Storm Trysail Club member Steve Benjamin has been named the 2015 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in recognition of a year that featured 10 wins, including the Etchells North American Championship in Rye, NY and numerous wins in his offshore boats called SPOOKIE that is co-owned with his wife Heidi.

Benjamin’s dominance in the Etchells went beyond the North American Championship. He placed second out of 43 boats at the World Championship in Hong Kong. His Etchells teams won at the Piana Cup, Long Island Sound Championship and Coral Reef Cup, among others.

Benjamin 2In reflecting back on his successes, Benjamin commented on how everything came together for him and his teams in 2015. “It came down to all the quality time we were able to spend on the water together. We raced and practiced so much this year, it really helped us continue to improve from one event to the next, and be better teams.”

“This award goes to all the great sailors and crew I’ve had the opportunity to race with this year,” added Benjamin. “I had some incredible team members to help me every step of the way, and perhaps the biggest supporter of them all is my wife, Heidi.”

Steve and Heidi Benjamin's Carkeek 40, SPOOKIE, had a clean sweep of overall wins in every offshore race they entered in 2015, including Fort Lauderdale to Key West, Marblehead to Halifax, Ida Lewis Distance Race, and the Vineyard Race. For this achievement they won the Storm Trysail Club’s prestigious Monte Santo Trophy for 2015, an honor they earned in 2014 as well.

“I’ve been at this a long time, so this is truly an astonishing honor.”

Benjamin, son of a boatyard owner, started sailing at the age of nine when his parents introduced him to the sport through a junior sailing program at Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in Oyster Bay, NY. Benjamin went on to experience an outstanding college sailing career, earning College Sailor of the Year honors in 1978 as a member of the Yale University sailing team, and then on to earn a Silver Medal in the 470 Class at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

This next week Steve, Heidi and the SPOOKIE team will be competing at Quantum Key West Race Week on the latest SPOOKIE, a TP 52, following yet another win earned this week in the 41st Ft Lauderdale – Key West Race.

For more information on the Rolex awards

Quantum Key West Race Week


Lets go sailing.

"Alright now, this is a night start don't forget; so let's get somebody on lookout up on that bow...

Alright now, did you figure the current? For chrissake do I have to do everything? And don't forget to figure the daylight saving. What? No, you add an hour, for chrissake, can't anybody here sail a boat? What did he say? He said "turn off the engine". Oh, yeah. OK, how long 'til our start? Who's on the stopwatch? OK, you get back here outta the way and stay there.

Alright now, let's come about and get over near the committee boat. Alright, let's come about. COMIN' ABOUT! Wheres the handle, where's the handle - TAIL, willya, fer chrissake!! How's that? Take it in to the block. That's enough.

BANG! What gun was that? That was OUR GUN. Did you get that on the watch? Do you see that guy? Yeah, I see him. Alright now, we got five more minutes. Let's run the line for a second. You can't, YOU'RE ON PORT TACK. Oh, yeah, OK, let's come about again. COMIN' ABOUT! FOUR MINUTES, Well it's too crowded over here, let's get down to leeward where our air is clear.

CRASH!!!! What was that???? Well, put the stove in gimbals, for chrissake. Clean it up later, get up here. What the hell are you doing down there anyway? You can eat at home! THREE MINUTES...Did anybody center the prop? Well, center it, Charlie, don't stand there. There's a flashlight overhead in the doghouse. Well, try another one, I put all new batteries in yesterday. TWO MINUTES...Two minutes for chrissake where's the other end of the line, they got a line two miles long. We gotta come about. COMING ABOUT...OK, let it go letitgogoddamm it. Alright, get it in, get it in. It's fouled on the lifeline. DON'T JERK IT! You'll pull the goddam boat apart. Trim, trim, trim, OK, hold that. Where's the ------ing committee boat. We gotta come about again. COMING ABOUT! More turns, more turns. OK, cleat that. ONE MINUTE--Alright, slack everything, slack the jib, slack the main, SLACK THE MAIN...OK hold that ...THIRTY SECONDS...OK we're going for the line. Trim, trim, trim the main. FIFTEEN SECONDS...OK everybody up to windward....TEN SECONDS ...NINE, EIGHT, SEVEN, SIX, FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE.....for chrissake where's that gun...We're over the line. They'll never see us down here anyway. BANG! OK, we've started.

You did a great job with that stopwatch. OK, let's get these lines coiled up, I can't stand up in the cockpit. Good start, guys."