors

Two ocean-racing champions earn the coveted Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards for 2023.
Charlie Enright and Christina Wolfe with their 2023 Rolex awards
2023 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Charlie Enright and Rolex Yachtswoman of the year Christina Wolfe earn their Rolex timepieces in February. Lexi Pline/US Sailing

Charlie Enright, of Barrington, Rhode Island, and Christina Wolfe, of Orcas, Washington, have been awarded the 2023 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Award, selected from a shortlist that included Betsy Alison and Erika Reineke and Steve Hunt and Allan Terhune, Jr. 

The winners were presented with the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Award trophy along with specially engraved Rolex Yacht-Master timepieces. These honorees join an elite group of notable national sailors.  

As Skipper, Charlie Enright led the 11th Hour Racing Team to become the first American flagged team to ever win The Ocean Race in 2023. In his third shot at the elusive Ocean Race Trophy, the win had been over 10 years in the making for his team, and over 6 years in the making for 11th Hour Racing.    

Of the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award, Charlie Enright said “It’s iconic. It makes me think of all the people who have come before all of us. I’ve done a lot of sailing with some of the other finalists who were nominated, and I’ve certainly learned a lot from all of them. This is an individual award in theory, but it takes a village no matter what you’re doing, and I can’t say enough about all the teammates that we had in this endeavor.” 

Christina Wolfe is an accomplished offshore sailor, having put thousands of offshore miles under her belt. Wolfe is best known for her doublehanded sailing, which she does often with her husband, Justin. In 2023, Wolfe achieved 1st Overall ORC, 2nd Overall IRC, and Double-handed Line Honors in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, first female skipper overall in the Rolex Fastnet Race, and first in IRC 2 at the De Guingand Bowl, all achieved doublehanded.   

“Never in a million years did I expect to be standing on this stage, let alone in the room with all of you,” said Christina Wolfe. “This is an incredible honor for me to be up here on this stage. I don’t sail for a living, but when I do sail, it’s the most alive that I feel, and I know many of you feel that as well. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to do this, to see these iconic races, and to meet inspiring people.” 

In January, three men and three women were chosen as finalists for US Sailing’s 2023 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards. 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 nominees are highly distinguished and talented, and the nomination panel was especially impressed by their growth and depth of achievements. Yachtsman and Yachtswoman finalists earned their spot on this exclusive list by dominating their respective classes and showing true variety in their sailing accomplishments. All six of these sailors represent their own unique pathway in the sport, have demonstrated on-the-water excellence at international and national events, and have brought global recognition to sailing while representing the United States. 

At US Sailing’s National Sailing Programs Symposium, the organizational presented its Community Sailing Awards to the following individuals.

Excellence in Instruction 
Jodi Weinbecker (Jacksonville, FL) 

The Excellence in Instruction Award recognizes an individual who has consistently demonstrated excellence in instructing, training, or making presentations at local, regional, or national seminars, conferences, or workshops. 

Jodi Weinbecker is an instructor, trainer, mentor, listener, spirit lifter, and an active US Sailing Level 1 Instructor Trainer who led 12 Level 1 Instructor Trainer Courses in 2023. Weinbecker uses a growth mindset approach coupled with appropriate age and physical developmental strategies to elicit skill and learning gains. Audiences of adults, teens, and youth in Florida have all benefited from Weinbecker’s expertise and guidance. 

Creative Innovations in Programming 
Boothbay Sea and Science Center (East Boothbay, ME) 

The Creative Innovations in Programming Award recognizes those programs or individuals who have successfully found new and different methods for teaching sailing. 

Boothbay Sea and Science Center (BSSC) has developed partnership programs that integrate sea, science, observation skills, and real time data collection and analysis. BSSC programs foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the waterways and industries in Maine, to have a positive economic impact worldwide, and potentially stimulate economic growth to the Northeast region while centered on combining sailing and environmental sciences for all ages. More information on BSSC can be found at www.boothbayseaandsciencecenter.org/.  

Outstanding Community Sailing Program  
Alameda Community Sailing Center (Alameda, CA)

The Outstanding Community Sailing Program Award is given annually to a program that has made notable contributions to promote public access sailing.

Alameda Community Sailing (ACSC) offers a robust assortment of learn-to-sail programs – day camps, after-school sailing, adult and family classes, US Sailing Instructor Certification courses, Open Sail Saturdays, the occasional regatta, and Community Sailing Days open to all with free life-vest giveaways. ACSC also provides needs-based scholarships and granted over $50,000 in sailing camp scholarships in 2023. They have formed partnerships with local community groups in Alameda and the San Francisco Bay Area to recruit and retain sailors from non-traditional sailing backgrounds. More information on ACSC can be found at www.sailalameda.org.  

Outstanding Program Director 
Emily C. Taylor (Nantucket, MA)

The Outstanding Program Director Award is given annually to an individual who has made notable contributions to promote public access sailing in the development and organization of a sailing program. 

Emily C. Taylor is a selfless volunteer in Community Sailing and has been the fearless leader at Nantucket Community Sailing (NCS) for over 15 years. Taylor is a respected Level 1 Instructor Trainer and a mentor for new Level 1 Instructors in her Southern Massachusetts region. NCS is a US Sailing Accredited Community Sailing Center because of her hard work improving systems, safety procedures, and implementing new curriculum.  

Outstanding Organizational Leader
Paul Lang (San Diego, CA)

The Outstanding Organizational Leader Award honors an exceptional individual who has made notable contributions to an organization that have resulted in membership growth, positive financial development, or increased community awareness or integration.  

Paul Lang has led a staff of almost 50 sailing instructors and over 90 more wakeboarding, surfing, and paddling instructors to teach watersports activities to over 40,000 participants at Mission Bay Aquatic Center (MBAC). Paul has ensured accurate grading for more than 1,500 students in MBAC’s college credit courses and somehow finds additional time to volunteer for several committees within US Sailing.  Paul has demonstrated extraordinary performance for MBAC, the San Diego area, and Southern California region this year.  

Volunteer of the Year 
Alan Posnack (Alton Bay, NH)

The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes an individual whose contributions went ‘above and beyond’ while not receiving any financial compensation.

Alan Posnack is actively involved in nearly all aspects of the Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association youth sailing operations. Paul helps with the website and online registration and develops new programming and course content. Paul has single-handedly pulled in hundreds of thousands of dollars in the donated-boat program. Paul is invaluable to the Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association and has been a tireless volunteer supporting and promoting the sport of sailing in the Northeast for decades.   

More than Ten Years of Hallmark Performance 
US Sailing Center Martin County (Jensen Beach, FL)

The More Than 10 Years of Hallmark Performance Award is given annually to a program that has a track record of providing sailing education, training, and public access to their community. 

US Sailing Center Martin County (USCMC) is year-round program with five employees, 300 members, hundreds of volunteers, five high school sailing programs, twelve recurring winter-time regattas, and a 10-week summer camp with over 500 campers participating. USCMC runs unique partner programs for autistic and learning-challenged young adults, for at-risk teenagers, and for service persons’ children. With dedication to creating access to the sport of sailing and over a decade of measurable success, USCMC was recently awarded an extension on their lease of the property because of their contribution to the Martin County Florida community. More information on USCMC can be found at www.usscmc.org.

Jim Kilroy Outstanding Outreach & Inclusion 
Community Sailing New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)

The Jim Kilroy Outstanding Outreach and Inclusion Award, named in honor of Mr. John B. “Jim” Kilroy, Sr., is given annually to a Program Director or Program that has made notable contributions to promote public access sailing by finding and including people in their program that would normally have no access to sailing. 

Community Sailing New Orleans (CSNO) outreach initiatives have created a welcoming environment that encourages individuals from all backgrounds, regardless of age, race, ability, or socio-economic status, to discover the joys of sailing. By fostering inclusivity, CSNO has successfully broken down barriers and created meaningful opportunities for underserved populations to engage with the sport. CSNO has gone above and beyond to collaborate with local New Orleans schools, community centers, and organizations, actively introducing young people to the joys of sailing. They have partnered with 20 unique programs in 2023 alone! By providing scholarships, hosting workshops, and partnering with educational institutions, CSNO has created avenues for Louisiana children and adults who might not have otherwise learned how to sail. More information on CSNO can be found at www.nolacommunitysailing.org.  

Martin A. Luray Award  
Jamie Jones (Westerville, OH)

The Martin A. Luray Award, known as the “Marty,” is presented annually to a deserving recipient who has made an outstanding and unselfish contribution to further public access sailing. The Marty is Community Sailing’s highest honor. 

Jamie Jones has built the Central Ohio High School Sailing Association from the ground up and led the Hoover Sailing Club’s robust youth and adult summer programming. Jones has held multiple leadership roles for his organization, regional sailing associations, and US Sailing Committees, as well as received numerous nominations and awards for Community Sailing. Jones has given immeasurable contributions to the Central Ohio area’s explosive youth sailing program growth, mentoring a path from learn to sail to learn to teach in his high school programs and at Hoover Sailing Club, and has had an impact through leadership at the national level.