| Olympic Hopeful
While currently training in Argentina, Annie Haeger was named to the nation's highest honor Friday. US Sailing announced Steve Benjamin and Annie Haeger as the 2015 Rolex winners. Haeger sails predominantly on a 470 with her crew Brianna Provancha. Together the girls have reached medal rounds numerous times this season in international competition while preparing for a bid to the 2016 Rio Olympics. They won the 470 Women's US nationals and the Rio test event.
Annie has been chronicled here throughout the past decade as she excelled in Optis, won X Junior Inland, stormed the youth Laser radial and 420 scene and then dominated the college arena. Annie won college singlehanded nationals three of her four years, sailed consistently as a member of the Boston College Eagles as a member of the team racing and co-ed teams and won All-American status as a female sailor but also as a co-ed; five All American designations in her four college years. She was a women's College Sailor of the Year and was named the top Eagle athlete in her senior year --- and, yes, they play hockey and basketball there.
Annie grew up on Lake Beulah but in her young life garnered sailing instruction attending sailing classes at Ft. Lauderdale, Lake Forest and Lake Beulah. She proudly descends from her grandmother's sailing prowess. Just ask her. She speaks glowingly of her now deceased grandmother, Gan Haeger, who led the way for Annie. Rarely will you see Annie not sailing without her pearl earrings thanks to her memory of Gan. Annie is a product of the Inland family - her own: grandfather Milt (still an MC sailor at 80+), parents Kent and Julie and brothers Kent and Will; and lake family: all her young teammates who grew up in Optis and X boats on Beulah. If you have an opportunity to hear her speak, she will mention the FAMILY she has in the ILYA and how that special tie continues wherever she sails with support and encouragement at each venue.
The entire family sails and contributes back to the sport. Rarely is there an X or ILYA Championship without mom Julie on race committee. Dad Kent is the spark plug for youth participation in the C scow class. This is a family who gives back to the sport. On her trips home, you will see Annie jumping on boats to CREW!! She accompanies her cousin Andrew Bohl or can be seen crewing for friends on the C. It's about the fun of sailing no matter what position or what boat.
Simply put, she is at outstanding individual! On top of that, she is an expert sailor. Annie would note which aspect of her life is more important. She has demonstrated how her personal attributes of the highest calibre have allowed her to succeed and share her sailing accomplishments with others.
Congratulations to Annie on this highest award.
And to top it off this is the third consecutive year the award has been presented to an Inland Lake Yachting Association sailor. Brian Porter had the honor to present Stephanie Roble with the award and now, in a most touching turn of events, best friend Steph Roble will present to Annie Haeger. Congrats to all three for bringing our name forward.