Doyle’s One Design Chief and J/70 World Champion Jud Smith of Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA has been named the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.

The slate of finalists, nominated by members of US Sailing and determined by US Sailing, was presented to a panel of 28 accomplished sailing media professionals and past winners of the awards, who analyzed the merits of each finalist and individually voted to determine the ultimate winners using a weighted point system (1st place vote – 5 points; 2nd place vote – 3 points; 3rd place vote – 1 point).

Jud Smith tallied 116 points, including 20 first place votes.

Jud Smith won the 2018 J/70 World Championship

For those in the sailing world Jud Smith’s reputation and experience needs little introduction. Named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in 2006 and now for 2018, he has participated in and won some of the world’s most prolific and competitive one design races. Most recently he and his crew on Africa won the 2018 J/70 World Championship, his 10th Worlds title as crew and 3rd as the driver. In training for the Worlds Jud’s J/70, Africa, also won the overall title at the Marblehead NOOD regatta, winning the J/70 New Englands, placing 2nd at the Bacardi Cup Invitational in Miami, and placing 3rd at the Newport Regatta.

Two weeks after wrapping up the J/70 Worlds and the day after one of his daughters was married at the Eastern Yacht Club, Jud headed off to Australia for the Brisbane Etchells Worlds. He placed 2nd of the Grand Masters and 8th overall out of 94 boats.

Jud is always sure to make time for local sailors and has offered his coaching time for a J/70 Clinic on the weekends for the past few years. Jud will be the first to tell you that the crew is the most vital part of a J/70 program and has huge appreciation for his 2018 campaign crew of Lucas Calabrese, Will Felder, and Marc Gauthier.

Jud really does it all in the industry from sailmaking, designing, coaching, competing, pro-sailing, and giving so much of himself to better the sport for those around him

Jud will always make time amidst his busy regatta schedule to sail with his family, especially for the EYC Annual PHRF Regatta on the 4th of July and relax on the boat for the fireworks afterward.
Team Africa crew: Jud Smith, Lucas Calabrese, Will Felder and Marc Gauthier at the 2018 J/70 Worlds

Jud has assured us that he has no intent of slowing down, but after winning 10 World Championships and two Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Awards, his sailing career has certainly been a success thus far.

Jud’s top sailing achievements:

  • 2018 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year
  • 2018 J/70 World Champions in Marblehead. Crew: Lucas Calabrese, Will Felder, and Marc Gauthie
  • 2017 J/70 World Champions, Porto Cervo. Crew: Peter Duncan, Willem van Waay and Victor Diaz de Leon
  • 2006 Etchells Worlds Champion in Perth, Australia
  • 2006 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year
  • 1994 America’s Cup in San Diego, mainsail trimmer on Stars and Stripes.
  • 2015 J/70 North Americans Champion, San Diego
  • 2004 – 2010 Etchells North American Champion 6 consecutive years.

Jud Smith will be honored on Thursday, February 28, 2019, at the Awards Ceremony hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, where he will be celebrated by family and friends, teammates and crew, past winners, 2018 finalists, sailing dignitaries, and representatives from US Sailing and Rolex.

Training Regatta Summer of 2018 prior to Africa’s J70 Worlds win in Marblehead
Sparkle, Africa, Powerplay, and Relative Obscurity Line Up in training for Marblehead NOOD 2018. Photo Credit: Tony Rey of @Cloud10Racing
Africa and Shred racing in Marblehead. Photo Credit: Commodore Phil Smith
Scroll to Top