US Women's Match Racing Championship - Roble and crew claim victory

2014 U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship
Larry Kennedy
Stephanie Roble's Epic Racing Team will add the Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy to their list of accomplishments this week. Roble defeated Nicole Breault's team, 2-0, in Sunday's final series to win the 2014 U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship, hosted by the Oakcliff Sailing Center.

Crew on the Epic Racing Team included Maggie Shea (Chicago, Ill.), Janel Zarkowsky (Annapolis, Md.), Martha Pitt (Newport, R.I.), Hollister Poole (Falmouth, Maine),and Elizabeth Shaw (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada). Roble was a staff member at the Chicago Match Race Center from 2010-2013, and Shea is currently Sailing Director at CMRC.
The win for Roble marks her first U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship title in five attempts. Roble receives an invitation to the 2014 U.S. Match Racing Championship, which will be sailed October 3-5, 2014 at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, Calif.

The U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship Committee will be providing travel grants to the team for both events. The travel grants are funded by anonymous donors and partly by Chicago Match Race Center.

She also receives an invitation to the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge at Sail Sheboygan held over September 23-28, 2014. Roble had previously earned a berth in this event, so Breault now receives an invitation as well.

2014 U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship - L to R: Stephanie Roble, Janel Zarkowsky, Maggie Shea, Hollister Poole, Liz Shaw, Martha Pitt.
Larry Kennedy

An exuberant Roble explained her team's success this week: 'We expected light air this weekend and we got a wide range of conditions, including heavy breeze today. We did a great job getting in good position for the finals. We had our hands full in the finals with Nicole's team. They led us along the track, but we were able to get some lead changes. I thought we had great boathandling and Maggie did an amazing job downwind on the kite, which is where we made most of our moves.

'Our history of training and racing at CMRC has been critical to our success, and we look forward to pursuing this more in the future as well.'

Roble advanced to the Finals with a 2-0 series win over Sandy Hayes (Scituate, Mass.) in Sunday morning's semifinals. Breault also advanced to the finals with a 2-0 win over Katie Maxim (Napa, Calif.).

Roble placed third at the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship last month in Cork, Ireland, is the third-ranked women's match racer in the world and #1 in the U.S. She also won the 2013 Stena Match Cup Sweden Women's Trophy. She returned to the U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship after placing second in this event last year in Chicago.

For more information about Oakcliff, click here.