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ISAF Sailing World Cup Final Declared Open

Posted on 25 November 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: ISAF] The inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final has been declared open by ISAF President Carlo Croce in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. With a packed crowd of local dignitaries, VIPS and participating sailors in attendance, the ISAF President welcomed some of the world’s finest Olympic sailors and kiteboarders who will be competing on Abu Dhabi waters.

“It’s a great honour for me to be here today because we have a very important regatta which will be the future of our sport,” explained Croce, “We’ve been following a dream and a vision. The vision is to make the sailors part of the professional life and help them in this path.

“When we came here three or four months ago I never thought we might be able to put all of what you see in place. It’s been a miracle by the people working here who I thank very much. I am also thankful to all of you here today – we have 197 boats, 40 nations, 270 athletes and more than 20 Olympic medallists.

“It’s the best of the best of the world and I really thank you on behalf of ISAF for accepting our invitation.”

London 2012 Olympic Laser Radial bronze medallist Evi Van Acker (BEL) gave the athletes’ oath whilst Chief Equipment Inspector Barry Johnson (AUS) swore in the officials.

Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club, host of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final are utilising the star names competing at the regatta to highlight the sport of sailing within the Emirati capital. With Olympic heroes and World Champions in their numbers at the event local children are being inspired to take up the sport as Croce concluded, “It is a good legacy for the local people and the youngsters. I know some of you went around the schools showing the young people how our sport is developing. No better ambassadors could be found outside this group.

“I really think we have the first step for a future World Cup system that will really help all of you making a living out of sailing. As an old sailor it’s always been a problem so thank you very much for coming.”

Once the flag was hoisted by three time Olympian Nikola Girke, Croce declared the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final open.

Sailors’ attentions now turn to preparing their equipment for the battles on the race track.

Practice racing will allow the sailors the first opportunity to test themselves against each other on 26 November. Racing commences at 12:00 local time on 27 November and concludes on 30 November.

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ISAF Annual Conference Concludes In Palma de Mallorca

Posted on 08 November 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: ISAF] From 1-8 November 2014 more than 500 delegates from over 70 nations gathered in Palma to discuss, debate and decide on the decisions that will take the sport forward into 2015 and beyond.

ISAF Council, the final decision making body of ISAF, met on 7 and 8 November to vote on the recommendations for the expert committees. The 2014 Annual General Meeting brought the Conference to a close.

Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition

The final day format for the 49er and the 49erFX was a hotly discussed topic with a lengthy debate. ISAF Council voted for one double points Medal Race without boundaries and a target time of 20 minutes.

It was also decided that all supplied equipment at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition should be distributed after a public draw, ensuring transparency.

As part of the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition Qualification System, ISAF included Continental Qualification Events in the pathway to help develop sailing around the world. Reflecting the IOC Qualification System Principles the key requirements are to ensure participation of the best athletes and ensure universality through continental representation.

ISAF Council agreed on the recommendation from the Events Committee on the regattas that will be held in 2015 and 2016.

African qualification events will be held at the 2016 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta in Mallorca, Spain as well as events in Cape Town, South Africa and Algeria. The 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Asia and 2015 ASAF Cup in UAE will see the Asian qualification spots picked up. European spots will be available at the 2016 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta with 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne providing the Oceanic qualifiers. The 2015 Pan-American Games will decide one quota place each in the Laser and Laser Radial for North and South America. The additional places will be up for grabs at the 2016 edition of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami.

International Association for Disabled Sailing Merger with ISAF

The International Association for Disabled Sailing’s (IFDS) merger with ISAF was completed with the creation of an ISAF Disabled Sailing Committee.

The Disabled Sailing Committee will be responsible for the Paralympic Sailing Competition including events and equipment selection, the IFDS World Championships and administration.

Disabled Sailing Committee representatives will liaise with other committees to offer their specialist expertise.

The merger creates a single governing body for MNAs and sailors to better serve the needs and interests of sailors with disabilities.

Classification Code

Submission 025-14 was withdrawn in advance of the ISAF Council meeting but with an agreement that the implementation of a revision to the system would be discussed between the Executive and the ISAF Sailor Classification Commission.

ISAF Youth Worlds

Corpus Christi, Texas, USA will host the 2018 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship subject to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual agreements.

The following events and equipment for the 2017 ISAF Youth Worlds were also agreed by Council:

Boy’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Girl’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Boy’s Two Person Dinghy – 420
Girl’s Two Person Dinghy – 420
Boy’s Windsurfer – RS:X with 8.5 sail
Girl’s Windsurfer – RS:X with 8.5 sail
Open multihull – Sirena SL16
Boy’s Skiff – 29er
Girl’s Skiff – 29er

The Equipment Committee recommended the new Nacra15 for the Open Multihull event and this will be discussed at the 2015 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in the Netherlands with the earliest possible introduction of the new equipment being 2018.

Other Business

The 2016 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship will head to Sheboygan, USA whilst Noumea, New Caledonia, France will host the 2016 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship. Both venues are subject to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual agreements.

The 2015 Nations Cup Grand Final will head to Vladivostock, Russia with Regional Finals to be held in Buenos Aires (ARG), Zallaq (BRN), Howth (IRL), San Diego (USA), Tunis (TUN) and Brisbane (AUS).

ISAF welcomes Macau and Montserrat to the ISAF family. Both were awarded associate member status.

Submission 127-14 as amended by the Racing Rules Committee was approved effective 1 January 2015. Other amendments to the Racing Rules and Equipment Rules of Sailing were approved following recommendations from the expert committees. The changes will be incorporated into the next edition of the rule books published for 2017-2020.

The Equipment Committee, Events Committee and Executive Committee will meet at the 2015 Mid-Year Meeting in Muiden, Netherlands from 7-9 May 2015 with the 2015 ISAF Annual Conference to be held in Sanya, China from 7-14 November 2015.

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2014 ISAF Annual Conference, ISAF President’s Report

Posted on 07 November 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: ISAF] Your Majesty, Members Of Council.

I apologise for reading my speech but it is necessary for the simultaneous translation service that we provide. I hate reading. I prefer talking ‘live’ but had to accept. Also I had to follow this by order from GENERALISSIMO Helen Fry and to her we send a big kiss from us all.

I am very pleased to see you here in Palma, the Annual Conference that marks the Mid-Term of the current Executive’s tenure. We shall be making a full report to you later in the meeting but I would again like to compliment my fellow Executive Members on their extraordinary commitment to ISAF. How lucky I am to have them.

We have asked the Committee Chair to review and update their Goals and Priorities for the Executive to study at our meeting in February 2015. I know we will see that much has been achieved in their areas and I am pleased with the progress the Executive has made so far but we have more to do!

After more than 17 years with ISAF our CEO, Jerome Pels, has decided to pursue other professional challenges. Jerome has had the foresight and leadership to steer ISAF through many challenges and will be missed by the President, Members of the Executive Committee, his colleagues in the ISAF Secretariat and greater worldwide sailing community. I am sure you will join me in wishing Jerome much success with his new professional challenges. He is a very nice person.

Also I want to thank all our staff. It has been a demanding period for the ISAF Office. I have appreciated your support.

As you know one of my main aims was to secure sponsorship for ISAF and I am happy to say we have made good progress with potentially two organisations very interested in becoming an ISAF sponsor. Hopefully very soon we will be able to formally announce at least one of them.

These negotiations take time and patience but I hope you agree it has been worthwhile. Our new partners are both highly reputable organizations and their valuable sponsorship will enable ISAF to add another dimension in raising the profile of our sport. Sailing has a wonderful arena and we have been able to show integrity and credibility now we must ensure we can demonstrate to our new partners a positive return on their investment. We will need to create an internal commitment to this organization, and to our existing sponsors, and show we can offer them a great platform to showcase their brands. We now need to build up this team.

To me communication is a priority one now and clear communication needs to be relevant, timely, accurate and easy to understand and this will be essential for our sponsors, our members and our sailors. Communication is also an important tool in achieving productivity and maintaining strong working relationships at all levels of our organization. We have started to address this problem with the monthly ‘Update from the ISAF Secretariat’ and Gary has prepared an extensive paper on our future communications plans. We need to have a communication system in place that is constantly evolving by using new technology and information delivery systems. At the mid-point of this term of office the Executive has a responsibility to improve our communication methods and infrastructure. As you know and as we have seen after Weymouth the IOC is most conscious of this issue.

Most of the concerns I have been hearing about whilst I have been here in Palma come down to poor communication or misinformation.

I repeat – improvement in internal and external communications is now my first goal and close connected to everything I have just said.

The Executive has withdrawn submission 025-14. The practice and procedures of Sailor Classification have been thoroughly debated in recent weeks. We are grateful for the very helpful feedback ISAF has received from many race organizers, classes and yacht clubs. The Sailor Classification Commission has proposed several very important improvements to the system that will be implemented over the next year. We will review these upgrades frequently. The main points that were worrying us have been overcome therefore it has been very useful for ISAF to have caused so much interest. We find the final solutions proposed most satisfying. We have always said that ISAF does not want to be seen as the Police or the tax office – goal achieved.

I have travelled extensively representing ISAF this year receiving a warm welcome everywhere. One area I am determined to improve is our branding at events. I attended a regatta which only had one small ISAF flag – another with virtually no ISAF branding at all. This has to change. ISAF needs to have a strong presence at our events – even at high profile events. Work is underway to create a ‘House of ISAF’ which will be located in a prominent area in each of our venues and the Executive are currently reviewing an ISAF Protocol for Branding – I will report back on developments next year.

As I have previously mentioned, the success of the World Cup is essential for the sport. Much work has been done in this area and after your approval of the new concept we will have our inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup final in Abu Dhabi. This also marks the first time ISAF has been directly involved in the implementation of an event and this must be the template for the major ISAF events in the future. This particular aspect is a major change for us for now we really own and build an event first hand; this is the product we can sell to sponsors and the media. You might remember this was our first goal.

The Final will bring the best sailors to Abu Dhabi and we will have more than 260 athletes which is quite an achievement for an event that didn’t exist five months ago. This regatta will introduce new concepts to our game – the 3 minute countdown, communications via radio to the athletes and Kiteboarding. I would like to thank our group which has been working on this but also the Adu Dabi Tourism Office and all their staff. A big thank you also to Aboullah and his excellency Sheik Khaled

After a bid process for the two European Sailing World Cup events Weymouth and Hyères were selected. Work has already begun on securing an Asian venue and I am confident the new vision for the Sailing World Cup will be fulfilled.

To me 2017 is the year when, if everything works well the Sailing World Cup will be up to what we expect.

We will have reports from Walter Boddener regarding the test event in Rio and from Nazli and Quanhai about the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games but I hear that both venues were very impressive and the events a success.
The 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships delivered fleet racing across all Olympic Classes against the spectacular back drop of the City of Santander. The final numbers of broadcasters that took live coverage from this event showed a staggering increase from the previous ISAF World Championships in Perth. We are talking of 23 broadcasters which according to Gary is a respectable number. On the water competitors enjoyed a variety of weather conditions that tested both light and heavy weather and I am certain that this event has left Santander with a legacy that will be appreciated by sailors long into the future. We all know there have been a few problems but we have seen how complex this event has become because of the huge numbers of teams and boats.

The recent sad events involving the yacht ‘Cheeki Rafiki’ highlight the need for good offshore safety and training and ISAF has been involved in the investigation and recommendations arising from that incident. We are all very much aware that a dynamic environment like the sea can make things go from bad to worse and it is essential to be comprehensively trained and prepared. In March this year, ISAF Offshore Personal Safety Course Providers from 14 MNAs came together in the UK for a three day training workshop to exchange ideas and develop the training and safety courses. The Guide to Offshore Personal Safety book has also been translated into Chinese and French.

The reorganization of our structure is slowly evolving and you will see a Submission from the Executive Committee on a proposal for the role of Affiliate Continental Members within our organization. A number of other submissions were also received from multiple MNAs concerning the issue, and we have had constructive discussions with representatives of the Associations themselves here in Palma. We have agreed a way forward so a full consultation process can begin with the aim of making a detailed submission for you to consider at the 2015 Annual Conference – just as we did for the merger of IFDS and ISAF.

Also and most importantly I would like to thank His Majesty for his contribution to all our discussions. We have managed to stop him falling asleep which is a great result. I do not know if this is due to His Majesty being worried about our ideas or because he simply got really involved. Thank you very much from all of us on the Executive Committee.

I would now like to invite my fellow Executive Members to give you all a brief update on developments and the work they have been doing in their areas.

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ISAF Chief Executive Jerome Pels resigns

Posted on 25 October 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: ISAF] After more than 17 years with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Jerome has decided to pursue other professional challenges.

ISAF and Jerome have enjoyed a very fruitful relationship. Jerome has had the foresight and leadership to steer ISAF through the many challenges he has encountered during his long service at ISAF. His steady hand on the helm will be missed by the President, the members of the Executive Committee, his colleagues in the ISAF Secretariat and in the greater worldwide sailing community.

Managing a complex organization like ISAF is not an easy task at the best of times. With 142 member national organizations; more than 100 ISAF classes; a very professional and dedicated cadre of International Race Officials, ISAF is unique amongst international sports federations and undoubtedly needs the skill demonstrated by Jerome to be efficiently managed. In this task Jerome has always counted on the invaluable support of his colleagues in the ISAF Secretariat.

Jerome stated: “After 17 years I believe I have accomplished most of which an individual can accomplish at any organization. I started in 1997 and leave having been for the last 6 years the highest ranking executive of ISAF. I have made countless friends, visited more places than I could ever have imagined and faced numerous challenges most of which I am pleased to say I was able to overcome. I leave behind a healthy organization and a great staff whom I will dearly miss. I am certain they will continue the outstanding performance which I have always counted on. I wish to thank in particular, my colleagues in the ISAF Secretariat, the Executive Committee who placed their confidence in me, and everyone whom I’ve been privileged to meet and deal with over the last 17 years. It is time for me to seek new professional challenges”

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Laser and Radial consolidate whilst RS:X racing commences at Santander

Posted on 13 September 2014 by Ivan Bidzilya

[Source: ISAF] In the current weather system it was no surprise that once again there was no wind in the morning at the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships but at least there was sun, initially. Fleets were held ashore for a brief spell before an 8 knot breeze set in for the first races of the day.

There was then a long postponement on the courses that hosted the Laser, Laser Radial and Men’s and Women’s RS:X before the second race as a small front passed through the course area but in summary it was a day of thunderstorms (off the course areas), shifts and showers.Laser

The men changed course areas to the area the women used the previous day which also gave them a stronger current to deal with. Defending World Champion Robert Scheidt (BRA), sailing in the last fleet to start, now heads the leader board after scoring the best results of the day, a first and third. Scheidt said, “I had good starts, free of the line and then everything gets a lot easier. Because there was a lot of current throwing you on the line it was it was very difficult. Your instinct is to hold back so timing is critical. I think I managed to get that right.”

In the first starting fleet Nick Heiner (NED) nearly matched Scheidt’s score with first and a fourth, “The last race was a bit short and skewed but overall I cannot complain,” said Heiner as he moves into the second position. His fellow countryman Rutger van Schaardenbug sailing in the middle fleet was not happy with his mixed day,“I got a first in the first race and then misjudged the current in the second race having a bad start and then I hit the first mark and could not clear myself.”

The top end of the fleet is starting to stabilise but there is still six more final races to go when the competition will get even stronger as the top third of the fleet combine to produce what will be a very competitive gold fleet.

Laser Results

Laser Radial

The women were also racing on a different course area further out to sea. They had a slightly better wind up to ten knots and started before the men after a shorter postponement. The first fleet were into their second race before it was abandoned due to a change in wind direction and the wind dying.

Veronica Fenclova (CZE) maintained her slender overall lead still on a tie break after a scoring a reasonable 12th place in the first race of day, which she discards, and then delivering a strong third. “Every race here is difficult,” exclaimed the Czech sailor. “The first race in my fleet was very light wind and the fleet split into two parts. I had an OK start and went left, got clear wind but it was still difficult. In the second race the wind was stronger and so I went left again which was better for me.”

Viktorija Andrulyte from Lithuania became the new challenger having scored the best results of the day, a first and fourth, to take second overall vacated by Min Gu (CHN) who slipped dramatically down the rankings to 25th scoring a 45 and 33.

Olympic silver medallist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) was pleased with her day’s results that moved her into third overall. She said, “In the first race my old sparring partner Evi Van Acker and I rounded the top mark together at the top end of the fleet with me just behind. We worked through the fleet to finish first and second with me still behind. The second race was short and the wind was banging right to left. The important thing is not lose too many positions.” She was happy with her seventh and third place overall.

Laser Radial Results

Laser and Laser Radial Reports courtesy of Jeff Martin, International Laser Class Association

Men’s RS:X

It was a day for France in the Men’s RS:X with three out of four races across two fleets going their way.

Pierre le Coq was rampant in the blue fleet taking double bullets whilst Louis Giard picked up the first victory in the yellow fleet. The remaining yellow fleet victory went to Ricardo Santos (BRA).

Le Coq is one of the in-form racers in the Men’s RS:X and was pleased with how things played out in Santander, “Today was really interesting because we had two different races. We went to Sardinero as expected and had 10-15 knots so it was nice conditions for us with planing. I had good speed but I was fighting with a lot of guys and finally I won the race.

“We then waited a lot as the wind was really changing today. We moved course for the last race and I won that too. It’s a good day to begin the worlds but there’s still a long way to go so we’ll see at the end. I hope to be a regular at the top throughout the rest of the days.”

Giard picked up a third in the second race and holds second overall. 2010 World Champion Piotr Myszka (POL) is third after a fourth and a second.

With a series consisting of 12 races there are plenty of points left to play for in both RS:X fleets.

Men’s RS:X Results

Women’s RS:X

Charline Picon (FRA) continued her strong run of form in the Women’s RS:X, putting together a strong score line from three blue fleet races.

Picon, 2014 European Champion, came out flying and took the opening race victory. She backed it up in the second race with a further bullet and consolidated her exceedingly good start with a fourth in the third race of the day. At the early stages of the competition the French racer, who also took gold at the Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta 2014, Rio Test Event, has a three point lead. The third blue fleet victory of the day went to Great Britain’s Bryony Shaw who is

In the blue fleet Demita Vega (MEX) took the first bullet and with a fourth and a discarded 17th she sits second overall. Eugenie Ricard (FRA) and Qiaoshan Weng (CHN) won the remaining blue fleet races. Ricard sits fourth and Weng is 13th.

Women’s RS:X Results

Schedule of Racing:

12-18 September, Laser and Laser Radial
13-19 September, RS:X Men and RS:X Women
14-20 September, 470 Men and 470 Women
15-21 September, 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17

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Lucy MacGregor Wins ISAF Women’s Match Racing Worlds

Posted on 26 September 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ISAF] It went down to the very final race at the 2010 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship with Lucy MacGregor (GBR) taking on double world champion Sally Barkow (USA). Lucy MacGregor took the final win to take the title for Great Britain for the first time.

If Lucy MacGregor and her British team felt pressure in her semi-finals match against Claire Leroy (FRA), it was nothing compared to the emotions she felt coming from behind to win her first ISAF Match Racing World Championship.

Macgregor defeated two-time world champion Leroy in the semi-final then faced the American team led by Sally Barkow, also a two-time world champion. Barkow led the British team 2-1 by consistently gaining the advantage to the right side of the course as the lead changed almost each leg.

The final two races Barkow was able to pull even but MacGregor was just a little faster and crisper on the beats. In the fourth race, the British team passed Barkow while giving the Americans a penalty they could not overcome.

“We were gaining all the time,” said a beaming MacGregor with her teammates Annie Lush, Kate Macgregor and Mary Rook. “We just wanted to keep it close.”

And close it was. But it was the final start that predicted gold for the British. “The time on distance was hard, and we were on our back foot the whole prestart,” said Kate Macgregor, Lucy’s sister. “With the current going up wind we just made it.” MacGregor’s team, coached by ISAF Match Racing World Champion Ian Williams, won the right side that paid so well for the Americans and kept the slimmest of leads all the way around the course.

For Barkow, though her team of Elizabeth Kratzig, Alana O’reilly and Susanne Leech, did not win, their second place qualifies them for the top level of funding for the US Sailing Team Alpha Graphics in 2011. They join only one other team in the U.S. with this distinction, Paige Railey in the Laser Radial.

Petit-Final

The petit-final match up to decide the bronze medal also went to the maximum, three races. Leroy won the first match against Nicky Souter and then her Australian team gave the French a foul in the second; it was enough to win the race.

In the third and final race, with the boats nearly overlapped all the way around the course, Souter received a penalty on the final run in a wild broach and luff. The Australian team came out ahead then was able to hook the French and sailed them upwind 200 yards until they were able to clear their penalty with a tack and perfect set to win the series.

This world championship will certainly go down as one of the most competitive in history and Barkow’s coach, national match race champion Dave Perry, put the state of women’s match racing in perspective. “This regatta indicates that anyone of eight or more teams can win a gold medal in Weymouth in 2012,” said Perry. “In the gold fleet round robin, four of the six teams were tied with three wins. All this shows is nobody has put it all together yet. There are no breakaways.”

The rest of the teams not sailing watching from the 100-foot schooner Meteor, teams cheered and watch pensively as the boats raced around as if they were tied to each other. Whether they won or finished the regatta in the repechage series, all the sailors were hungry to carry on with their campaigns and set their sites on the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

The 2011 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Champion will be decided at the Perth2011 ISAF Sailing World Championship in Perth, Australia.

Final Results
1 Lucy MacGregor (GBR)
2 Sally Barkow (USA)
3 Nicky Souter (AUS)
4 Claire Leroy (FRA)
5 Genevieve Tulloch (USA)
6 Ekaterina Skudina (RUS)
7 Renee Groeneveld (NED
8 Katie Spithill (AUS)

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Lucy MacGregor Wins ISAF Women’s Match Racing Worlds

Posted on 26 September 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: ISAF] It went down to the very final race at the 2010 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship with Lucy MacGregor (GBR) taking on double world champion Sally Barkow (USA). Lucy MacGregor took the final win to take the title for Great Britain for the first time.

If Lucy MacGregor and her British team felt pressure in her semi-finals match against Claire Leroy (FRA), it was nothing compared to the emotions she felt coming from behind to win her first ISAF Match Racing World Championship.

Macgregor defeated two-time world champion Leroy in the semi-final then faced the American team led by Sally Barkow, also a two-time world champion. Barkow led the British team 2-1 by consistently gaining the advantage to the right side of the course as the lead changed almost each leg.

The final two races Barkow was able to pull even but MacGregor was just a little faster and crisper on the beats. In the fourth race, the British team passed Barkow while giving the Americans a penalty they could not overcome.

“We were gaining all the time,” said a beaming MacGregor with her teammates Annie Lush, Kate Macgregor and Mary Rook. “We just wanted to keep it close.”

And close it was. But it was the final start that predicted gold for the British. “The time on distance was hard, and we were on our back foot the whole prestart,” said Kate Macgregor, Lucy’s sister. “With the current going up wind we just made it.” MacGregor’s team, coached by ISAF Match Racing World Champion Ian Williams, won the right side that paid so well for the Americans and kept the slimmest of leads all the way around the course.

For Barkow, though her team of Elizabeth Kratzig, Alana O’reilly and Susanne Leech, did not win, their second place qualifies them for the top level of funding for the US Sailing Team Alpha Graphics in 2011. They join only one other team in the U.S. with this distinction, Paige Railey in the Laser Radial.

Petit-Final

The petit-final match up to decide the bronze medal also went to the maximum, three races. Leroy won the first match against Nicky Souter and then her Australian team gave the French a foul in the second; it was enough to win the race.

In the third and final race, with the boats nearly overlapped all the way around the course, Souter received a penalty on the final run in a wild broach and luff. The Australian team came out ahead then was able to hook the French and sailed them upwind 200 yards until they were able to clear their penalty with a tack and perfect set to win the series.

This world championship will certainly go down as one of the most competitive in history and Barkow’s coach, national match race champion Dave Perry, put the state of women’s match racing in perspective. “This regatta indicates that anyone of eight or more teams can win a gold medal in Weymouth in 2012,” said Perry. “In the gold fleet round robin, four of the six teams were tied with three wins. All this shows is nobody has put it all together yet. There are no breakaways.”

The rest of the teams not sailing watching from the 100-foot schooner Meteor, teams cheered and watch pensively as the boats raced around as if they were tied to each other. Whether they won or finished the regatta in the repechage series, all the sailors were hungry to carry on with their campaigns and set their sites on the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

The 2011 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Champion will be decided at the Perth2011 ISAF Sailing World Championship in Perth, Australia.

Final Results
1 Lucy MacGregor (GBR)
2 Sally Barkow (USA)
3 Nicky Souter (AUS)
4 Claire Leroy (FRA)
5 Genevieve Tulloch (USA)
6 Ekaterina Skudina (RUS)
7 Renee Groeneveld (NED
8 Katie Spithill (AUS)

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Lucy Mcgregor undefeated in round robin of ISAF Women’s Match Race World Championship

Posted on 23 September 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: New York Yacht Club] It was not the spectacular sun lit day with a smoldering southerly that highlighted the second day of the ISAF Women’s Match Race World Championship at the New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court. Nor was it the multiples of surfing photo finishes. Instead, today the sailors illustrated the term they use to describe the pinnacle of match race maneuvering: surgical execution.

For the top seeded sailors after the nine flights of Stage 1, today was a day of comebacks and last minute passes. The precision with which Claire Le Roy used to up end a confident Ekaterina Skudina in broaching whitewater luff was inspiring as the two boats sailed within feet of each other in 17 knots of breeze and three-foot waves. All starts, roundings and finishes were within inches and penalties pushed the umpires to the limit.

Some of the competitors used today to settle into a winning routine. “It wasn’t just one thing,” said Finnish skipper Silja Lehtenin, “it was more like 20 things.” Lehtenin won most of her races this morning and said that her new team was finally clicking.

Though often sailing with a new team, American Sally Barkow is leading the blue group with a tie-breaker over Le Roy at eight wins. Nicky Souter is close behind with seven wins and Ekaterina Skudina and Anna Tunnicliffe both have six wins.

Tomorrow competitors are split into a gold fleet and repechage. The top two competitors from the repechage will meet the gold fleet of six for a quarter finals.

Another sunny day is forecast and as teams like the Finnish begin to hone their sailing on Narragansett Bay, the stakes will be getting higher.

Footage from the opening day of the ISAF Women’s Match Race World Championship. Newport, 21 September 2010. Video copyright New York Yacht Club

Gold Fleet for 9/23/10
(From Red Group with seed)
1 Lucy Mcgregor GBR
2 Katie Spithill AUS
3 Genny Tulloch USA

(From Blue Group with seed)
1 Sally Barkow USA
2 Claire Le Roy FRA
3 Nicky Souter AUS

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