Steph gets nominated in final 3 woman for Rolex ISAF Sailor of the year award 2014

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I was a nominee for Isaf Rolex sailor of the year in Palma on 4th November. For those outside the sailing world, this is a pretty big award and to be on the nominated list with superstars like Jimmi spithill – winner Of the Americas cup2013 – was a huge honour. Rolex sponsor the evening and do not hold back. Eric and I were on the top table sat either side of me was Jimmi himself and the king of Constantine who provided huge entertainment for the evening. The music and display of all the nominees was amazing being showed on all the big screens around us. We all had to give a small speech and the the nominate winner which in the woman’s case was the duo Brazil sailors.
To be honest I did not have a chance since the voting is done by the MNA ‘s- the member nations. Since kiteboarding is not an Olympic sport yet, I think the chance of winning this award is very unlikely. However- never say never!!

It was just superb to have been nominated and for kiteboarding as a sport it is pretty big.


Who inspired you to take up sailing?

My father – Spud Rowsell (A racing dinghy boat builder who raced to a high level) We lived on the sea from a young age & everyone around me raced small dinghies..

What was the first boat you ever sailed and how old were you?

International Cadet – aged 7.
Name your first sailing club


Exe Sailing Club
What was the first topper at the Anglian Water Junior Series at Hollowell event you competed in and in what year?

I was a crew in the cadet @ The national championships at Burnam-On Sea – 1981
What are you personal sailing career highlights?

Representing GB in the Cadet class from age 14/ University team Racing/ Starting & running a sailing school – Spinnakers sailing centre where I shared my love to many new & young people that have gone on to make sailing their sport & career. More recently – KiteRacing has been a superb way to continue my racing career in a massively evolving sport. Since having 3 boys, I have shared this experience – especially with the oldest who has taken kite racing to the next level at age 17. Regaining the world kite racing title for the 5th time this year was extra special .
What are your future sailing goals?

I would love to think that I can still represent GB at the Olympic Games – and my goal is to do this with one of our boys.

Who has had the greatest impact on your sailing and career and why?

Many people – Michael Mc Namara was a superb coach & role model, my Father – Spud and my husband – Eric.
Who is your sailing hero?

Tricky one this – so many talents & huge achievements. In kite racing – Johnny Heineken and Adam Koch have been pushing the sport forward.

What other sports do you enjoy?

Kitesurfing, Kitefoiling, Snowkiting, Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding


What does being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards mean to you and how would you feel if you were voted the winner?

Its an incredible moment to receive this nomination and I am still in shock. I take each day as it comes & try to do my best for the sport – lets see – Kite Racing has a huge future & in some way being recognised is really exciting for our growing sport.


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October 29, 2014

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