Claire LEROY and Christine BRIAND, both of France, tied for victory in the Rolex Osprey Cup, sailed October 28-31 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
After completing five flights of matches and working against daily conditions of light wind on Tampa Bay, the St. Petersburg Yacht Club race committee determined that the overall standings after five flights would determine the winner. Both Leroy and Briand tied with four wins and one loss, giving them the first-ever shared Rolex Osprey Cup title. Leroy's crew was Dorothée Martin D'AURAY, Julie GERECHT and Ingrid CERRATO. Sailing with Briand was Gwenaele JOULIE-METIVIER, Claire De NOMAZY and Claire PRUVOT.
"It is wonderful to win this event two times in a row,"
said Leroy (St. Quentin, France), the defending champion. "Thank you to Rolex, Tom FARQUHAR and Patricia SEIDENSPINNER for making this event possible. Thank you to my team and to my sponsors Ideactor, Gul, Sodifac-Roubaix and the French federation. We are very happy with this victory as we worked hard this year to improve.
"Like everybody I prefer when there is just one winner, but when you have the same results, and you can't break the tie, it is fair to have two winners,"
continued Leroy. "I think that Christine has come back with a very good team. That is very good for the future of match racing, because there are more good sailors competing."
For Briand, the return to match racing in 2003 has been rewarding. "I am very happy to win especially because I have quite a new crew this year with a new tactician and a new trimmer,"
said Briand, the 1994 ISAF Women's Keelboat World Champion and driver/tactician aboard Team EF Education in the 1997/98 Whitbread Round the World Race. "For us, it is our first win and I hope, not the last."
Both skippers credited the St. Petersburg Yacht Club's race committee and its chair Pat SEIDENSPINNER for their dedication in running quality races despite the frustrating conditions.
"The organizers did not have a lot of luck with the wind, but they did a great job,"
said Leroy. "Even though the wind averaged three knots, we were able to complete our matches when it was 4-8 knots. The race committee didn't try to finish the event in bad conditions, so I say a big thank you for that."
Four skippers tied for third place with three wins, two losses: Elizabeth KRATZIG (Corpus Christi, Texas/Miami, Fla.), Guilia CONTI (Lake Garda, Italy), Klaartje ZUIDERBAAN (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and Liz BAYLIS (San Francisco, Calif.).
Rounding out the standings are Sandy HAYES (Scituate, Mass.) and Lisa ROSS (Lunenburg, Nova Scotia) tied for seventh place, with Christelle PHILIPPE (Saint Nazaire, France) in ninth and SPYC junior sailor Rachael SILVERSTEIN (St. Petersburg, Fla.) in tenth.
1. Christine BRIAND, La Rochelle, France"
1. Claire LEROY, St. Quentin, France"
3. Elizabeth KRATZIG, Corpus Christi, Texas/Miami, Fla.
3. Giulia CONTI, Lake Garda, Italy
3. Klaartje ZUIDERBAAN, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
3. Liz BAYLIS, San Francisco, Calif.
7. Sandy HAYES, Scituate, Mass.
7. Lisa ROSS, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
9. Christelle PHILIPPE, Saint Nazaire, France
10. Rachael SILVERSTEIN, St. Petersburg, Fla.