Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

Top US Woman sailor announces retirement from Olympic Competition

by Richard Gladwell on 11 Jan 2014
Anna Tunnicliffe leaps for her coach just after winning the Gold Medal in Qingdao © Richard Gladwell http://www.richardgladwell.com
Double Rolex ISAF Sailor of the Year and 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist, Anna Tunnicliffe (31) has announced that she will retire from Olympic sailing after 12 years of competion.

One of USA's most accomplished and respected sailors, Tunnicliffe was born in Doncaster (UK) before moving to Ohio, USA with her parents when she was 12 years old.

Initially she raced Optimists before moving in the Laser Radial in 1999, and enjoyed a highly successful collegiate sailing career, before being selected for the 2008 Olympics in Quingdao whwre she won a Gold Medal.

She made the transition to the new Women Match Racing event and again had an outstanding career, including winning that event at the ISAF World Sailing Champions in Perth in 2011, in what should have been a launch pad for a successful Olympic regatta nine months later in 2012 at Weymouth, England. Although they finished fourth in the Round Robin phase, Tunnicliffe and her crew of Deborah Capozzi, amd Molly Vandomoer did not progress beyond the Quarter Finals after being beaten by the Bronze Medalists (Finland) who the USA had beaten in the Round Robin phase.

Tunnicliffe along with Elliott 6M crew Molly Vandomoer made the transition to a third Olympic class, the new womens skiff the 49erFX, however after placing 14th in the Europeans and 11th at the Worlds - their goal was a top ten place - and today's announcement comes ahead of the next round in the ISAF Sailing World Cup to be held in Miami starting on January 25.

Anna Tunnicliffe was twice awarded the supreme honour in Sailing - the ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year in 2009, for her outstanding results in campaigning in both the Laser Radial Womens Match racing circuit.

She was again honoured with the same award for 2011 for winning the Womens World Match racing event at the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, and also the 2011 Snipe Womens World Championship. She came away from only one regatta in 2011, without having stood on the podium.

Anna Tunnicliffe was just the third woman to have twice won the ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year. She also won the US Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, and was nominated for the prestigious award for six consecutive years.

Tunnicliffe has not commented about the next step in her illustrious sailing career, but backgrounded the difficult decision in a news release:

I've always been a believer in the 4 D's to accomplish a goal. Dream, Desire, Dedication, and Discipline. The Desire, Dedication, and the Discipline are what support the Dream and make it come true. Without one or more of these foundations, you can't accomplish the end goal, the Dream.

It is with a sad heart and tears in my eyes, that today I am announcing that I am retiring from Olympic sailing.

I have had a great run over the last 12 years coming away with one Olympic Gold Medal, two ISAF World Sailor of the Year awards, two World Championships, Multiple Podium World Championship finishes, and a lot of World Cup titles.

I have had the best teammates and sponsors and supporters anyone could ask for. I owe a big 'thank you' to US Sailing, US Sailing Team Sperry Top Sider, Carmeuse, Kaenon, Harken, Mclube, and Zhik for being there with me all the way. Also thank you to all the other Sponsors who helped make each of my campaigns a huge success.

It is a very challenging decision, one with which I have been fighting for a while, but I finally decided that it would not be fair to Molly for me to continue without the fire that burns inside. I know the Dedication and the Discipline that is required. I know how the Desire, the fire inside, should feel. But the fire is weak, and despite my efforts to try to re-ignite it, it's not there, telling me it's time to move on.

I love sailing and will never quit the sport. The Olympic Scene takes an incredible amount of energy and time and for the last 12 years I have dedicated every minute of my life to it. But now it's time to move on to other sailing.

Thank you everyone, for your support over the years, for being there and cheering on me and Molly and Debbie. Thank you.

Sail Anna Tunnicliffe website

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
NaiadBarz Optics - Melanin LensesNorth Technology - Southern Spars