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2 June 2005, 09:45 am
BJÖRLING And BARKOW Off To A Flier
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BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup 2005
Annapolis, USA

After a slow start waiting for wind, the first four flights of round robin one of the 2005 ISAF Grade 1 BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup International Women's Match Racing Regatta went off yesterday in an exciting fashion as the breeze built.
The competition, now in its 15th year, is being sailed in J/22 sloops on the waters of the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis, USA and is hosted by Eastport Yacht Club. The competition brings together the current number one in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, Claire LEROY (FRA) and former long time number one, Marie BJÖRLING (SWE) for the first time since they traded places in the Rankings released on 4 May.

The fleet left the dock at 1000 hours local time to wait for more than two hours without a puff, then returned to the dock for a more comfortable wait. They departed again around 1400, but the breeze did not really arrive until 1530.

'When it came in, it came in with a vengeance,' said Regatta Chair Jeff BORLAND, describing conditions which began at five to six knots and built up to 12-14 before the tired sailors returned to the dock again about 1930.

Two of the ten top international skippers competing were undefeated at the end of a long day, BJÖRLING, who is sailing with Anna HOLMDAHL, Elisabeth NILSSON, and Annika CARLUNGER, and the American, Sally BARKOW, who won the 2004 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship in her last appearance in Annapolis, and is joined on the water by Debbie CAPOZZI, Carrie HOWE, and Lee ICYDA. Something will have to give when the two undefeated sailors go head to head today.

LEROY, who finished third in the World Championship here last year, lost her opening match with BJÖRLING, setting off a potential power struggle that will continue through the regatta. After her initial loss, the Rankings' leader recovered with three straight wins to leave her 3-1. Also on 3-1 is Paula LEWIN (BER), whose only loss was to BARKOW.

Racing continues through until Saturday, with two full round robins on the schedule before the semi finals and final competition.

Standings
(After 4 of 18 scheduled flights)

1. Marie BJÖRLING (SWE), 4-0
T. Sally BARKOW (USA), 4-0
3. Paula LEWIN (BER), 3-1
T. Claire LEROY (FRA), 3-1
5. Liz BAYLIS (USA), 2-2
T. Charlie ARMS (USA), 2-2
7. Betsy ALISON (USA), 1-3
T. Jenny AXHEDE (SWE), 1-3
9. Christelle PHILIPPE (FRA), 0-4
T. Linda HÄRSJÖ (SWE), 0-4

BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup Entrants
(- ISAF World Match Race Ranking)

  • Claire LEROY (FRA) - 1
  • Marie BJÖRLING (SWE) - 2
  • Christelle PHILIPPE (FRA) - 7
  • Jenny AXHEDE (SWE) - 9
  • Betsy ALISON (USA) - 10
  • Paula LEWIN (BER) - 12
  • Liz BAYLIS (USA) - 14
  • Sally BARKOW (USA) - 15
  • Charlie ARMS (USA) - 35
  • Linda HÄRSJÖ (SWE) - 78
Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). LEROY in action at the Worlds, held here last year:© Walter Cooper
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