by Dana Paxton
U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta final round was held today, Sunday 6th May, and began with five flights competed. Anna Tunnicliffe’s 'Team Maclaren' with Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi took an early lead over Sally Barkow’s team of Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham and Alana O’Reilly. Current standings are Tunnicliffe with four wins, Barkow with one. The format is a 'first-to-win-six' match-up where the winner will qualify to represent the USA at the 2012 Olympic Games this summer.
Women’s Match Racing day 2 - U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta 2012
'The crew did a fantastic job today. It was very tricky conditions; puffs were coming in from the left and the right. Just when you thought you’d settled into a trend it changed.
The day had a lot of ups and downs, with lead changes and tight racing. 'All of our races were really close,' said Tunnicliffe. Sally and her team are very, very good. We are taking it one race at a time. A lot of our races went our way. We’re looking forward to more tomorrow.'
One of the standout moments of the day was the third race. Just when it looked like Tunnicliffe’s team was winning upwind and around the first weather mark, Barkow passed her downwind to take control. As Tunnicliffe explained, they went on to do the same maneuver on the second downwind leg and gain the lead. 'We learned from what she did to us. We kept it really cool. It was set up to pin her up against the (committee boat) and jibe into the finish line and take the race. It was a tight race. It was an aggressive race. We learned from it and moved on. We had a rotation after that, so we went on to focus on the next race.'
Audio interview with Anna Tunnicliffe:
Barkow, Kratzig Burnham and O’Reilly, who advanced to from the Semi-Final Round after defeating Genny Tulloch, Alice Manard Leonard and Jenn Chamberlin, came into the Final Round prepared for any situation. What they found, was that the tricky wind conditions and aggressive racing did not go their way.
'It was a tough day,' said Barkow. 'We just weren’t executing. We made some mistakes. We’re not super pleased. We’ll regroup tonight and make a plan for tomorrow.'
When asked to pinpoint what the team needs to improve upon, Barkow summed it up: 'Boat speed felt fine. It was a pretty tricky day on the water. Every leg was a different wind direction. I think we need to look outside the boat a little more and anticipate what’s going to happen. We knew what was happening in the moment, not so much what was going to happen next and we need to connect the two. It’s not over.'
The US Sailing race committee will begin the round on Sunday. Racing is held on the Nothe Course, which is the approximate location for the Olympic Sailing Regatta.
The winner will represent USA at the 2012 Olympic Games. The Olympic Sailing Regatta will be held July 27 – August 12, 2012, in Weymouth and Portland, located on the southern coast of England, approximately 120 miles southwest of London.
About the event: The USA’s top Olympic hopefuls in Women’s Match Racing will begin competition in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta, in Weymouth, England. Organized by US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport and the Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC), the event is scheduled for May 4-9 at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, site of the 2012 Olympic Sailing Regatta. The event will determine the three women’s match racing representatives for the 2012 Olympic Team. The four teams competing advanced to this event – the second, and final, selection event for the 2012 Olympic Team – by finishing in the top four at the U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta, part 1, October 26-30 at Key Biscayne Yacht Club, in Miami, Fla.
Sally Barkow (Nashotah, WI), with Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham (Miami, Fla.) and Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.)
Stephanie Roble (East Troy, WI) with Maggie Shea (Chicago, Ill.) and Darby Smith (Chicago, Ill.)
Genny Tulloch (Sausalito, CA) with Alice Manard Leonard (East Haven, Conn.) and Jenn Chamberlin (Washington, D.C.)
Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, FL) with Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.)
The teams skippered by Barkow, Tulloch and Tunnicliffe are members of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider.
Wolfgang Schaefer’s Struntje light (bow 15) is the overall leader heading into the final day of the series.