Who is Daniela Moroz, the youngest US Sailing’s 2016 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year

Foiling prodigy Daniela Moroz has reached the pinnacle of her sport at the age of 15. She becomes the youngest winner of these awards in history.

On the world’s largest stage, the high school sophomore rose to the occasion on the final day of racing at the IKA Formula Kite World Championship last September in Weifang-Binhai, China.

Daniela Moroz went one step better by becoming the youngest to ever win the male or female award. Moroz was 15 years old last year—she turned 16 last month—when she burst onto the kitesurfing scene and ascended to the top step of the winner’s podium.

The awards celebrate the accomplishments of the winners from the previous calendar year. Moroz and Paine were among 18 nominees for both awards who reflect the variety sailing offers as a sport for the ages. Whether young or old, male or female, able or disabled, sailing has a place for anyone willing to push their personal boundaries and learn how to interact with oceanic and atmospheric conditions. The sport is also adapting to new hydrodynamic influences with the introduction of foiling boards and boats.

I was completely surprised when they told me I’d won,” said Moroz. “I didn’t think I would get it because I don’t regard myself as a sailor. Kiting is a very different sport and I thought they would choose a sailor. And then when they told me I’d won I thought, ‘Oh my god! This actually happened.’

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