Sunday, February 3, 2008

Anna Tunnicliffe - Silver in Rolex Olympic Classes Regatta

Photo: Dan Nerney/Rolex
Hello Everyone,
I came from the back of the pack to win the Laser Radial Medal Race today at US Sailing’s 2008 Rolex Olympic Classes Regatta on Biscayne but I had to settle for a Silver Medal. My arch rival Paige Railey, who sailed a great series all week, finished sixth in the Medal Race but beat me by four overall points to win the Gold.

We were due to start our short Medal Race at 1100 hours but these were Qingdao conditions and not even enough for a start. The clouds broke up soon after and we started half an hour later in four to five knots of northeasterly breeze.

I knew my Silver Medal was pretty secure. There would be a match race for the Bronze Medal between Karin Soderstrom from Sweden and Penny Clark from Great Britain who were only one point apart in third and fourth places. They were going to take care of each other and I didn’t have to worry too much about them. The only thing I could do to win the Gold was win the race and hope that Paige placed ninth or tenth.

At the start I was over early along with four other boats, including Paige. I restarted, hitched out to the rite and set out in pursuit, closing up on the pack and rounding the top mark in eighth.
My downwind leg was really good and I picked up several boats. As I headed down to the lee mark I noticed clouds clearing on the left hand side of the course, so I tacked and went left as soon as I rounded. The fleet seemed determined to play other games but I got more pressure than the others and led them around the top mark.

Paige was still in last place at the bottom mark but she headed out to the right, along with me, so that she was sixth at the top mark. She held that position on the run to the finish as the breeze continued to die, with big holes all over the place. Unfortunately there just weren’t enough boats between us.

Sail hard,