by Jake Fish
Women’s match racing takes center stage this week at Oakcliff Sailing in Oyster Bay, N.Y. One of the premier high-performance training centers in the country will host the 2014 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship, beginning this Friday, July 11 through Sunday, July 13.
2013 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship
Eight talented teams of six sailors will race in the Match 40 over three days of intense, one-on-one match racing action. Competition is just part of the experience for sailors this week. Oakcliff Executive Director Dawn Riley will conduct a match racing clinic for the competing teams prior to the start of the championship on Thursday, July 10. Riley is a world-renowned sailor, who has raced on four America’s Cup and two Whitbread (now Volvo Ocean Race) teams.
Highlighting this year’s cast is Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wis.), who is fresh off her third place finish at the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship last June in Cork, Ireland. Roble is the third ranked women’s match racer in the world and #1 in the U.S. She won the 2013 Stena Match Cup Sweden Women’s Trophy. She returns to the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship after placing second last year in Chicago.
Four skippers who raced in last year’s championship have returned to take another shot at the elusive Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy. These returning skippers, along with Roble, are Katie Maxim (Napa, Calif.), Sandy Hayes (Scituate, Mass.), and Madeline Gill (Oyster Bay, N.Y.).
There is a lot on the line this week beyond trophies and medals. The winning skipper receives an automatic 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. and an automatic invitation to the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge at Sail Sheboygan (Wis.) on September 23-28, 2014.
Venue and Schedule
• Racing will take place on Oyster Bay, Cold Spring Harbor or Long Island Sound.
• First signal for racing is scheduled for 10am EDT, July 11-13.
• The tentative last signal for racing on Sunday, July 13 is 2pm EDT.
Racing Format (subject to change)
• Stage 1 – Single Round Robin
• Stage 2 – Round Robin to determine places 5-10
• Stage 3 – Semifinal knockout series
• Stage 4 – Petit Final for places three and four
• Stage 5 – Final knockout series for places one and two
* The intended course will be windward/leeward/windward/leeward with starboard rounding, finishing downwind.