Thursday, 14 January 2010

Anna Tunnicliffe: Ready To Tackle The World

TeamTunnicliffe Chasing Down The Opposition. Image copyright, John Payne, January 2010.

by Anna Tunnicliffe

In November last year, I made the hard decision to focus on Women’s Match Racing for 2012 London Olympics. It was a tough decision and took a great deal of soul searching. I love sailing/racing the Laser Radial and the competition in the fleet is very fierce. However, the new Olympic discipline of Women’s Match Racing, combined with the Elliot 6m (an overgrown, physically demanding dinghy) pulled at my heart strings and convinced me to follow that path.

It is quite a different type of sailing. Firstly, the biggest adjustment is sailing with other people. Oh my goodness, there were people on board with whom I could discuss tactics. I still make the final decision, but it is quite enlightening to hear different perspectives. And then, secondly, of course, there is only one other boat on the start line. Certainly something to mess with one’s head.

But that is the other appeal about match racing, women’s or open. In fleet racing, make a mistake and you usually have time to make up for it. In match racing, make a mistake and the fight back has to be instantaneous, although the race isn’t won until the first boat crosses the line. So many more alternatives going through one’s head at one time.

TeamTunnicliffe: Debbie (white hat), Molly (black hat), Anna (no hat). Image copyright, John Payne, January 2010.

And then there is the teamwork. Finding the right people to make up the team is not an easy task. I have been very lucky to have several girls willing to sail with me. For the Elliot 6m, I sail with Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi. I think sometimes, I am not the most genial person to have at the back of the boat. But like any successful business team, not everyone agrees all the time, but everyone respects everyone’s opinion.

Note from SailRaceWin: Anna goes on to mention the increased cost of a keelboat campaign with a crew of several people, over that of a single-hander - with the need to transport, house and feed between 3 and 5 people for each event attended. This adds to the search for funds for an Olympic campaign!

Anna Tunnicliffe

No comments: