FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jake Fish, US SAILING Communications Manager
ST. THOMAS, USVI (November 15, 2009) - Light winds worked to the benefit of US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) member, Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.), on the final day of US SAILING's 2009 U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship (USWMRC), hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club and sailed in Cowpet Bay. Tulloch was joined by crew Chafee Emory (Newport, R.I.), Elizabeth Hall (Chevy Chase, Md.) and Alana O'Reilly.
Tulloch upset fellow USSTAG teammate, Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), and her crew of Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer (Redwood City, Calif.), Liz Bower (Rochester, N.Y.), and Alice Manard (Charleston, S.C.) in the finals. Manard and Vandemoer are both members of USSTAG. Team Tunnicliffe had dominated the first three days of the championship, losing just one match.
Shifty conditions and a breeze barely reaching six knots set the scene for the final two matches of the semifinals and for the four match finals. In the semifinals, Tunnicliffe, the 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist in the Laser Radial, defeated Annie Gardner-Nelson (San Diego, Calif.) in three matches. Tulloch bested USSTAG member, Katie Pilley-Lovell (New Orleans, La.), in three matches to force a Tunnicliffe-Tulloch face off in the finals. Team Tunnicliffe had gone 3-0 against Team Tulloch in their first three round robin matches.
In the finals, Tulloch won the first and third match. Tunnicliffe won the second match, leaving her no choice but to win the fourth match in order to stay in the game. In the fourth match, Tunnicliffe won the start, but lost ground to Tulloch when the two split tacks and Tulloch got a brisker breeze. Tulloch continued to lead in the match until reaching the second rounding of the weather mark where she took a penalty after not giving Tunnicliffe room. The two teams then sailed downwind towards the finish changing leads a few times. Four to five boat lengths from the finish, Tunnicliffe and Tulloch were one boat length apart when Tunnicliffe jibed to port thinking she could cross Tulloch's bow, but found she couldn't and picked up a penalty. They were only three boat lengths from the finish and both teams were on a beam reach for the finish. The two teams both jibed, and Tulloch came out of the jibe with better boat speed and held it straight to the finish line.
"We had a good time and a lot of fun," says Tulloch. "We're about 30 pounds lighter than Anna's team and I think that helped us in the light winds today."
The win for Tulloch is especially sweet after losing to Tunnicliffe in the finals of last year's USWMRC. "It feels great to win this championship," Tulloch says. "We enjoy racing in St. Thomas. The conditions are great."
In the petit finals, Pilley-Lovell beat Annie Gardner-Nelson (San Diego, Calif.) to finish third.
The 2009 U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship for the Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy, is sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A., Dry Creek Vineyard, Predict Wind and Sail Proud. This event is part of US SAILING's National Championship series.
For complete results, daily recaps, and photos please visit the event website at http://championships.ussailing.org/Adult/USWMRC.htm.
For more on the US SAILING National Championships, please visit http://championships.ussailing.org/.
- Race report content provided by Carol Bareuther of the St. Thomas Yacht Club.
About US SAILING
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING) is the national governing body for sailing. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, the organization provides leadership for the sport of sailing in the United States. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
About Rolex Watch U.S.A.
Since Rolex Watch U.S.A. first presented timepieces to America's Cup defenders in 1958, the company has consistently recognized and encouraged excellence in every important arena of competitive sailing, including US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics preparation, US SAILING championships, disabled sailing, offshore, one-design and women's events. Please visit us at http://www.rolex.com/.
About Dry Creek Vineyard
Recognized in sailing circles and known for its sailboat labels. The Dry Creek Vineyard family has expressed its passion for sailing since the early 1980s by designing wine labels featuring classic sailing yachts. Founded in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard is located in the heart of Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, Calif. For more information on Dry Creek Vineyard please visit www.drycreekvineyard.com.
SailProud is a lifestyle apparel company focused on a dedication to transitional performance and stylish, nautical design. The brand is now focused on growing to become a passionate community of sailors, yachters, and maritime enthusiasts worldwide. At SailProud we pride ourselves on a relentless focus on quality, performance, and comfort - all while remaining passionate about growing the sport and giving back to worthy causes. Please visit us at http://sailproud.com/.
PredictWind provides professional subscriptions giving participants access to a revolutionary set of tools to pre-empt weather conditions. PredictWind combines sophisticated wind prediction technology with local topography maps to create the highest resolution marine forecast available. Used by the winner of the last two Americas Cups, PredictWind is the choice of experts and boasts outstanding feedback from some of the world’s best sailors. www.predictwind.com.