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31 March 2005, 10:30 am
Grants Offered To Prepare Women Sailors For September Competition
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Annapolis, USA

Rolex Watch U.S.A. will sponsor several 2005 "Road to Rolex" clinics across the USA and abroad in preparation for US SAILING's Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship (Rolex IWKC), scheduled for 17-23 September 2005 at Annapolis Yacht Club, Annapolis, Md.
Organizers are seeking yacht clubs and sailing centres to host the 'Road to Rolex' clinics. Since 1997 the clinics have provided women sailors with additional opportunities to hone the keelboat racing skills needed for competition in the Rolex IWKC.

The Road to Rolex clinic programmeme is designed for one- or two-day formats and features an instruction manual developed by five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Betsy ALISON (USA). ALISON, an internationally recognized sailing educator and coach as well as being ranked at number ten in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings and number 17 in the Keelboat Women ISAF World Sailing Rankings, has won the biennial Rolex IWKC five times.

'The Road to Rolex clinics are designed to be adaptable to a group's ability level, knowledge of the equipment and skills requiring attention,' said coordinator Nicole CHRISTIE of Annapolis. 'In 2001 the first international clinics took place in South Africa and Holland, and we'd be thrilled to see more clinics this year outside of the U.S.'

At clinics with more than five boats participating, the host organizer will run a series of short races at the conclusion of the clinic. The winner will have her clinic fee deducted from her entry fee for the Rolex IWKC.

Organizations interested in hosting a 'Road to Rolex' clinic should contact Nicole CHRISTIE at or write in care of Annapolis Yacht Club, Two Compromise Street, Annapolis, MD 21401.

The 'Road to Rolex' clinics were initiated in 1997 to provide women sailors with additional opportunities to hone their sailing skills. Locations where past clinics in the USA have been held include Rochester, N.Y., Monterey, Calif., Oklahoma City, Okla., Chicago, Ill., and Minnetonka, Minn.

The Rolex IWKC was inaugurated in 1985 at the instigation of the US SAILING's Women's Championship Committee, and quickly became the premier women's sailing event in the USA and worldwide. Held biennially, the event provides women keelboat and offshore sailors high-quality racing and an opportunity to compete with top national and international sailors. Rolex Watch U.S.A. has sponsored the regatta since it's inception. The event is part of US SAILING's Adult National Championships series.

US SAILING (As Amended By ISAF). Image, 2003 Rolex IWKC winner Sally BARKOW:© Dan Nerney/Rolex Photo
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