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Distinguished sailors

JAN. 21 — After evaluating a shortlist of 10 male and female sailors who had been nominated for the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year, a panel of sailing journalists selected Jeff Linton from Tampa, Fla., and Sally Barkow from Nashotah, Wis., for these titles on Jan. 16, according to a recent press release.

Linton, 45, received his first nomination for the award in 2005 crewing aboard the winning boats at the Etchells World Championship and the J/24 Midwinters in Tampa, Fla. He is also known for his top-five finishes in the Lightning class that year. In 2007, Linton won this year’s Lightning World Championship in Athens, Greece, out of a fleet of 48 from around the globe, and won by just one point in the Lightning Winter Championship in St. Petersburg, Fla., out of 71 entries. He also took second in the Lightning Deep South Regatta in Savannah, Ga. and second overall in the Lightning Circuit out of 42 boats.

Linton says the hardest win was the Lightning Winter Championship because there are no restrictions on the number of entries. He is thrilled after 38 years of sailing to have attained this coveted title, according to the release.

This is the second year Barkow has won this title, her first being in 2005. At 27, she has already been nominated to the shortlist for the sixth consecutive year, according to the release.

Barkow won the Rolex Miami OCR in the Yngling class for the third consecutive year and won the Princess Sofia Trophy in Spain. On the racing circuit she won the Boat U.S. Santa Maria Cup in Annapolis, Md., and the Vitoria Brasil Women’s Cup in Brazil. With the help of her team, she cleaned up with attaining the US Sailing’s Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship gold for the third consecutive year, according to the release. Betsy Alison from Newport, R.I., is the only other woman who has won the Rolex IWKC multiple times.

Barkow thanked her team for helping her receive this title a second time and owes all of her success to them, according to the release.

— Elizabeth Ellis