Tag Archive | "Anna Tunnicliffe"

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Here come the girls: Top female sailors on board for 2014 Extreme Sailing Series

Posted on 03 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] In 2014, the Extreme Sailing Series™ will, for the eighth consecutive year, bring a wealth of sailing talent from America’s Cup superstars, Olympic medallists and offshore legends to the shores of eight iconic venues around the globe – and amongst them are some of the world’s most talented female sailors. The ‘fifth sailor’ rule, introduced by Series organisers OC Sport in 2012, stipulates that one member of the crew must either be female, under 23, or classified as an amateur by ISAF. As a result, year on year the number of female sailors competing in the Series has grown, and has historically included the likes of double Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson, the only women to skipper a boat for a full season in 2008 with J.P. Morgan Asset Management – and the only female skipper to win an Act in Lake Lugano, Switzerland. 2014 will see the biggest influx of ‘girl power’ since the Series began – find out more about the women taking on the challenge below.

Sarah Ayton (GBR)
Team: The Wave, Muscat
Role: Tactician
Top three sailing achievements:
- Olympic gold medal – Beijing 2008 – Yngling with Pippa Wilson and Sarah Webb
- Olympic gold medal – Athens 2004 – Yngling with Shirley Robertson and Sarah Webb
- Yngling World Champion in 2008 and 2007

Britain’s double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton will be making a welcome return to top level competitive sailing after a three-year break, joining the defending champions The Wave, Muscat. And she is more than ready for the challenge of what she describes as the ‘most high-performance’ sailing she has ever done. “I’m honoured to be sailing with The Wave, Muscat and I am really looking forward to getting started. I’m sure the boys will agree with me that going into 2014 as defending champions doesn’t add to the pressure, we’ll be focusing on our own performance and taking one race at a time.”

As a novice to the Extreme 40, Sarah is currently in Singapore, Host Venue for Act 1, where she will be putting in the training hours with the team in preparation for the elite level Stadium Racing that begins on the 20th February. “My biggest challenge will be learning the in-boat routines and the different set plays around the course as well as learning what’s possible in terms of boat on boat positioning and overall tactics.”

Sarah is best know as one of the worlds most formidable Yngling sailors, after first securing gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and then defending the title in 2008 winning her second gold in Beijing alongside J.P Morgan BAR’s Pippa Wilson. So, will there be any on-water rivalry between the two? Sarah says not. “I’m really looking forward to it, it’s been a while since Pippa and I have been on the same racecourse, thankfully now in something a bit faster than a Yngling!”

Alinghi tactician Anna Tunnicliffe will return to the Extreme Sailing Series for selected Acts in 2014. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Pippa Wilson (GBR)
Team: J.P. Morgan BAR
Role: Trimmer
Top three sailing achievements:
- Olympic gold medal – Beijing 2008 – Yngling with Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb
- 5th – 470 Worlds 2006 (Helm)
- Gold – 29er Youth Worlds 2001 (Helm)

Olympic champion Pippa Wilson will join J.P. Morgan BAR for the 2014 Series – a team that comes brimming with Olympic pedigree, with three gold medallists on board, including Pippa. But the Extreme Sailing Series presents a whole new challenge for the 27 year old. “The Extreme Sailing Series is something I have watched many of my friends compete in over the last few years, so to be a part of it this year is very exciting for me.” She continued, “I am completely new to the Extreme 40 and relatively new to catamaran sailing, but hopefully my background so far in the Nacra 17 and the other boats I’ve sailed will offer me some relevant insights into the extreme racing!”

After a short hiatus from competitive sailing, where Pippa took the opportunity to focus on other interests including a Sports Science degree at Chichester University, she’s now back on the water and has launched her next Olympic campaign for Rio 2016 in the Nacra 17 class. Talking about how the two campaigns will work together, Pippa explained: “Fortunately the racing dates fit in very well with the Extreme circuit so hopefully we will be able to draw on some of the parallels between the two classes.”

In terms of the competition, Pippa has come against some of the other female stars before, including Nacra 17 sailor and Groupama Team France tactician, Sophie de Turckheim. “I have no doubt that all of the competitors on the racecourse are going to be fierce competition. We are surrounded by the best of the best in terms of experience and talent, Sophie included, so it is an honour to race against and learn from such great sailors.”

Sophie will bolster the female talent even further. As well as making her Stadium Racing debut with Groupama Team France, she is also gunning for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games aboard the mixed Nacra 17 catamaran alongside her Extreme 40 skipper and helm Franck Cammas.

American Anna Tunnicliffe, a two-times ISAF World Sailor of the Year and Olympic champion will also return to the fleet, racing in selected Acts with 2013 runners up Alinghi. The Swiss team will be looking to rectify so narrowly losing out to The Wave, Muscat

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Perth 2011 – Daily wrap for Day 13

Posted on 15 December 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championship] With three days of medal racing ahead, competition at the ISAF Worlds saw the finalists heading into the battle for gold in Women’s Match Racing Friday and the top competitors in the Gold fleets jockeying for one of the ten positions in the coming medal races.

In light to moderate south easterly breezes, the 49ers completed one Gold fleet race to be on schedule for Sunday’s medal race, the Lasers completed two races that further consolidated the top ten and a break away leader emerged in the Men’s RS:X.      The Women’s 470s and Stars enjoyed a lay day.

 

Women’s Match Racing

Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) and Lucy Macgregor (GBR) will face off for the gold medal in the Women’s Match Racing final on Friday, December 16, after some exciting sailing wrapped up the semi-finals on Day 13 of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

“We are so psyched, we have a real shot at the world title now,” Tunnicliffe said. “We really have to be on top of our game tomorrow, Lucy is a great competitor.”

And that was proved in Macgregor’s semi against Claire Leroy (FRA), who was the early leader.

“We were down two-nil, but we were feeling confident and strong as a team, which really helped us to pick it up,” Macgregor said on her comeback to win the last three matches.

Sailing for the bronze medal will be Russia’s Ekaterina Skudina and Leroy.

The semi-finals were moved out of the Fremantle Inner Harbour to the Centre Course because of continuing south-easterly winds which make for tight and difficult racing in the working port.  The open water racing still gave spectators a close-up view from the Bathers Bay grandstand.

The first semi final on Thursday saw Leroy match up against Macgregor, with the second semi between Skudina and Tunnicliffe.

Each team needed three wins to advance through to the Gold Medal Race on Friday, ensuring racing was very close all day.

After the first two flights of the day, Tunnicliffe and Leroy were sitting on two wins apiece, making flight 103 the ‘must win’ matches for Macgregor and Skudina

In what was dubbed the ‘cold war race’ by the commentators, Skudina managed to get the lead on Tunnicliffe and cross the line in front.

Macgregor also got over the line in her match against Leroy, much to the delight of the British fans watching in the grandstand.

“We’re feeling really pleased and really good about our results today. We’ve had a lot of support from family back home and from the supporters cheering us on from the rocks,” Macgregor said.

With a penalty on Skudina, flight 104 was the deciding win for Tunnicliffe to go into the gold match.

Macgregor evened the score in the same flight, forcing a final and decisive match with Leroy.

It proved to be a tough one, with Macgregor forcing a penalty on Leroy in the pre-start. They were neck-and-neck for most of the race but in the last downwind leg, Macgregor managed to extend out to a three boat lead and win the race, securing her spot against Tunnicliffe for the gold medal on Friday.

Races were also held to determine the fifth to eighth placings, which left Australia’s Nicky Souter in fifth place, Sweden’s Anna Kjellberg sixth, followed by Netherland’s Mandy Mulder seventh and Australia’s Olivia Price in eighth spot.

The Women’s Match Racing final is schedule for 1400 local time on Friday 16 December.  Racing will be on Inner Harbour Course but will be moved to the Centre Course if weather conditions are unsuitable in the harbour.

Laser

Model of consistency Tom Slingsby (AUS) continues to hog the limelight of Laser sailing at the ISAF Worlds with his fifth victory and a fighting fifth place to be 11 points clear of his nearest rival.

He leads Great Britain’s Paul Goodison (27) and Nick Thompson (33), followed by Australian Ashley Brunning (35), Germany’s Simon Groteluschen (36) and Sweden’s Johan Wigforss (39).

The Laser fleets at Perth 2011 have a reserve day on Friday, 16 December, before returning for the ninth and 10th races on Saturday with the Medal Race on Sunday.

Slingsby, who had a seven-point lead at the start of the day, had a vice-like grip on race 7, going 26 seconds ahead at the second mark, only to see it slip to five at the third. He finished 1 minute 16 seconds clear.

In the eighth race, Slingsby had to bide his time and produce excellent downwind efforts to pick up valuable positions, finally crossing in fifth.

“It was another good day for me. The first was a nice race and I managed to hold it.  In the second I was doing well on the first beat and there was a big right-hand shift and I rounded the mark 20th. I managed to come back and I was happy to come fifth.”

On what he needs to do on Saturday in races nine and 10, he said: “It will be one more day of tricky Gold fleet sailing close to shore (Bathers Bay). I just need one good one on Saturday. I just have to keep myself clear and sail my own race. Up front would be preferable,” he said.

Fellow Australian Ashley Brunning made his charge coming in from the left side on the second upwind leg and maintained second position until Great Britain’s Paul Goodison overtook him on the final downwind leg to finish behind Slingsby.

On Thursday’s race 8, Goodison said: “it was pretty wild and crazy out there. The conditions were so crazy with big gaps and everyone came together so it was hard to be consistent.”

It was Great Britain’s world number two Nick Thompson who fended off all challengers for most of race 8, especially in the final upwind leg where up to 15 sailors were within 100m at one stage in the fluky winds.

Thompson said: “It was pretty tough at the start and I went right and got the first shift. On the last beat there were two winds, either side and you had to choose which one to go with to cover both sides. That’s been the nature of the winds the past few days, choosing between two breezes.”

While the front-runners are jockeying for the medal dais, a large group of sailors is shuffling the deck to see who gets a top-10 position after the last two Gold fleet races.

On the cusp are Tonci Stipanovic (9th), Frenchman Jean Baptiste Bernaz (10th), Cypriot Pavlos Kontides (11th) and Australian Tom Burton (12th).

The Lasers will enjoy a reserve day on Friday 16 December.

49er `

John Pink and Rick Peacock of Great Britain have retained their overall lead after Thursday’s only race for the 49ers at the ISAF Worlds, with the competition now split into Gold, Silver, and Bronze fleets.

Emil Toft Nielsen and Simon Toft Nielsen (DEN) continue to hold second place, one point ahead of Australian pair Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen. The Australians share their position on points with Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL).

Pink and Peacock finished in second place in the Gold fleet race on Thursday, but managed to make up some ground to challenge the race winners, the Toft Nielsen brothers, on the final leg.

After the race, Pink said: “We were just trying to stick to our strategy and from the start they got a little bit ahead. We caught back up at the last top mark but they kept it together and obviously did the right things. We did exactly the same almost down the last run but they just stayed ahead, but it was close.”

The Toft Nielsen brothers took out the race by only seven seconds.

Emil Toft Nielsen said: “We won a bit on the British at the start, and at the top mark we were almost even. Then we decided to focus on the wind instead of the other boats. When we got closer to the end, we found it possible to just cover the Brits and make it to the finish.”

Thursday’s Silver fleet race was won by Austria’s Thomas Zajac and Thomas Czajka, while Andre Otoo da Fonseca and Marco Soffiatti Grael (BRA) took out the Bronze fleet race.

The 49er Gold fleet is scheduled for three races on the Centre course from 0900 local time on Friday, 16 December.

Men’s RS:X

Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) has broken away from Nimrod Mashich (ISR) in the Men’s RS:X Gold fleet after Day 13 of competition at the ISAF Worlds, placing himself firmly in a winning position.

Van Rijsselberghe said there was a lot happening on the water on Thursday, 15 December.

“It was all really close. Every time – right up until the finish, it was up for grabs. It was exciting racing and was good for me not to make any shockers,” he said.

Van Rijsselberghe was never far from the front of the pack in race 6, finishing with a 23 second lead over Joao Rodrigues (POR). Paul Tobin (NZL) finished in third place.

After a general recall, race 7 was abandoned due to wind shift. When it finally did start, the fleet split evenly, with van Rijsselberghe again taking the lead.

He was unable to hold this position as Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) powered through to take first, closely followed by world number one Piotr Myszka (POL), with third place going to Byron Kokkalaniis (GRE).

Race 8 was a catch-up because of an early end to racing on Wednesday, but Kokkalaniis (GRE) took a sizeable lead over his nearest competitors.

 “I had a really good start (for Race 8), had really good winds, and was the first to cross mark one. And bam that was it,” Kokkalaniis said. Second place recipient Tobin (NZL) followed him over the line 20 seconds later and third went to fleet overall number one, van Rijsselberghe.

 World number one Myszka (POL), who finished 12th in race 8 and is second overall, said with two more races, anything is possible.

 “I will try to beat Dorian. I can find a solution for that. I will fight for sure, I think everything will be okay,” he said.

Men’s RS:X have a programmed rest day on Friday 16 December.

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