Tunnicliffe into the lead

Laser Radial Gold medallist fights back at the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship

Wednesday August 31st 2011, Author: Jan Harley, Location: United States

When they say the wait is worth it, it usually is, and in this case the wait for the elusive breeze on Lake Ontario paid off for 36 teams on the second day of racing at US Sailing’s Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship. It was early afternoon before the light and variable wind gave way and breeze began to build from the east, eventually settling in around 12 knots which allowed a spirited game of leap frog to take place amongst the teams at the top of the standings.

The first win of the day went to an experienced local team, which briefly moved them up from third to second in the overall standings. Team Lucy is helmed by Cory Sertl, a two-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year who has won this championship twice, sailing with long-time crew Amy Seymour Moran, Annemarie Cook and Jane Mastrandrea.

When the defending champions won race two of the day – Anna Tunnicliffe, Debbie Capozzi, Molly Vandemoer and Liz Bower racing as Team Maclaren – they too made a leap, going from fourth to first in the overall standings. Finishing fifth in the race sent yesterday’s leaders – Sally Barkow, Annie Lush, Alana O’Reilly and Jackie Campbell – down to third overall, while Sertl’s Team Lucy remained second overall on the strength of a third-place in the race. Things were heating up though, as Tunnicliffe and Sertl were now tied on points at 21, with Barkow just one point behind.

Winning the third and final race of the day was Kirsten Werner, with Brandy Cocoroch, Katelyn Thompson and Samantha Webster. Werner was followed across the line by Barkow and Tunnicliffe, a result that popped Barkow back up to second overall.

“The racing was great,” said Debbie Capozzi, Tunnicliffe’s crew on Team Maclaren, who has crewed to the win of this event four times. “It was a great day. We had to wait a little bit for breeze, but it was well worth it. It’s a great fleet, it’s a really deep fleet and we felt we did pretty well today. The fleet is so good that if you miss one little decision, you’re going to get stalled. It’s grinding it out, keeping with the top pack and then making gains where you can. We made a lot of good decisions that we’re psyched with and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

With today’s three races added to the five completed yesterday, the standings point to a dramatic showdown when the final day of championship racing takes place tomorrow, Thursday, September 1. Anna Tunnicliffe’s Team MacLaren is first overall, followed by Sally Barkow’s team, both tied at 24 points. Cory Sertl’s Team Lucy is five points back, followed by Carol Cronin and JoAnn Fisher, who are tied on 29 pts.

Racing at the 2011 Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship concludes tomorrow, Thursday, 1 September, for the 36 competing teams. The warning signal for the first race of the day will sound at 10:00 a.m., with the crowning of a new champion at the conclusion of racing. The Rolex Gala closes the event with the presentation of US SAILING’s Bengt Julin Trophy and a Rolex timepiece to the winning boat’s skipper.


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