US SAILING's Rolex IWKC Day 2 Recap: Four Winners in Five Races Set The Pace As Racing Gets Underway
Communications Manager, US SAILING
Media Pro Int'l. for Rolex Watch U.S.A.
Rochester, N.Y., USA (August 30, 2011) – There were smiles all around when five races were sailed today on Lake Ontario as competition at the 14th edition of US SAILING's Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship (Rolex IWKC) got underway in earnest. With no races able to be held yesterday due to lack of breeze, today saw the official first championship races held under abundant sunshine with temperatures in the upper 70s. More importantly, the breeze, ranging from 8-12 knots, was “idyllic” according to Regatta Chairman Chris Dorsey (Irondequoit, N.Y.) who said that the Rochester Yacht Club Race Committee, spectators, and the competitors especially, were all happy with their day on the water.
Four winners in five races, along with a tight mix of competitors finishing second and third in individual races, has resulted in a tight battle at the top of the scoreboard, as some of the most elite women sailors in the U.S.A. strutted their stuff in J/22s on Lake Ontario.
The defending champions – Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.), Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Liz Bower (Rochester, N.Y.) – won the first race of the day and were followed across the finish line by the local team of Donna Faust (Webster), with crew Sarah DePeters (Rochester), Joy Martin (Stanley) and Jennifer Norton (Rochester). Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wisc.), who won this championship three consecutive times (‘03, ‘05, and ‘07) before sitting out the 2009 event because of scheduling conflicts, drove to a third in the race. She is competing with Annie Lush (Poole, Dorset, GBR), Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) and Jackie Campbell (Washington, D.C.).
The second race of the day was won by Olympian Carol Cronin (Jamestown, R.I.), who has Kim Couranz (Annapolis, Md.), Margaret Podlich (Severna Park, Md.) and Karina Vogen Shelton (Watsonville, Calif.) in crew. Cronin, who finished the 2009 Rolex IWKC in third overall sailing with Couranz and Podlich, is sailing the championship for the 10th time. She won the title in 1991 as a crew. Second in the race was the young team of local sailors Katja Sertl (Rochester), Christine Moloney (Glenwood), Merritt Moran (Pittsford) and Julia Wiesner (Rochester). Another local sailor, Kristen Werner (Rochester), was third in race two with help from her Canadian crew of Brandy Cocoroch (Toronto), Katelyn Thompson (Whistler) and Samantha Webster (Toronto).
According to one observer Barkow’s team “crushed it” in race three to edge out Tunnicliffe’s team for the win. Third in that race was JoAnn Fisher (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.), Lesley Cook (Annapolis), Linda Epstein (Arlington, Mass.), Terry Hamilton (Charleston, S.C.) and Lynda Hiller (Annapolis).
Cronin’s team took their second win of the day in the fourth race, with the local team of Cory Sertl (Rochester), Amy Seymour Moran (Pittsford), Annemarie Cook (Rochester) and Jane Mastrandrea (Webster) finishing second. Third in race four was Kristen Lane (Tiburon, Calif.), Molly Carapiet (Belvedere, Calif.), Genny Tulloch (Tiburon) and Jennifer Morgan-Glass (Seattle, Wash.).
Sertl, who has won this championship twice and is a two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, won the final race of the day, while Donna Faust’s local team picked up their second second-place finish for the day. Third for the race was Elizabeth Backus Barker (Rocky River, Ohio), Kate Backus Keane (Bay Village, Ohio) and Taylor Robinson (Palo Alto, Calif.). Barker and Keane are cousins, and have been friends with Robinson since age four or five. The trio, who grew up sailing together on Lake Erie, has a unique relationship with this event.
“Our mothers first introduced us to the Rolex IWKC at a young age, not by having us sail with them, but rather always missing the first week of us going back to school,” said Barker. “From an early age, we knew this regatta had to be something special.”
Overall standings after five races have Barkow’s team holding the lead. Their 18th-place finish in the final race of the day has been counted as their drop score, for a total of 13 points. Tied at 17 points each is Cronin Racing followed by Sertl’s Team Lucy. Tunnicliffe’s Team McLaren stands fourth overall with 18 points and Faust’s Team WWJD is fifth with 21.
“It was really hard sailing today,” said Carol Cronin explaining that the breeze was very shifty with streaks of pressure that were narrow across the course. “Because it [the breeze] was off the land, there were puffs and lulls and streaks of breeze and you’ve got to stay in the puffs and out of the holes.” She commended her crew for a great job spotting the breeze, adding “All I had to do was get off the starting line and drive.” Of her position in the overall standings, she said that she was not feeling any pressure and was just happy to be here. “There are a lot of good sailors here.”
Racing at the 2011 Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship continues tomorrow, Wednesday, August 30, for the 36 competing teams, with the warning signal for the first race sounding at 10:00 a.m. Daily awards and social events take place at the conclusion of racing. Racing concludes on Thursday, September 1, and will culminate with the crowning of a new champion. The Rolex Gala closes the event with the presentation of US SAILING’s Bengt Julin Trophy and a Rolex timepiece to the winning boat’s skipper.
For recaps, results, photos and more, visit the event website at http://riwkc.ussailing.org/RIWKC_Home.htm.
Listen to these interviews with skippers Sally Barkow and Kayla Ellis.
Follow us on Twitter for regular updates throughout the Championship.
About the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship
Every two years women from around the globe set sail for the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship, hoping to lay claim to one of sailing’s most revered titles while experiencing high-caliber racing alongside top competitors of the sport. One of the longest running women’s one-design regattas in existence, “The Rolex Women’s,” as veterans often refer to it, has hosted over 2,400 sailors from 23 countries since its founding in 1985, and has been credited with advancing the overall level of women’s competitive sailing and encouraging more participation in the sport. For more information: http://riwkc.ussailing.org/RIWKC_Home.htm
About US SAILING
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. 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 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. 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.
About Rochester Yacht Club
Incorporated in 1877, 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. Seven miles from the heart of Rochester, Monroe County, New York, RYC is located on the south shore of Lake Ontario and is accessible from the Genesee River.