Monday, 12 October 2009

RIWKC: We Won with a Day to Spare

Jaimie Carlson of Rolex USA, Anna, Debbie, Molly, Liz at the Gala Awards Reception at Rochester YC. Image copyright Dan Nerney/Rolex.

by Anna Tunnicliffe

we won the US Sailing Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championships, with a race to spare. We finished the regatta with first places in the first two races of the day, for a total of 12 points overall, giving us enough of a lead to where we didn't have to sail the last race. In second place was Cory Sertl from Rochester NY, with 22 points. Winning a three-way tie for third, was Carol Cronin from Jamestown, RI with 25 points.

On the way to another win. Image copyright Dan Nerney/Rolex.

It was windy and rainy when we woke up this morning for the final day of racing. The rain stopped, however, in time for us to venture out to the racecourse. The wind was still up as we got out there, and since we had had wind all night, it was very wavy. We did our warm up as usual, and then on our downwind run, I saw something in the water. I was just about to say, ”We'll round this lobster pot as a leeward mark”, and then I saw the arm waving. We quickly dropped the spinnaker, and picked up the woman who had fallen in the water. It was a bit scary because no-one was around her. She had fallen off her boat during a gybe, so her team was still getting their spinnaker down and working their way upwind. We gave her some of our spare clothes, as we had learned our lesson earlier in the week. She was very cold, but seemed to be OK. After dropping her off with her boat again, we continued our preparation for the races.

The first race, we had a fabulous start, but sailed ourselves back in the fleet a bit towards the top, as we got stuck between two winds in the middle. But on the downwind, my team did a fabulous job of keeping us going fast and we surged from 6th place to second by the end of the leg. Upwind, we passed the leader and then extended on the downwind leg to take the win.

The second race, again we had a great start, but came out only OK at the top mark. We rounded the mark in 5th, but again surged into the lead on the downwind leg, holding onto the lead to win the race and the regatta.

My team did a great job in putting us in the right position, and staying alert no matter what our situation. I'm excited to sail with them again in two weeks in St. Petersburg, FL, for the Osprey Cup, a Grade 1 Women's Match Race event.

We are all very excited with how we finished overall. We have been saying over the past couple of times we have competed in this event, that we wanted to win it soon. And now we have. It was great, and we are all happy.

Anna Tunncliffe
Rolex International Womens Keelboat Championships

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