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Jake Fish, US SAILING, 401-683-0800; email@example.com
US SAILING’S 2009 Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship
Three Races Establish Leaders – Day 1 Report
Rochester, N.Y. (October 8, 2009) – The first day of racing at US SAILING’S 2009 Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship got underway today after yesterday’s racing was cancelled due to extreme weather conditions. After three races – run by host Rochester Yacht Club’s Race Committee and Principal Race Officer Hank Stuart – the overall leader is Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.) with Canada’s Jennifer Provan in second and South Africa’s Dominique Provoyeur in third. In total, 35 teams representing five countries and 15 U.S. states are competing Oct. 7-10.
“We had three great races with very tricky conditions,” said Tunnicliffe, the 2008 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year and a member of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. “It was very shifty and very puffy. My team did a great job finding our way around the course. We’re happy with our start to this event.” The team finished the day with a 3-6 in the first two races and won the day’s final race to top the leader board.
Although Tunnicliffe is best known for her prowess in the Laser Radial class and more recently for her success in the newly-adopted Olympic event of match racing, her three crew members are sailors with whom she has spent a lot of time sailing. The team includes Liz Bower, junior sailing coach at RYC, Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer (Redwood City, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.), this is their first time together as a team. “Sailing with different people gives me a chance to learn a new spot on the boat,” said Capozzi, a 2008 US Olympian and member of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. “Basically, I am the person who is in everyone’s way. I’ve done bow every other time I’ve sailed this event. I’m psyched to be sailing with the people I’m sailing with and psyched every day to go sailing.”
Another team that is new to sailing together is second-place Team Sunrise, skippered by Jennifer Provan (Toronto, Ontario, CAN), a two-time Canadian Olympian and two-time Canadian Sailor of the Year. With crew Laurin Derrick, Katie Abbott and Martha Henderson, the team collected a 6-3-3 score line and is two points out of the lead. “We were really happy with the day,” said Henderson, who competed with Abbott and Provan in the 2008 Olympics in the Yngling class. “We came out of it with really consistent results. It was a crazy, really squirrely day. Someone said it’s called ‘Left Chester’ here for the prevailing left-hand shifts, but there were some big righties that came in. The race committee did a great job.”
For the team from South Africa, skippered by Dominique Provoyeur, today’s racing was a chance to apply to this new venue what the team has learned from previous sailing experiences. “It was tricky sailing,” she said of the day. “It was puffy and gusty coming off the land. We had to keep our eyes on the pressure.” The conditions gave the team some trouble. “We didn’t have it easy coming off the start in any race. We were over early in the second race and had to go back. But, we kept things positive and our eyes on the other boats. Our best race was probably the third race. We were mid-fleet up the first beat and had nice shift at top mark. That pulled us back in. I’m very pleased with our results. It’s our first day racing as a team; our first time sailing together was two days ago. We’re thoroughly stoked!”
Young sailor Kaitlin Storck (Huntington, N.Y.), who was named the 2008 Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year, won the day’s first race and now sits in fourth place. Although it was local sailor Donna Faust and her Team Instigator (Webster, N.Y.) that had the honor of leading the fleet to the first weather mark, they couldn’t hold on and finished fourth in the race for seventh overall.
Top local sailor and two-time Olympian Cory Sertl (Rochester) won the day’s second race after finishing 13th in the first. “Today was a tough day,” said Sertl. “There was a lot going on. You could look very good or very bad. We had to come back with not-so-great starts. In the second race we were able to do well and we won. We lead the race, although when Dominique was going into the second beat, if we had tacked she would have crossed us. So at that point we had to be patient and wait for our shift to come back. We were patient and stayed on the left so we were still ahead.”
As one of the proponents of bringing this regatta to Rochester after Houston Yacht Club passed on hosting due to Hurricane Ike, Sertl had the combined pressure of chairing the regatta’s developmental Next Step to Rolex Program. And if that isn’t enough, her daughter Katja is competing with skipper Merritt Moran, along with Julia Wiesner, Bridget Lawless and Martha Parker. “I think Amy was checking it out,” she said of her crew Amy Moran, Merritt’s mother. Rounding out the team are her good friends Jane Mastrandrea and Annemarie Cook. “My job is to make the boat go fast, so I can’t look around.”
With a fifth in the third race Sertl and Team Lucy is in fifth overall ahead of Amanda Tasealaar in sixth place. “I had a lot of fun today,” said Taselaar. “This was our first time racing J/22s and I didn’t expect to do that well.” Amanda and her younger sister Claudia are sailing with Elizabeth Kratzig (Miami, Fla.) and Chafee Emory (Newport, R.I.).
Annapolis sailor JoAnn Fisher is in eighth place, while Carol Cronin (Jamestown, R.I.), the 1999 Rolex IWKC champion with skipper Pat Connerney (Newport, R.I.) is in ninth. “We had an average day,” said Cronin, who represented the US at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. “We had two good starts, a bad start in the third race. We had some speed issues downwind that I think we solved. It was really hard, very shifty. You couldn’t wait for a shift to get to you. There were two breezes fighting and if you got caught to one side you were hosed.”
Completing the top ten is Marieke Poulie (Maarssen, NA, NED).
Rolex Watch U.S.A. is the title sponsor with national sponsorship from Atlantis, Dry Creek Vineyard, Kattack and PredictWind. Other sponsors to date include: Shumway Marine, Home Care of Rochester, Trilliant Jewelers, Monroe County Sports Commission, Lake Beverage, West Marine, North Sails, Coca-Cola of Rochester, Jacob Stein Foods, Palmer Foods and Sam’s Club. The Rolex IWKC is a US SAILING Championship and hosted by the Rochester Yacht Club.
Full results are online at http://championships.ussailing.org/Adult/RIWKC.htm
For more information, including, visit the event website www.riwkc.com where fans around the Mworld can go to view photos from official event photographer Dan Nerney, read the daily reports, link to Twitter (twitter/ussailing) and follow racing live with real-time GPS tracking by Kattack. Compliments of Rolex, daily highlights videos produced by T2P.tv will be uploaded each evening (after 9pm eastern) to both www.t2p.tv and http://www.ussailing.org/video/fliqz/index.html.
About the Rolex IWKC
Inaugurated in 1985 at the instigation of the US SAILING’s Women’s Championship Committee, the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship quickly became the premier women’s sailing event in the U.S. and worldwide. Held biennially, the event provides women keelboat and offshore sailors high-quality racing and an opportunity to compete with top national and international sailors. Rolex Watch U.S.A. has sponsored the regatta since its inception. The event is part of US SAILING’s Championships calendar.
The Rolex IWKC joins other prestigious Rolex-sponsored events including the Rolex Miami OCR, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex, the Rolex Big Boat Series and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. For more information visit www.regattanews.com, the online press portal for Rolex yachting events.
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 the Rochester Yacht Club
Incorporated in 1877, the Rochester Yacht Club celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2002 and is still going strong. The first regatta was held in 1877 with eight sail boats competing and most recently it hosted 102 boats at the J/22 World Championship. Its purpose is to provide and encourage interests and instruction in areas of yachts and yachting, seamanship, racing and traditions of yachting. By car, RYC is seven miles from the heart of Rochester, Monroe County, New York, and it is located on the south shore of Lake Ontario and accessible from the Genesee River.
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