New women's match race

Rolex Women's Match will include a match racing clinic by Ed Baird

Wednesday January 16th 2002, Author: Media Pro, Location: United States
From February 21-24 the waters of Tampa Bay, off St. Petersburg, Florida will be the site of the Rolex Women's Match, ISAF grade 4 women's match racing event. Organized to introduce women sailors to match racing, the regatta will feature a skills and rules clinic by match racing world champion and America's Cup skipper Ed Baird. Sailors of all skill levels are invited to apply at www.spyc.org.

"Match racing is intoxicating," said Baird, a Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and St. Petersburg Yacht Club (SPYC) member. "I haven't met anyone who has tried match racing and not enjoyed it. Even the very best sailors will falter and make mistakes. With two boats there's going to be a winner. Everybody gets a chance to have a victory. Even if you don't win your race, all of your sailing skills improve and that makes it a satisfying experience."

Known as a world-class regatta venue, SPYC will supply Sonar class keelboats as well as the expertise of Principal Race Officer Tom Farquhar. Farquhar and Pat Seidenspinner are the co-chairs of the Rolex Women's Match and also serve as co-chairs of the Rolex Osprey Cup, an ISAF grade 1 match race regatta, hosted annually by SPYC.

"After hosting elite women sailors for the Rolex Osprey Cup, we're really excited by the opportunity that Rolex has given us to host an entry-level event," said Seidenspinner. "Ed has an enormous amount of match race experience and he is a superb teacher. This will be a real treat for all who participate."

An innovative component of the four-day event is a crew listing service on the event website that gives individual sailors a chance to submit a sailing resume which will then be forwarded to skippers looking for crew.

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