Roble and Barkow take early lead in Semi-Final Round
Key Biscayne, Fla. (October 28, 2011) – Where once there were eight teams, now there are four teams remaining in the 2011 U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta in Key Biscayne, Fla. After completion of the second Round Robin this morning by PRO Ron Drucker and the Key Biscayne Yacht Club Race Committee, the top four teams advanced to the Semi-Final Round. After three flights, Stephanie Roble (Chicago, Ill.) leads Genny Tulloch (Sausalito, Calif.) with two wins, one loss; while in the other Semi-Final match up Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.) leads Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.).
Tulloch, who sails with Alice Manard Leonard and Jenn Chamberlin, won the Round Robins and had the advantage of selecting her opponent. She chose Roble who was fourth overall in the Round Robins.
The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics team of Tulloch, Leonard and Chamberlin easily won the first match and went into the second, where they lost to Roble.
With a win to each team, the third match in the “first-to-win-four” series would give one team an edge into Saturday’s concluding matches. Roble and Tulloch had a very close third match and it was down to the line for an almost photo finish. Roble’s spinnaker barely edged out Tulloch’s at the finish line for the win.
“We’re feeling really great; I’m excited about our finishes,” said Roble, who sails with Darby Smith and Maggie Shea. “Near the finish, Genny was able to jibe on top of us and cove us. She was getting closer and closer, and closing the distance between us. We knew she was going to hold us out from jibing to the finish line. We weren’t sure if she would do a double jibe or a fake jibe. When she jibed we went with her as if she was doing a double jibe, it was really close and exciting. I looked over (at the committee boat) and my spinnaker trimmer did a really good job easing the spinnaker to cross first.
“We had three great exciting against Genny and two came out to our favor, so we’re excited to have two wins.”
In the other Semi-Final match-up between Barkow and Tunnicliffe, Barkow, who sails with Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham and Alana O'Reilly, won the first match, and then Tunnicliffe won the second. In the third match it was an even start with boats splitting tacks. Tunnicliffe, with Molly Vandeomoer and Debbie Capozzi, quickly tacked back to cover. From there it was an all-out tacking duel up the weather leg. Tunnicliffe and her Team Maclaren continued to lead the race and coming into the finish it looked like their lead would give them a win. Barkow was doing all she could to take the lead. A last gasp within two boat lengths of the finish line incurred a penalty and it was a win to Tunnicliffe.
“We get to fight hard to the end of every race,” said Barkow who finished the day with two wins, one loss against Tunnicliffe. “It’s stressful, it’s hot, and it’s hard work to keep mentally clear on the water. Our team was sailing well and we had good communication in tricky conditions. Every race the wind was different; a big cloud came through and really shook things up before the last match. It made the decisions on the race course pretty difficult. Overall, it’s really exciting to have a shot at this against great competitors.”
Wind was fairly light all day and temperatures hovered in the high 80s. The day was definitely a challenge for everyone. “We were just trying to keep our heads clear,” commented Roble. “We were trying to keep it simple.”
As the top four skippers at this event, Tulloch, Barkow, Tunnicliffe and Roble secured berths at the second, and final, selection event for the 2012 Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta, scheduled for May 4-7, 2012 in Weymouth, U.K.
The Semi-Final Round of the 2011 US Olympic Qualifying Regatta is scheduled to conclude on Saturday. Racing continues daily through Sunday, Oct. 30. For daily recaps, results and photos, please visit http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Events/2011WMRTrials.htm
About the 2011 US Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta – Women’s Match Racing
Organized by US SAILING, the national governing body for the sport, the Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) and Key Biscayne Yacht Club, the ISAF Grade 3 event is scheduled for Oct. 26-30, and will determine the top four teams who will advance to the second, and final, selection event for the 2012 Olympic Team berth in Women’s Match Racing. The winning team will qualify for the USA berth at the following events: ISAF Combined World Championships (Dec. 3-17, 2011 in Perth, AUS); US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR (Jan. 23-28, 2012 in Miami, Fla.); Princess Sofia Regatta (March 31-April 6, 2012 in Palma, ESP); French Sailing Week (April 20-27, 2012 in Hyeres, FRA); and the 2012 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship (June 25-30 in Gothenburg, SWE).
The event page where results, recaps and photos are posted: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Events/2011WMRTrials.htm
About US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics
The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top athletes in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. US SAILING supports these elite athletes with funding, coaching and training. The title sponsor of the team is AlphaGraphics; other sponsors include Rolex Watch USA, Atlantis WeatherGear, Sperry Top-Sider, LaserPerformance, Harken Team McLube, Trinity Yachts, New England Ropes, Group Experiential Learning and Bow Down Training. http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.
About US SAILING
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org .
Contact: Dana Paxton, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, email@example.com; onsite in Miami 401-369-0490