Kratzig wins women's match racing

Dana Paxton reports from St Petersburg, Florida

Thursday April 17th 2003, Author: Dana Paxton, Location: United Kingdom
From April 10-13 the St. Petersburg Yacht Club (SPYC), with support from title sponsor Rolex Watch U.S.A., hosted the Rolex Women's Match, an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) grade 4 women's match-racing event.

Elizabeth Kratzig went undefeated in the round-robin event to claim victory with her crew of Leah Hoepfner, Katie Lovelace and Sally Barkow, the 2001 champion.

“We weren’t expecting the win as we had never sailed together as a team,” said Kratzig. “Communication and boathandling were great on-board and that helped us in our starts and maneuvering around marks. In fact, we gained around every mark rounding.”

Organized to introduce women sailors to one-on-one match racing, the regatta featured a skills and rules clinic by match racing world champion and America's Cup skipper Ed Baird on April 10. Nine teams of women sailors participated in the weekend event, sailing 36 races - round robin-style - on Tampa Bay in Sonar keelboats.

“The clinic with Ed was helpful and he was so very entertaining to listen to,” said Kratzig. “Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and we learned a lot. He kept everyone’s attention going over the basics of match racing, which are important. We learned that the most important part of the race isn’t the start, but the finish!”

True to the regatta's mission of encouraging more women to try match racing, the Rolex Women's Match attracted women sailors of all ages and experience levels.

An awards ceremony was held Sunday at SPYC and was hosted by the event's principal race officer Tom Farquhar and regatta organizer Pat Seidenspinner, who also skippered a boat in the regatta to eighth place.

With her win, Kratzig earned an automatic invitation to the 2003 Rolex Osprey Cup,
an ISAF Grade 1 event. Kratzig is working toward a Yngling berth for the 2004 Olympic Games with Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year Cory Sertl and Jody Swanson.

Results: Final April 15 (36 matches completed) Finish, Skipper, Hometown,

1. Elizabeth Kratzig (Miami, Fla.) with Sally Barkow, Leah Hoepfner and
Katie Lovelace
2. Sarah Buckley (Chicago, Ill.) with Laurie Poppen, Chafee Emory and Lisa
3. Rachael Silverstein (St. Petersburg, Fla.) with Meredith Pelton, Kristin
Britt and Alexis Ackman
4. Nancy Zangerle (Cleveland, Ohio) with Susan McDowell, Susie Wulff and
Keven Eiber
5. Sandy Hayes (Scituate, Mass.) with Fiona Lockwood, Julie Wilkinson and
Sue Michos
6. Kathy Lundeen (Sheboygan, Wisc.) with Denise Strand, Laurie Jost and
Michele Villani
7. Charlie Arms (Vallejo Calif.) with Colleen Cooke, Jessamine Lewis and
Trisha Birkenstock
8. Pat Seidenspinner (St. Petersburg, Fla.) with Carole Bardes, Helen Larsen
and Brooke Taliaferro
9. Capucine Pin (Annapolis, Md.) with Dianne Sullivan, Lisa Tate and
Jennifer Wulff

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