Tunnicliffe takes the lead

Laser Radial gold medallist shows the boys the way at the Knickerbocker Cup match racing

Saturday August 29th 2009, Author: Andrea Watson, Location: United Kingdom
After a very long day that had it all - rain, no wind, postponements, afternoon wind, more rain and exciting racing - Anna Tunnicliffe, one of two women’s teams competing in the 2009 Knickerbocker Cup, captured the top spot on the leader board. The morning was extremely frustrating for the race committee and the racers as the winds on Manhasset Bay were light, variable and the wind shifted almost 90°, causing the Race Committee to execute numerous course changes.

According to Sue Miller, Manhasset Bay YC Commodore and PRO, and Jeanne Rosenthal, Assistant PRO, “the course chances were too numerous to count. Wonderful wind in the afternoon allowed us to get in lots of matches which were very exciting.” That’s an understatement as spectators were treated to many close calls, collisions, and very heated exchanges between skippers, especially at the dial-up as teams aggressively tried to gain control of the start by forcing their competitor into the RC boat. Matches along the course were no less exciting, as the mark roundings were closely fought and the leads shifted back and forth between competitors.

Anna Tunnicliffe, Gus, (USA) when asked about her strategy that put her team on the top, commented, “Our goal coming into the event was to keep advancing through the rounds. The first round we needed to finish in the top 8 to advance to the second round, and we feel we did the best we could to accomplish that goal. There are a lot of teams that still have plenty of races left that we have no control over, so we will see at the end of the Round Robin what our standing is.”

Danielle Powers, a local racer, who won the Ed du Moulin-Dennis Conner Junior Match Racing Trophy a few years ago, raced with Sally Barkow (USA), Rigging Systems, when one of their team was injured. “What a wonderful opportunity for me to race with this team. I have always wanted to participate in the Knickerbocker Cup, as I grew up in the Knickerbocker Junior Sailing Program and volunteered for the event for many years. It is incredible what you can learn in such a short time. I look forward to coming back tomorrow.”

The day ended with the daily Umpires’ debrief that was especially interesting and reminded everyone, once again, why so many prefer to match race. The lion’s share of the discussion revolved around two really exciting finishes by Taylor Canfield (Team ISV), both of which involved penalties that had Canfield maneuvering to block his competitor so he could complete his penalty and still try to win the match. Discussion
was lively as Umpires and competitors discussed the rules and options available to the racers.

Saturday will be a make or break day for the competitors. The weather forecast is for soaking rain but lots of wind. There are a lot of matches left for all the teams, but with Phil Robertson, Waka Racing (NZ) and Reuben Corbett, Black Sheep Racing (NZ) nipping at Tunnicliffe’s heels, it should be very interesting indeed. By end of day tomorrow, we should have a good idea who will be in the running for the final exciting day on Sunday when we present the 2009 Knickerbocker Cup to a deserving team who raced fast, found pressure and understood the vagaries of wind and current on Manhasset Bay.

Results as of 8/28/2009:
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) 7-4
Phil Robinson (NZ) 6-2
Reuben Corbett (NZ) 6-5
Chris Van Tol (USA) 5-3
Laurie Jury (NZ) 5-6
Dave Perry (USA) 4-1
Sally Barkow (USA) 4-4
Taylor Canfield (ISV) 4-4
Keith Swinton (AUS) 3-2
Juan Ignacio Grimaldi (ARG) 3-5
Rick Fornander (SWE) 1-4
Jakub Pawluk (POL) 0-8

Thomson Reuters is a major sponsor of the 2009 Knickerbocker Cup. The world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, Thomson Reuters combines industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, scientific, healthcare and media markets.

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