Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Win In Calpe

Post sponsored by Atlantis Weather Gear
Calpe, Spain - After four days of learning the boats, adjusting to new crew numbers, and tricky wind and sea conditions, Team Tunnicliffe finally knocked off last year's champion to win the finals 3-1 at the XII International Women's Match Race Criterium.
Molly, Liz, Mary, Debbie, Anna (Team Tunnicliffe) At The Awards Ceremony
Photo: (c) J L Studio Photography, May 2010
It was a beautiful day of sailing with a building sea breeze all day. With the building breeze, the wave state built too which made controlling the boat speed upwind quite tricky, but the downwind waves were a lot of fun to surf.

Our day started against Australia's Katie Spithill. We started the semi's yesterday and were tied at 1-1 going into this morning. In the first race, we drew a penalty on her upwind for tacking too close. She led us around the course and tried to draw us in on the final downwind leg, but we managed to hang back enough until we could pass her and win the race.

In the second race, we led around the mark but made a mistake downwind, and she passed us. We couldn't get her back and she went on to tie up the series 2-2. In the final race, we led her off the line, and maintained the lead all around the course to take the win to advance to the finals against France's Claire Leroy. Claire won her semi final match up against Spain's Tamara Echegoyen 3-1.

After Crossing The Finish Line For The Win
Photo: (c) J L Studio Photography, May 2010
In the finals, we were behind in the first race until the last downwind leg, where we managed to pass her and take the first win of the series. In the second race, she led off the line, and went on to win the race. By race three, the wind had picked up quite a bit. We started to the right of her, and held her off on the first upwind. The wind shifted slightly right during the race, and we were able to maintain the lead barely downwind to make the series score 2-1. In the final race, we split from them off the start line, us going right and them going left. We had a two-boat length lead at the top mark and sailed smart to take the series 3-1.

You can check the results at the regatta website.

It was a great series, with great racing against all the teams. We learned a lot and really focused on our team work and communication. We owe a huge thanks to Liz Bower and Mary Rook (GBR) for joining us for this event. They both fitted into the team very well and we are very grateful for all of their hard work. We are off to Newport, RI tonight for the NYYC Women's Clinic and Match Race event. Liz will be joining us there too since we will be sailing Sonars. We are very excited to get there and race. We are having a great string of events and our learning curve is huge. We would like to thank everyone for their supportive emails and messages.

We would like to thank Carmeuse and Trinity Yachts for their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London. We would also like to thank USSTAG for their continued support.

Sail Hard,
Team Tunnicliffe