Young Woman Sailor of the Year

Mission Statement:

In order to promote and to support the sport of sailing, the (FWSA) wishes to establish the FWSA Young Woman Sailor of the Year Award (YWSA.) First established in 2008 to promote and to support sailing, this trophy is awarded to a female resident of Florida with no age limit. She should be dedicated to training to compete in the world of sailboat racing.

Nomination forms for the trophy are available at the January FWSA meeting to FWSA members. Completed forms are to be returned to the YWSA Chair one month before the FWSA annual May meeting. The YWSA Committee determines the recipient and awards the trophy and a cash contribution at the annual meeting.

2022 YWSYA Award Recipient Kaitlin Leibel

Florida Women's Sailing Association on the west coast of Florida has promoted women in sailing since 1973. One of the most significant ways they promote women in sailing is through their annual Young Woman Sailor of the Year Award. This prestigious award signifies both accomplishment within the sport of sailing as well as a monetary award that helps the sailor to continue their sailing career. This year's award is given to Kaitlyn Liebel of Bradenton, FL for her impressive abilities on the water.

Kaitlyn Liebel started her sailing career at Sarasota Youth Sailing and has been competitively sailing since 2014 in many fleets including the Opti, 420, VX One, J24, Nacra 15, J121/ORC and Melges 15. Her versatility and outcomes set Kaitlyn apart in the world of female sailors. More recently in 2021 some of Kaitlyn's accomplishments include 3rd place at the 5th Annual Bluster on the Bay, Clearwater, FL and 2nd place at the US Sailing Youth Championships, Sarasota, FL in the Nacra 15. In the Club 420 Kaitlyn took 2nd place at the Venetian Cup, Venice, FL and 1st place at the 73rd Annual Labor Day Regatta in Sarasota, FL. She has also demonstrated just how versatile she is with 1st place wins as Female Skipper, Amateur and Youth in multiple 2022 VX One Regattas including VX One Winter Series Event, Bacardi Cup Invitational and for the second year in a row at Charleston Race Week.

Both on and off the water Kaitlyn is an impressive young lady. She graduates from St. Stephen's Episcopal School this week and on May 2nd she signed her letter of commitment to attend and sail for Jacksonville University. Kaitlyn will be coaching at Sarasota Youth Sailing this summer prior to leaving for college. Although the women of FWSA will miss seeing Kaitlyn out on the Sarasota Bay, they know with this award the organization is helping Kaitlyn to continue to do great things within the sailing community. Kaitlyn is a role model for young female sailors across the country and globe and FWSA is proud to recognize her achievements and leadership.