Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Anna and Team Tunnicliffe: Ready To Tackle The World

In November last year, I made the hard decision to focus on Women’s Match Racing for 2012 London Olympics. It was a tough decision and took a great deal of soul searching. I love sailing/racing the Laser Radial and the competition in the fleet is very fierce. However, the new Olympic discipline of Women’s Match Racing, combined with the Elliot 6m (an overgrown, physically demanding dinghy) pulled at my heart strings and convinced me to follow that path.

TeamTunnicliffe Chasing Down The Opposition
Photo: copyright, John Payne, January 2010

It is quite a different type of sailing. Firstly, the biggest adjustment is sailing with other people. Oh my goodness, there were people on board with whom I could discuss tactics. I still make the final decision, but it is quite enlightening to hear different perspectives. And then, secondly, of course, there is only one other boat on the start line. Certainly something to mess with one’s head.

But that is the other appeal about match racing, women’s or open. In fleet racing, make a mistake and you usually have time to make up for it. In match racing, make a mistake and the fight back has to be instantaneous, although the race isn’t won until the first boat crosses the line. So many more alternatives going through one’s head at one time.

And then there is the teamwork. Finding the right people to make up the team is not an easy task. I have been very lucky to have several girls willing to sail with me. For the Elliot 6m, I sail with Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi. I think sometimes, I am not the most genial person to have at the back of the boat. But like any successful business team, not everyone agrees all the time, but everyone respects everyone’s opinion.

TeamTunnicliffe: Debbie (white hat), Molly (black hat), Anna (no hat)
Photo: copyright, John Payne, January 2010

I am very satisfied with my decision, but am now facing the reality of said decision. The costs of attending the regattas we need to, in order to gain the experience to accomplish our Olympic Gold goal for the USA, have increased considerably; there are now 3, 4 or 5 people to transport to venues, house and feed.

I am very aware that everyone is having to streamline their budgets, I have already done this to our team budget, and of the uncertainty of the future. But please, if you are able, would you help my team, TeamTunnicliffe, continue our campaign journey by making a donation (tax deductible) to our fund? I can’t say thank you enough to everyone so far for your generous support, but THANK YOU. Please, will you continue to help us in your most benevolent way and be an integral part of TeamTunnicliffe and our quest for Olympic Gold?
If you are able to help us, donation checks should be made payable to The Sailing Foundation of New York, marked specifically FOR ANNA TUNNICLIFFE and mailed to:

The Sailing Foundation of New York
PO Box 267
Cos Cob, CT 06807
Further information on this organization can be found via our website, click on Support Crew and scroll down to the Individual Sponsorship section.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone. I will continue to write updates from training venues and regattas to keep you informed of our progress.

Sail Hard,

Anna and Team Tunnicliffe