by Dana Paxton
At the Semaine Olympique Francaise, gold, silver and bronze medals were collected by US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider: Gold to Anna Tunnicliffe’s 'Team Maclaren' of Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi, in Women’s Match Racing; Silver to Sally Barkow’s 'Team 7' of Alana O’Reilly and Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham in Women’s Match Racing; and Bronze to Jen French and JP Creignou in the SKUD-18.
Tunnicliffe and team in action
The Women’s Match Racing fleet was sent out early this morning and the race committee completed more of the round robin matches, but was unable to complete all of the flights. When the conditions surpassed those suitable for racing, the racing was abandoned. Results were calculated on percentage of wins in total number of races sailed. Tunnicliffe, Vandemoer and Capozzi won all 16 matches they sailed and captured the gold medal.
'We’re very happy with how the racing went,' said Tunnicliffe. 'It was a lot of races, 16 races, and unfortunately we couldn’t go into the finals, but you can’t control the weather. We’re psyched with where we’re at (with racing), so far, going into the Trials.'
The team with second best percentage was Barkow, O’Reilly and Kratzig Burnham, and they were awarded the silver medal. Ekaterina Skudina, from Russia, won bronze.
'It’s a bit of a disappointment,' said Barkow of the conditions ending the regatta early. 'We were hoping to get it in, but the breeze was picking up too much. For us, we’re one race short of completing the round robin. To have a shot at the finals would have been great.'
Women’s 470 team of Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan went into the medal race with a strong shot at a medal. As Lihan explained, it all went their way for the most part.
'We had a pretty solid start at the boat, with great height and great speed,' she said. 'We held pretty much out to the port lay (line), and then tacked over. In these conditions it’s important to minimize the number of tacks because it slows you down. At the first beat we were leading around the windward mark, tacked on starboard lay, set. We had a little problem in the set. Our spinnaker got caught on our spreader, but fixed the problem and kept going from there.' The team finished in second and secured the medal behind the Dutch team, in first.
'We’re really excited; it’s been a great week of strong wind,' said Clark. 'We’ve been practicing a lot in strong wind and it shows. To finish up second here really helps our confidence as we go into the Games this summer. Turning it up for this event and the Worlds, that’s our main goal. To finish in the top three is definitely exciting and a really good way to start representing the new US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. And we’re really excited to have them onboard with us.'
Racing in the Paralympic classes was cancelled and all series results, to date, were deemed the final overall results. Jen French and JP Creignou finished in third overall in the SKUD-18, and were awarded a bronze medal.
Overall results French Olympic Sailing Week:
2.4mR - Mark LeBlanc (New Orleans, La.) – 10th
49er - Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (N. Pomfret, Vt./Naples, Fla.) – 40th
470 Men - Stuart McNay (Boston, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) – 14th
470 Women - Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Lihan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) – second
Finn - Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) – 13th
Laser - Rob Crane (Darien, Conn.) – 24th
RS:X Men – Bob Willis (Chicago, Ill.) – 25th
RS:X Women - Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) – 29th
SKUD-18 – Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and JP Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.) – third
Sonar – Paul Callahan (Cape Coral, Fla./Newport R.I.), Tom Brown (Castine, Me.) and Bradley Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.) – ninth
Women’s Match Racing:
Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) – first
Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) and Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham (Miami, Fla.) – second
Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.), Jenn Chamberlin (Washington, D.C.) and Alice Manard Leonard (New Orleans, La./East Haven, Conn.) – eighth
2012 US Sailing Development Team: 49er – Fred Strammer (Nokomis, Fla.) and Zach Brown (San Diego, CA) - 48th
The US Sailing Team Top-Sider was not represented at French Olympic Sailing Week (Semaine Olympique Francaise) in the Laser Radial or Star classes. French Olympic Sailing Week is the fourth event of the 2011-2012 ISAF Sailing World Cup season.
Semaine Olympique Francaise website
US Sailing Team website