Two other Northeast sailors also honored at NSPS

© US Sailing/Lexi Pline

On Thursday, February 1, 2024, as part of US Sailing’s National Sailing Programs Symposium in Savannah, GA, 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. 

Northeast Sailors receive Community Sailing Award and Sailing Association Award

Also presented during the Symposium were the US Sailing Community Sailing Awards, honoring individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to the sailing community in 2023. Recipients were nominated by their peers in the sailing community through a public nomination form and reviewed and selected by current members of the US Sailing Community Sailing Committee. 

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.  

Virginia Long Sail Training Service & Support Award: Jane Pimentel (Westport, CT)

The Sail Training Service and Support Award in honor of Virginia Long, commonly called “The Ginny,” honors an individual who unselfishly assists and enables a sailing program or sailing instruction in a supportive role. Recipients of this award are those whose outstanding efforts improve sailing education programs and instruction in the United States. 

The winner of this year’s Ginny, Jane Pimentel, has seemingly made it her dual mission to create new sailors while simultaneously improving the level of instructor training in her region. Her sailing school, Longshore Sailing School, puts over 1,000 junior sailors and 250 adults on the water annually, with many coming by way of scholarship. Many adults also go on to become instructors at the school. Much of her success is due to the culture she’s created. As all good leaders do, Pimentel has established a staff culture of continuous improvement, collaboration, and empowerment, understanding that accountability and compassion go hand in hand. 

Her nominator may have put it best when they wrote, “She has helped create a welcoming, supportive, and accessible community for those to not only have fun, but to learn. She has shown herself to be a shining example of what dedication to the sport of sailing/boating truly is.” 

Pimentel’s regional impact has been equally impressive. In 2023 alone, Longshore Sailing School hosted seven US Sailing Level 1 Instructor courses, and she herself taught thirteen courses at a variety of venues. These numbers reflect the highest number of courses hosted, or taught, at any level for US Sailing last year. 

Sailing programs across Long Island have benefited from being able to send their staff to her venue and sailing instructors across the country have benefited from having her share her experience and expertise. However, she will be the first to share that for all that she gives back, she equally benefits from the work she does. In her own words, “I have found that being an Instructor Trainer helps keep the ‘light’ alive when it comes to running sailing programs. It really gives a great look into what our next sailing educators are like and how we can best help them. I love being an Instructor Trainer and always learn something new from each course.” 

For a complete list of 2023 honorees, visit