by Jake Fish
U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship 2013 - In a three-day series at the Chicago Match Race Center that featured everything from light shifty breeze to big wind and waves, Chicago-based Jennifer Wilson and her team of Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Katherine Pettibone (Sacramento, Calif.), Krista Paxton (Royal Oak, Mich.), and Sandi Svoboda (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.) have won the Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy. After defeating Sandy Hayes in a two-zeroSemi-Final, Wilson and team went on to defeat Stephanie Roble and her team in a three -one Final.
2013 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship.
For winning this ISAF Grade three championship, Wilson will receive an automatic invitation to the Open U.S. Match Racing Championship this September in Sheboygan, Wis. as well as the Women’s International Match Race Series event this July in Oyster Bay, N.Y.
'I was really comfortable racing with this team,' said Wilson. 'We have sailed a lot together over the years. I let Sally do her magic and take care of tactics, while I focused on sailing fast and smooth in the shifty conditions.'
Wilson also gave credit to her arch-rival throughout the series. Roble and tactician Maggie Shea have spent the last three years sailing with or against Wilson at many other CMRC events. 'Steph and her team were outstanding. We were excited to have the opportunity to race against them and to be able to edge them out.'
Roble (East Troy, Wis.) sailed with Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Ill.), Lindsey Duda (Chicago, Ill.), Martha Pitt (Chicago, Ill.), and Janel Zarkowsky (Washington, DC). For finishing as runner-up, Roble and her team won the Mrs. Charles Francis Adams Memorial award.
Winning bronze medals for third place after a two-one Petit Final was Kate Maxim (Napa, Calif.) and her team from the Bay area.
'It was a fantastic opportunity for us to host this prestigious championship,' said Tod Reynolds, Director of CMRC. 'With the coaching and debriefs provided by Taylor Canfield of USone, all the teams really improved throughout the week and everyone had great racing and got to sail at least 20 matches throughout the 2.5 days of racing. Everyone also appreciated the excellent race management by PRO Darcy Cook and her Race Committee team despite some trying conditions, as well as the perseverance from Kathy Lindgren and her umpiring team. They all contributed to this being a great national championship event.'