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18 March 2005, 11:07 am
Tips From The Top
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2005 Sundance Cup
Fort Worth, Tx, USA

Two time winner and 2002 ISAF Women's World Match Racing Champion, Liz BAYLIS (USA), is advising the ten female competitors from across the USA battling for the Sundance Cup. Three days of racing in Texas have followed a two-day clinic by the former World Champion.
Racing got underway yesterday at the Fort Worth Boat Club in the 2005 Sundance Cup. Today and tomorrow will see the title decided between the ten competing skippers. Tuesday and Wednesday saw a match racing clinic held by current ISAF Women's World Match Race Rankings number eleven, Liz BAYLIS, a winner of this event in 2001 and 2000.

Assistant Harbor Master, Casey TRIMBLE, has witnesses to document his report of sleet on Tuesday and Chief Umpire, Cliff BLACK, thought the skies looked conducive to snow that evening, but the clinic participation of the 2005 Sundance Cup had only to deal with cool temperatures in the 40's and blustery March winds as coach Liz began match racing drills.

Most of this year's competitors are repeat participants, with one completely new team from San Francisco and fresh faces crewing for familiar skippers. The teams began arriving Monday afternoon and after settling in with their generous host families, met for dinner and much story telling about previous years' adventures, weather and interesting anecdotes about the each other at regattas around the country last year.

After registration and weigh-in, Liz, two-time Sundance Cup winner and 2002 Women's Match Racing World Champion and Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, began the clinic session with a power point presentation on match racing fundamentals. She reviewed boat handling skills, starting sequences, tactics and strategies of circling, tailing and picks in a classroom format and then boats were rigged for on-the-water drills in upwind and downwind sailing, port and starboard entries, dial-ups and circling before and after lunch.

On Wednesday, the umpires began arriving and after the morning classroom work, PRO Bob GOUGH took Ranger out and ran through multiple starting rotations with the sailors flagging fouls and the umpires signaling penalties in preparation for the beginning of the regatta yesterday. Liz will continue coaching and videotaping performance on the water for use in the daily debriefs with competitors and umpires.

While it appears that the cold temperatures are on the way out, it was 36 degrees and foggy this morning, with patchy winds so the Race Committee decided a warning signal at 0900 hours (local time) was impractical. GOUGH opted to postpone from shore and wait for the wind to fill and Liz took the opportunity to continue with the clinic and entertain questions from the competitors. Two round robins are planned, one each yesterday and today, with petit, semis and finals tomorrow prior to the awards banquet that evening. We anticipate winds from the south and west southwest at 15-18 knots, which means lots of good match racing for spectators.

Karen Smith (As Amended By ISAF). Image:© 2000-2005 Fort Worth Boat Club
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