Gothenburg, Sweden (June 30, 2012) – US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider collected two podium positions on the final day of racing at the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship. Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.) with her ‘Team Maclaren’ of Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) won a silver medal, while team mates Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.) and her ‘Team 7’ of Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (Miami, Fla.) and Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) won bronze. Held June 25-30 in Gothenburg, Sweden, the regatta hosted 16 of the world’s top-ranked international teams.
“It is bitter sweet,” said Tunnicliffe of the team’s silver medal performance. “We are happy to have made the finals and come away with a medal at the worlds; however, we were shooting for the gold and are disappointed with a couple points in each race where we gave it away. Team Finland sailed extremely well and we are very excited for them.”
With a near-perfect day of 15-18 knots of wind and steady sunshine, the course was held close to spectators. The final match was a “first to win three” series, and saw Tunnicliffe paired again Silja Lehtinen (FIN). Racing was very close and aggressive, with tacking duels on every beat. Tunnicliffe received two penalties in the first match and was unable to offset them, which lead to the first match loss. The second and third matches were so close, that it was a photo finish at the final deciding match. The win was not meant to be for Tunnicliffe, Vandemoer and Capozzi, who just six months ago won gold at the 2011 Worlds in Perth, AUS.
Tunnicliffe advanced from the semi-final round pair-up against Barkow. Barkow went on to race against Claire Leroy (FRA) in the petit-final round for bronze, and won two matches and lost one.
The morning’s racing began with the semi-final round where Tunnicliffe raced again Barkow. In the first match of the “first to win three points” series, Barkow received a penalty in the prestart for not keeping clear while tacking. That gave Tunnicliffe an advantage on the first leg. She led the match, although it was very close. With a second penalty to Barkow on the last run, Tunnicliffe was free to finish with the first win.
The second match began similar to the first with a penalty to Barkow, but by the first windward mark both boats were working to secure an advantage. A penalty to Tunnicliffe offset Barkow’s and they were even. Tunnicliffe managed to control downwind, through the next lap and secure another win. At the conclusion of the match, it was determined that Barkow was responsible for a collision in the prestart and was assessed a one-point penalty. This meant the score was now Tunnicliffe two wins, Barkow negative one.
Barkow came back strong to win the third match, but it a win wasn’t to be as Tunnicliffe then won the fourth and final match, securing her position in the final match.
Tunnicliffe advanced from the preliminary round robin undefeated, then in the gold round she lost only two matches, one of them to Lehtinen.
In less than 30 days, Tunnicliffe, Vandemoer and Capozzi will represent Team USA win women’s match racing at the 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth and Portland, U.K. The Olympic Sailing Regatta takes place July 29 - August 11.
The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. US Sailing supports these elite athletes with funding, coaching and training. The title sponsor of the team is Sperry Top-Sider; other sponsors include Rolex Watch USA, Atlantis WeatherGear, LaserPerformance, Harken Team McLube, Bow Down Training, New England Ropes and Trinity Yachts.