Women's match racing

Rolex Women's Match to take place in Tampa with training from top skipper

Tuesday March 4th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States
From April 10-13 the waters of Tampa Bay, off St. Petersburg, Fla., will be the site of the Rolex Women’s Match, an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) grade 4 women’s match racing event. Organised 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 ( click here).

"Match racing is intoxicating," said Baird, a Rolex Yachtsman of the Year
and St. Petersburg Yacht Club member, who has recently been commentating on the America's Cup. "I haven't met anyone who has tried match racing and not enjoyed it. With two boats there's always going to be a clear winner. Everybody gets a chance to have a victory. But, if you don't win your race, you still see your skills improve rapidly, and that's fun."

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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