Communications Manager, US SAILING
Media Pro Int'l. for Rolex Watch U.S.A.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (August 24, 2011) – US SAILING’s 2011 Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship (IWKC), hosted by the Rochester Yacht Club (N.Y.) gets underway on Monday, August 29 in the first of four days of fleet racing in J/22s on Lake Ontario. This year’s edition of the Rolex IWKC features 36 teams representing 16 U.S. states and three foreign countries (Canada, Great Britain and The Netherlands). This biennial regatta, marking its 14th edition in 26 years, will offer these top sailors the opportunity to experience high-level competition along with social activities designed to promote camaraderie. The Rolex Gala, on Thursday, September 1, will conclude the event with the presentation of US SAILING’s Bengt Julin Trophy and a Rolex timepiece to the winning boat’s skipper. For a team roster, results, video, photos, Facebook/Twitter updates and daily racing reports, please visit the event website at http://riwkc.ussailing.org.
Many world-renown sailors are returning to the event this year, including the top three teams from 2009. The defending champion team is back for another shot at the title. They compete full-time as “Team Maclaren” for a 2012 Olympic berth in Women’s Match Racing as members of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. Team Maclaren includes Olympic Gold medalist and Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.), Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) and Liz Bower (Rochester, N.Y.).
After a break from the 2009 competition, three-time champion and Olympian Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.) returns with her US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics crew Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) along with Annie Lush (Bournemouth, U.K.) and Jacqueline Campbell (Washington, D.C.).
They’ll face stiff competition from 2009 second-place finisher and top hometown team of Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Cory Sertl (Rochester, N.Y.), Amy Moran (Pittsford, N.Y.), Annemarie Cook (Rochester, N.Y.) and Jane Mastrandrea (Webster, N.Y.); and from third-place finisher, Olympian and past champion Carol Cronin (Jamestown, R.I.) returns with Margaret Podlich (Severna Park, Md.), Kim Couranz (Annapolis, Md.) and new addition Karina Vogen Shelton (Watsonville, Calif.).
A number of promising young newcomers have entered to compete in this talented and diverse fleet. Skipper Allie Blecher (Fullerton, Calif.) is a four-time ICSA All-American and the 2010 Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year. Blecher’s team includes, Alyssa Aitken (Sandwich, Mass.), Molly Robinson (Sausalito, Calif.) and Sarah Somes (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.). All four have sailed, or are still sailing, for College of Charleston. Blecher and Aitken won the 2010 ICSA National Women’s Championship.
In her three years at Boston College, Anne Haeger (Lake Forest, Ill.) has been named an ICSA All-American each year and was crowned the Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year for 2011. She is currently helming a 470 campaign for the 2012 Olympics and a member of the US Sailing Development Team. Haeger’s crew includes, Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wis.), Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Ill.) and Darby Smith (Marblehead, Mass.). Roble, also a three-time ICSA All-American at Old Dominion University (class of 2011) and is currently driving a match race campaign for the 2012 Olympics. Shea, a two-time ICSA All-American at Connecticut College, is currently trimming main for a match race campaign for the 2012 Olympics, while Darby, an outstanding crew from the University of South Florida, is currently doing bow for the same match race campaign.
Skipper Kristen Lane’s (Tiburon, Calif.) team features several standout crew members, including current US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics member Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.), who is campaigning in women’s match racing for the 2012 Olympics. Also joining the team are Molly Carapiet (Belvedere, Calif.) and Jennifer Morgan-Glass (Seattle, Wash.).
Not only will all four corners of the U.S. be represented with teams coming from northern Massachusetts down to the tip of Florida and out west from Washington state to southern California, but also Canada with four teams and The Netherlands with the return of the sixth-place finishers from the 2009 Rolex IWKC. The Netherlands team has been sailing together for the past five years and skipper Marike Poulie (Amsterdam), first sailed the Rolex IWKC in 1995 in Newport, R.I. Since then she has sailed many J/22 events with Bregje Lodewikus (Haarlem), Renske Verbeek (Amsterdam) and Leontien Benders (Hilversum).
The 2011 Rolex IWKC begins with registration, measurement and practice racing, followed by the official start of the championship. The Opening Ceremonies take place at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 28. Racing begins Monday, August 29. The first warning signal for racing each day will be given at 10:00 a.m., with daily awards and social events taking place at the conclusion of racing each day. View the 2011 Rolex IWKC roster for a complete list of competing sailors.
US SAILING’s 2011 Rolex IWKC Notes:
• The Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship is part of US SAILING’s National Adult Championships series, sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A.
• Eleven races are scheduled on Lake Ontario near the mouth of the Genesee River.
• Three races are required to be completed to constitute a championship. When fewer than five races have been completed, a boat’s series score will be the total of all her race scores. When five or more races have been completed, a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores excluding her worst score.
• First-place prizes for each race and prizes for 1st through 10th place overall will be awarded to skippers and crews. The winners’ name will be engraved upon US SAILING’s Bengt Julin Trophy.
• Principal Race Officer: Hank Stuart
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.