US Sailing Association On Thursday, February 1, 2024, as part of US Sailing’s National Sailing Programs Symposium, the best U.S. sailor athletes of 2023 were honored among family, friends, peers, competitors, and contributors to the sport of sailing.
Charlie Enright (Barrington, RI) and Christina Wolfe (Orcas, WA) were awarded the 2023 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Award and were celebrated along with fellow 2023 award finalists Betsy Alison, Erika Reineke, 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.