Only match racing

An update about this April's Rolex Women’s Match at St Petersburg, FL

Wednesday February 6th 2008, Author: Dana Paxton, Location: United States
The St Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida has announced a change in format to the Rolex Women’s Match, the ISAF grade 3 match racing regatta, scheduled for April 10-13, 2008. Created in 2002 to introduce women sailors to one-on-one match racing and accompanied with skills clinics and practical on-the-water experience, the event will now consist solely of round-robin match racing.

“With the increased in interest in women’s match racing around the world, specifically for inclusion at the 2012 Olympic Games, we felt our initial mission of getting more women sailors into match racing has been accomplished,” said Pat Seidenspinner, co-chair of the event with Tom Farquhar. “Now our focus is to run as many matches as we can over the four days. Additionally, we will be giving prospective match racing umpires an opportunity to hone their skills and knowledge when we host an umpires seminar immediately prior to the Rolex Women’s Match.”

Raced on Tampa Bay in Sonar class keelboats, Seidenspinner and her race management team will organize up to 90 matches with the winning skipper and runner-up gaining an automatic invitation to SPYC’s Rolex Osprey Cup, an ISAF grade 1 match racing regatta, schedule for October 22-25.

The list of skippers who have accepted an invitation includes: Louise Bienvenue (Metarie, LA), JoAnn Fisher (Annapolis, MD), Corey Hall (St. Petersburg), Sandy Hayes (Scituate, MA), Liz Hjorth (Marina del Rey, CA), Lauren Knoles (East Lansing, MI). Katy Lovell (New Orleans, LA), Sue McDowell (Bay Village, OH), Rossana Ramos (Brasilia, Brazil) and Rachael Silverstein (St. Petersburg).

“In the past six years we have noticed a steady increase in the number of women sailors who now are proficient at match racing,” said Seidenspinner. “Now that there is a greater demand for match racing events in the U.S., we want to encourage other yacht clubs to run them so that all of the women sailors can get a chance to try the exciting duel on the water that is match racing.”

To further that goal, SPYC will host an US Sailing umpire seminar on April 9. Presented by Steve Wrigley, an international umpire, international judge and a member of the US SAILING umpire committee, the seminar is designed to train prospective umpires in the skills they will need to become an umpire, and to provide continuing education for certified US SAILING umpires. The one-day program will utilize video and computer models to develop proper umpire communications and the anticipation skills necessary to be successful as an umpire.

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