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PERTH 2011 ISAF SAILING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS UPDATE – Women’s Match Racing Gold for Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)

PERTH 2011 ISAF SAILING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS UPDATE – Women’s Match Racing Gold for Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)

The USA’s Anna Tunnicliffe, Deborah Capozzi and Molly Vandemoer have taken the Women’s Match Racing gold medal in the final against Great Britain’s Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor in front of a packed grandstand at Fremantle’s Inner Harbour.

Published on 16/12/11 courtesy Perth 2011

Team Tunnicliffe (l-r Debbie Capozzi, Molly Vandemoer, Anna Tunnicliffe) Daniel Carson

“It’s amazing, we’ve put a lot of effort into this year and had a lot of big events we had to get through and this has really topped off all our hard training,” Tunnicliffe said.  “The team sailed really well, it was tricky conditions, conditions that we actually thought we were weakest in so we’re psyched we came out on top.”

Tunnicliffe secured the gold with four straight wins on Day 14 of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, despite some very tight sailing from Macgregor who was beset by penalties through the afternoon.  “It was so close, neither team could give up. Everyone was pushing it to the limit,” Tunnicliffe said. “In the last race it was an inch or two to the finish line, that pretty much summed up the racing.”  “We made some monumental mistakes in getting penalties,” said silver medallist Lucy Macgregor.

It was a game of cat and mouse between the two contending world champions, and at one point they were close enough to touch each other as they rounded the windward mark, drawing gasps from the crowd.  “It was close all around and Lucy is a great competitor, her team is awesome and we just had so much fun sailing against them,” Tunnicliffe said.  “It was incredibly hard, but a ton of fun,” the USA’s Molly Vandemoer said. “It was never over till the very, very end.”

“It’s been frustrating,” Great Britain’s Annie Lush said. “It’s been a great two weeks, but a very hard two weeks.”  France’s Claire Leroy took out the bronze medal in the petite final against Russia’s Ekaterina Skudina.  After being even on one match apiece and with a number of lead changes between the French and the Russians, Leroy won  the next two matches to take the bronze.  Despite some hard fought sailing from Skudina, Leroy never thought she would lose third place.

“We were not worried. We were ready to fight and we just took it match after match,” Leroy said. “We knew at this level all the girls are really, really good so we did what we had to do.”

A good sea breeze blowing up the middle of the harbour made for great sailing conditions and ensured the action was close at hand for the spectators.

At the conclusion of the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championships, 29 teams have competed in over 360 individual matches. After today’s epic finals the top eight are confirmed as

Women's Match Racing Medalists - (l-r) GBR, USA, FRA (Daniel Carson)

1. Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
2. Lucy Macgregor (GBR)
3. Claire Leroy (FRA)
4. Ekaterina Skudina (RUS)
5. Nicky Souter (AUS)
6. Anna Kjellberg (SWE)
7. Mandy Mulder (NED)
8. Oliva Price (AUS)

The following countries have also qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games: GBR, USA, FRA, RUS, AUS, SWE, NED, NZL, and POR.

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Marit Bouwmeester (NED) is the 2011 Laser Radial world champion, Paige Railey (USA) captures bronze medal

World number one Marit Bouwmeester (NED) is the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Champion.

Medal Ceremony Laser Radial - Daniel Carson/ISAF

Evi van Acker (BEL) fought till the very end, but it was not enough to beat an ecstatic Bouwmeester.  “I feel awesome. I said I wanted to dominate the week. It was a really really tough week and I was happy,” Bouwmeester said.  “Fight back yesterday and now fight back today. Yea I feel awesome,” she said.

It’s Bouwmeester’s first world title. “I’m going to give my family and friends a big hug, celebrate and say thank you.”  Many of them were on the grandstand breakwater, cheering her on with flags and cheers of encouragement.

Evi van Acker worked her way to a point where she could have taken the world title, but her efforts weren’t enough.  “I keep getting second, it’s sad but it keeps me motivated to work more for the Olympics,” van Acker said.

Paige Railey (USA) won the bronze by the smallest of margins, taking the medal by a single point. “It’s a huge relief. I’m extremely happy to see all the hard work pay off,” she said.

The Laser Radial Medal Race sailors had winds of 8-13 knots, but the pressure constantly changed. The spectator breakwater also played a role in defining race tactics.

ABOVE PHOTO:  Paige Railey (SA), Marit Bouwmeeter (NED), Evi van Acker (BEL).  Laser Radial – Women’s One Person Dinghy Top 3 Sailors.

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Tears Of Joy For Portuguese Women’s Match Racers

Portugal’s Rita Goncalves, Mariana Lobato and Diana Neves clinched the final Women’s Match Racing London 2012 spot available at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships following a light wind day on Fremantle’s Inner Harbour.  After 80 flights and 320 Women’s Match Races, it all boiled down to the last race of the Round Robins for the eighth and final spot.

With eight race wins Goncalves occupied the final nations place ahead of the final flight. Silja Lehtinen (FIN) was one point behind her and required a victory in her final race against Nicky Souter (AUS) to finish level with Goncalves. And after beating Goncalves earlier on in the regatta it would have been Lehtinen who took the final spot.

But in the last race Lehtinen was comprehensively defeated by Souter sparking celebrations in the Portuguese camp as the girls qualified their country. Holding back the tears after the news, a near speechless Goncalves said, “My dream was to go to the Olympics and I think it came true.”

Goncalves’ crew of Lobato and Neves watched nervously from the grandstand and jumped for joy when Souter crossed the line ahead of Lehtinen. The Skipper said, “I don’t like to depend on the others but I didn’t see the race because of too much stress. After five days we were stressed and it all came down to today. Now it’s a dream come true that we will be sailing at London 2012.”

Rival Australian skippers Olivia Price and Nicky Souter both qualified Australia for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition as they finished second and third in the second Round Robin and advance to the Quarter Finals of the competition.

Price said, “I can’t really describe it, we are so stoked with how things went today. Qualifying the nation is predominantly what we came here to do and tick, achieved. I guess it hasn’t really sunk in that much.”

Souter added, “Not only did we qualify the country but we’ve made the Quarter Finals which was a big goal. We found out we qualified with two races to spare so it was a big relief.”

Stephanie Hazard qualified New Zealand and Anna Kjellberg made sure that a Swedish match race team will be on the start line at London 2012 after a steady day on the water. But the big celebrations will be within the Portuguese camp tonight.

The four nations today will join France, the Netherlands, Russia and the USA as teams who have qualified from Perth 2011. As hosts Great Britain directly qualify for one quota in each event with the 2010 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship winning trio of Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor already named as part of British squad for next year.

The Women’s Match Racing International Country Olympic Qualifying Regatta at Key Biscayne Yacht Club (KBYC), Florida, USA from February 1-5 2012, will be the final chance for the final three Women’s Match Racing teams to qualify their country for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

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39 Nations Qualify For London 2012 After Eight Days Racing At Perth 2011

After the Finn, Men’s 470, Women’s RS:X and Laser Radial completed racing today at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships 39 nations, out of the 79 competing in Perth, have qualified to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Diana Detre

Hungary’s Diana Detre took the final qualification spot in the Women’s RS:X following a tense final race.  The Netherlands’ Lilian de Geus trailed the Hungarian by six points with two races remaining but after Race 9 the Dutch girl closed the gap to a single point after finishing fourth compared to Detre’s ninth place. The pressure was on in the final race with Geus and Detre fighting early on. But the Hungarian did what she needed to do to qualify Hungary by finishing five points ahead of de Geus.

“I am pretty happy because it was really tight at the end,” Detre said onshore racing. “Before the last race Lilian de Geus could still beat me to take the final place so it was going to be really close. But in the last race I beat her by quite a lot of distance so I’m happy that happened.”

The Hungarian was unaware of the point’s deficit as she headed into the final race but knew her task, and after a minor setback she came through on top. Detre added, “I didn’t know the exact points going into the final race as I wasn’t counting in my head. I just wanted to do what I had to do and just finish before her by as much distance as I could.

“In the second race I fell off and injured myself a little bit so it was really hard to concentrate on the race but I was still able to do it.”

Diana Detre

With qualification for Hungary guaranteed Detre now has time to relax, but her spot is not cast-iron for London 2012 with Sara Cholnoky also in contention for the Hungarian spot, “Next up for me is a bit of rest and then I am going to Spain to train for the next World Championships but before I am going to compete at the Europeans and then train and train before London 2012.”

After the fleet split 18 nations had guaranteed their Women’s RS:X places with 20 of the 28 Olympic spots on offer in Perth, Hungary join them as do Greece after Angeliki Skarlatou took the 19th place.

Twenty five of the 29 Olympic spots available at Perth 2011 in the Laser Radial were decided following the fleet split leaving four available for Silver fleet sailors to fight over. Singapore’s Elizabeth Yin, Portugal’s Sara Carmo, Japan’s Kanako Hiruta and Norway’s Marthe Enger Eide all qualified their nation after ten races.

St. Lucia’s Beth Lygoe came close to qualifying her nation but finished 14 points off the Norwegian. With nine of the further 39 spots available at the Laser World Championship next year, Lygoe, and all the other nations have a second chance to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Ahead of the final day in the Men’s 470 Gold fleet 24 nations were fighting for 19 London 2012 places available in Perth. In the end Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Croatia, Spain, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden and the USA all came through strong to take Olympic spots.

And in the Finn class, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine, and the USA took the 18 London 2012 spots up for grabs at Perth 2011.

Story courtesy of ISAF.

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Qualification Spots Up For Grabs For London 2012 At Perth 2011

The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships acts as the major qualification regatta for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.  Of the 79 nations competing for World Championship glory, 31 have qualified their nation so far in the Women’s RS:X and Laser Radial, with the battle continuing in the Finn and Women’s Match Racing.

At Perth 2011, 20 of the 28 places for the Women’s RS:X sailors are up for grabs and so far 18 sailors have qualified their nation. Two more places will be awarded at Perth 2011 and a further seven at the 2012 RS:X World Championships in Cadiz, Portugal in March next year. As the host nation, Great Britain are automatically awarded a place and Bryony Shaw was announced as the host nations sailor. After her selection in September Shaw said, “For me this will be my second Olympics, and it’s exciting that I’ve been able to keep on improving. It’s amazing to be part of such a strong and special team and to feel the vibe that we’re all focussed and confident with the task ahead.”

The countries qualified for the Women’s RS:X at London 2012 are: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Spain, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, Poland and Ukraine

Twenty five nations have qualified their country to sail the Laser Radial at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition after a hard fought opening affair at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

At Perth 2011 four more nations have the opportunity to qualify their nation but so far Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey and the USA are all guaranteed of a spot on the starting line at Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain next year.

In the Women’s Match Racing, Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) and Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) finished at the top of Group A in Perth and qualify USA and Russia for London 2012. Six further places will be awarded in Perth. Lucy Macgregor (GBR) will take the host nation spot and the remaining three spots will be decided at the Women’s Match Racing Olympic Qualifying Regatta in Florida, USA in February.

(Stories and photos courtesy of 2011 Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships)–

Women’s Match Racing

www.perth2011.com

Silke Hahlbrock (GER) put an end to Anna Tunnicliffe’s undefeated run in the final flight of Women’s Match Racing on Monday, with the German managing to come from behind to get over the line in front as the World No. 1 lagged with sea weed caught on her keel.

In the previous flight, Hahlbrock (GER) had managed to edge out Australia’s Nicky Souter, also previously undefeated, in another tight match. It was also a great day for Finland’s Silija Lehtinen, who is yet to lose a match, despite stiff competition throughout the day.

At the conclusion of day three, Finland remained the only undefeated team with USA-1, AUS-1, GER, and NZL also finishing strongly.

Women’s Match Racing is scheduled to start on Tuesday at 1000 Perth time on the Inner Harbour course.

Women’s RS:X

Despite light winds delaying the start of the Women’s RS:X competition, the breeze blew in unexpected results for the yellow fleet with World No. 1 Blanca Manchon (ESP) finishing 46th overall with lower than expected finishes in both her races.

Manchon’s compatriot Marina Alabau (ESP) fared better, with a third and an 11th place finish putting her in twelfth overall for the day.

The Chinese Women’s RS:X team thrived in the afternoon’s light winds, with all four of the country’s athletes placing in the top 10 in the Yellow Fleet.

In the Blue Fleet, wins for Lee Korzits (ISR) and Laura Linares (ITA), and solid results in their other race, had the two sailors high in the progressive results.  But Bryony Shaw (GBR) recorded a second and a third to share the overall lead with Korzits.

The Women’s RS:X event is scheduled to continue on Tuesday on Centre course at 1230 local time.

Laser Radial

Image by ISAF Media Library via Flickr

Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi teamed to go 3-0 in Women’s Match Racing Saturday when the ISAF Combined World Championships in sailing began in Perth, Australia. Genny Tulloch, Alice Manard Leonard and Jenn Chamberlin won Sunday in the only race for a U.S. team. Slots in the 10 Olympic divisions are at stake in the championships, which run through Dec. 18.

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Women’s Match Racers Face Calm Conditions At Perth 2011
A promised afternoon sea breeze failed to materialise for Group B crews at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships in their first taste of competition on Fremantle’s inner Harbour.  While hot easterlies saw 20 matches completed, the remainder were postponed to 6 December after a forecast afternoon sea breeze failed to materialise.

Sailing action in the first four flights of the day saw strong performances from Lucy Macgregor (GBR) and her crew, with clear wins in three out of four matches, beaten only by Australian teenager Olivia Price and her crew. “We’re pretty happy with today, we raced five races, won three and lost two,” said Price. “In the races that we lost it was just unfortunate errors that we made ourselves. We came back each race to fight hard and we’re really happy with our performance today.”

The two teams from Netherlands found themselves going head to head in Group B.

Renee Groeneveld (NED) and Mandy Mulder (NED) had each recorded three wins, but up against each other, it was Groeneveld and her crew who crossed the line two boat lengths ahead.

Group B sailors first encountered gusty easterly winds up to 15 knots, but a short-lived wind change at midday forced a course change-over. As a result, the final match, between the two Spanish teams, was postponed to the second day of Group B racing on Tuesday.

The forecast sea breeze failed to arrive in time for Price to open up a gap on Silvia Roca (ESP). Neither team flew a spinnaker as they crawled down the last leg of the course with very little pace until the last few metres, when Price saw her chance and cut in ahead of Roca, winning the match.  Poor wind conditions continued into the afternoon which saw racing grind to a halt as the course was arranged and rearranged in an attempt to accommodate the changes.

Taking to the water for flight 32, was the second group of Elliot 6m crews. However, the sailors competed more against the dying wind and tidal flow than against each other.  In flight 33, France and Croatia struggled to gain momentum in match 1 as the famous Fremantle Doctor still failed to appear.

With an almost non-existent breeze, ISAF officials decided that would be the last race of the day, postponing the days remaining flights until 6 December, when Group B is next scheduled to compete.  Women’s Match Racing commences at 10:00 local time tomorrow with the Laser Radial the first fleet to receive their warning signal at 12:00 local time. The Women’s RS:X and Men’s 470 follow at 12:30. The Finn fleet start at 13:00.

The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships website will bring you results, tracking, live updates and all the latest news both on and off the water.

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Great Britain’s Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark head into their first Women’s 470 World Championships together and after they were awarded a quota spot for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition the pressure on them is off. The pair sailed an excellent regatta at the Olympic Test Event finishing second to Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata (JPN).

Both teams will be competing for top honours alongside World #1 Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Farrar-Kinsolving (USA), local girls Belinda Stowell and Elise Rechichi (AUS), 2010 World Champions Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout and a string of other experienced and up and coming Women’s 470 sailors.

The Women’s Match Racing competition opens the regatta on 3 December at 10:00 local time.

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Sailing World Comes Together At Perth

In just five days’ time the sailing world will converge upon Perth, Australia for the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.  Over 1,100 sailors from 78 nations will compete in the ten Olympic events as they look to claim World Championship glory and qualify their nations for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.

The Women’s Match Racing competition will kick the competition off on 3 December before the Men’s RS:X, Laser, Women’s 470 and 49er round off the competition on 18 December.

During the 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup no Women’s Match Race crew stamped their authority on the opposition as six separate winners came out of the six World Cup regattas that featured Women’s Match Racing. Nonetheless, ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) took the overall title after finishing on the podium at four World Cup regattas. In fact the American has finished on the podium at 11 of 13 regattas sailed in during 2011 and will be one of the front runners in Perth.

Tunnicliffe said, “We would love to come away with the gold medal. Our goal is to be on the podium in Perth. But what’s cool about match racing is that anybody who is sailing well that day can come out on top. Even if you’re top in the world and have a bad day you’re not going to make. We are looking forward to the intensity of the event and sailing against all the competitors. “I’ve sailed Lasers in Perth and absolutely love it. I love the wind, the temperature and they’re going to do a fantastic job.”

Finland’s Silja Lehtinen will be one to watch out for in Perth and proved she has what it takes to win major competitions following her gold medal at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, the Olympic Test event, in August.

The ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship defending champion Lucy Macgregor (GBR) is back to defend the title she claimed at Newport, Rhode Island, USA last year. The World #3 comes into the regatta without the pressure of having to qualify Great Britain for the Olympic Games after she was awarded the quota place in September.

Twenty seven crews have been confirmed, and competition will be fast and fierce with nine of the top ten Women’s Match Racers registered. The final champion will be crowned on Friday 16 December.

The Laser Radial, Men’s 470, Women’s RS:X and Finn will be the first fleets to set sail on Monday 5 December with the Medal Races scheduled for 11 December.

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and Evi Van Acker (BEL) have dominated the Laser Radial in recent months with the former comprehensively sealing gold at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta and moving to the World #1 spot. But with over 100 entries in the Laser Radial the opening stages will be crucial.

China’s Lijia Xu took the first ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta at Sail Melbourne in her preparations for Perth. The Chinese sailor and World #60 finished ahead of an experienced field that featured World #6 Krystal Weir (AUS), World #7 Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) and Annalise Murphy (IRL). All will sail in Perth to stake their claim for World Championship glory and an Olympic spot.

The Finn class have 77 expected entries from 33 nations, with the strongest and deepest fleet assembled in recent years. In all there are 22 former Olympians, four Olympic medallists and four former world champions.

During the 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup the Finn was dominated by British sailors. At all seven regattas either Giles Scott, Ben Ainslie or Ed Wright topped the podium. In the end it was Ainslie who came out on top, claiming the title by nine points ahead of Wright.

The trio will all be in contention throughout the regatta however the likes of Zach Railey (USA), Rafa Trujillo (ESP), Dan Slater (NZL), Jonathan Lobert (FRA) and Ivan Kjlakovic Gaspic (CRO) are all capable of causing an upset and will feature heavily during the regatta.

Sixty seven entries have been confirmed in the Women’s RS:X and 19 of the world’s top 20 will sail in Perth. Among the entries is 2010 Women’s RS:X World Champion, 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup Champion

WEYMOUTH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03:  Bryony Shaw of...

Bryony Shaw (Image by Getty Images via @daylife)

and current World #1 Blanca Manchon (ESP), the experienced Jessica Crisp (AUS) and four time Olympic gold medallist Alessandra Sensini (ITA). Add in the on form Marina Alabau (ESP), Zofia Klepacka (POL) and Bryony Shaw (GBR) and the scene is set for a gripping competition.

Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) have prepared for Perth 2011 in fine fashion. The World #1 470 duo finished second at Sail Melbourne but at the 470 Australian Nationals in Perth they sent out a message to the strong field by blowing all the competition away to win by 17 points.

The Australians took the 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup title ahead of Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) and Pierre Leboucher and Vincent Garos (FRA). The World #2 Greek pair will be worth a watch but the Australians main rivalry could come from the French pair. Leboucher and Garos have had the better of the Australians in 2011 finishing ahead of them in three World Cup regattas and winning the Olympic Test Event. Belcher and Page will want to stamp their authority on the chasing pack by taking the World Championship.

The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships website will bring you results, tracking, live updates and all the latest news both on and off the water.

More than 25 international and national broadcasters have signed up to take the television coverage of Perth 2011 and viewers will also be able to watch live coverage of all ten Medal Races on the Perth 2011 website as well as daily highlights on www.sailing.org/TV

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