tops match racers
Elizabeth Kratzig of Miami Beach, Fla./Corpus Christi, Texas, won the Rolex Women’s Match, hosted by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club in April on Tampa Bay.
Sailing with Kratzig in the International Sailing Federation Grade 4 match racing event were 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist Lenka Smidova from the Czech Republic, Carrie Howe of Grosse Pointe, Mich., and Liz Hall of Bristol, R.I.
Ten teams completed 79 matches during three days of round-robin racing in Sonar keelboats. Kratzig and second-place finisher Chafee Emory of Newport, R.I., gain automatic invitations to the Rolex Osprey Cup, an ISAF Grade 1 match-racing event scheduled for Oct. 27 to Nov. 1.
Barker beats Coutts
for Congressional Cup
Dean Barker, the bruised and humbled former apprentice, lived to defeat his mentor, Russell Coutts, for victory in the 41st Congressional Cup. Coutts said the better man won.
“We had a chance to win, but we never really deserved to win,” said Coutts, who sailed with Jes Gram-Hansen and his Danish crew. “It’s not a bad situation. They sailed great all week. They were a little sharper than us.”
Coutts had eliminated Chris Dickson, CEO and skipper for BMW Oracle Racing’s America’s Cup team, 2-1, in the semifinals while Barker was coming from behind to oust France’s Mathieu Richard by the same score. When Dickson beat Richard, 2-1, for third place, it meant that the Kiwis would finish 1-2-3, but the top two remained to be settled in a match rife with human elements.
Barker again has donned the Crimson Blazer he first wore when he won the Congressional Cup in 2000 — the year Coutts let him drive the clinching race against Prada.
U.S. team tops
US Sailing Team-members Sally Barkow (Chenequa, Wis.), Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.), and Carrie Howe (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) won the Yngling fleet at Semaine Olympique Française April 29 in Hyères, France.
The competition proved to be a nail-biting experience from start to finish for Barkow’s team, the only Americans competing in the all Olympic-classes event. Throughout the regatta, the competition in the Yngling fleet was close, and Barkow’s team was in the top two the entire time, trading the lead several times with the British team skippered by Olympic gold medalist Sarah Ayton.
The final day of racing turned out to be the most exciting of all when event organizers “piloted” the Grand Final: after the last race of the day was completed, a Grand Final was to be sailed by the top three Yngling boats in overall rankings (USA, GBR, and RUS). In the Grand Final, the three boats would sail races until one of the boats won two races and that boat would have been named the ultimate winner. However, after three Grand Final races, each Yngling team had won one race and the deadline in the Sailing Instructions didn’t leave enough time for a fourth race to be sailed to determine a winner. Since Barkow and crew had won the regular fleet racing event, they were declared the winning team.
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