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US Sailing hands out annual Rolex honors

Brian Porter of Fontana, Wis., and Jody Starck of Amherst, N.J., were named US Sailing’s 2013 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year.

The two sailors topped a shortlist of nine men and six women who were nominated by members of US Sailing and evaluated by a panel of sailing journalists to determine who was worthy of America’s highest sailing distinction for the calendar year.

Porter, a first-time nominee, skippered to win the Sperry-Top Sider Melges 24 world championship, and Starck (nee Swanson), already a two-time winner of the Rolex honor, won the Lightning world championship as crew and the Lightning Atlantic Coast Championship as skipper.

Porter and Starck will be formally recognized on Feb. 25 during a luncheon at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, where they will receive specially engraved Rolex timepieces.

“The sport needs heroes and this is our way to certify heroes and inspire others to follow in their footsteps,” US Sailing president Tom Hubbell said in a statement.