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US Olympic Trial victory for Anna Tunicliffe and Team Maclaren

by Anna Tunnicliffe on 31 Oct 2011
Team Maclaren Celebrating After Winning The Trials Part #1 (2011) © John Payne Photography http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=398577277464&set=a.398576672464.157432.272527067464&type=1&theater

With US Olympic Trials currently underway, Team Maclaren today experienced an exhilarating victory when they wrapped up the series 4-0 over Team Tulloch after two windy races.

We have qualified for the second trials in May in Weymouth UK, the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, and the first three of the 2012 ISAF World Cup events.

We woke up to rain and wind this morning but were excited to sail in conditions different to those that we had seen all week. We headed out in 15-17kts which quickly increased to 20kts+ half way through the first race. The wind was blowing from the north east (off the key) so we thought that the water would be somewhat flat. But we were quite wrong. There was a nice chop which developed quite quickly and sharply and it made upwind sailing quite challenging, but downwind a lot of fun.

The first race started with us leading Team Tulloch off the line on port tack. We got into a tacking dual off the line and they ended up closing the distance between the boats. We leebowed them on port tack and they held for a few seconds before tacking away. We followed their tack but they bailed on their tack half way through and tried to come back on port as we tacked to starboard. They ended up getting a penalty and we were able to pull ahead at that point as they were a little slow from the move.

We rounded the top mark with a two length lead that, once we got our kite up and going, we extended to about eight lengths. As we rounded the bottom mark the gap closed as Tulloch was still blasting downwind and we were pounding into the waves upwind, but we still had a four length lead on which we were able to extend going down the last downwind leg.

The second race started with us on the left of the line and Tulloch on the right. We tacked up to them and went to duck them, but they leebowed us. Unfortunately for her, she hit some bad waves as she started to tack and was slow in her tack so ended up getting a penalty for tacking too close. We split a little to the left before tacking back to port as she split to the right. When we next came together just low of starboard layline, we had advanced enough on her to place a very good leebow.

We were able to pinch her off and get a couple lengths lead around the top mark. From there both boats surfed downwind very quickly. We stayed ahead on the beat and pulled out an extra length so that we crossed the finish line on a plane to win the race, take the series and win the regatta.

We are very happy that we did so well in this regatta. All of the teams sailed very well, and having teams like Team Barkow (ISAF rank number three), Team Tulloch (ISAF rank number eleven), and the up and coming teams such as Stephanie Roble, to battle, makes us better sailors all the time. We put in a lot of training time and would like to thank all of our training partners over the past couple of months, especially Team Audi Match Race (Team Finland).

We also want to thank our coach, David Dellenbaugh, for all of his help, and thanks to everyone for their good luck emails and texts. You can check out the results at the regatta website.

Next we have two weeks off, well at least from Elliott 6m sailing. Molly is heading home to see her husband and dog, Nelly. Debbie is heading back up to New York to close her ice cream store for the season. I'm heading to the BVI's tomorrow morning for the Bitter End YC Pro Am Regatta for a week. Then we are all heading to Puerto Rico in November for the 2011 ISAF World Sailor of the Year awards, then home for a couple days before we are off to Australia for a month of training and racing.

We would very much like to thank our Title Sponsor, Maclaren, our Gold Level Sponsors 11th Hour Racing and Laser Performance, and our Bronze Level Sponsors Carmeuse, Trinity Yachts, Chicago Match Race Center and Sperry Top-Sider for their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympic Games. We would also like to thank US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) and its sponsors for their continued support. Also, thank you to our private donors. Please remember that any and all donations/contributions to our campaign should be made payable directly to either The Sailing Foundation of New York (tax deductible) memo'd Anna Tunnicliffe, or to Anna Tunnicliffe.

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