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6 April 2006, 09:43 am
HAYES Wins Tiebreaker To Take Title
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Rolex Women's Match 2006
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Sandy HAYES (USA) won the ISAF Grade 3 Rolex Women's Match hosted by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club on Tampa Bay, Florida, USA. She came out on top after a complex series of calculations following a delayed final day of racing.
Sailing with HAYES from 30 March-2 April, were Sandi SVOBODA (USA), Alexis ACKMAN (USA) and Phyllis KARLBERG (USA).

Eight teams competed in Sonar keelboats, whilst silver medallist from the 2005 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship and four-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Betsy ALISON (USA) conducted a two day match racing clinic as part of the half-clinic/half-racing format. HAYES and second place finisher Kathy LINDGREN (USA) gained automatic invitations to the Rolex Osprey Cup, an ISAF Grade 1 match racing event scheduled for October.

'I didn't even realize we had won until the awards,' said a surprised HAYES. 'Since we had a three way tie after all of the round robins, it basically came down to who beat who until one person was left standing. And it was my name at the top. I don't even feel like I should've won. On the first day I lost the first two matches by just letting them go by me. I felt so stupid. They were basic mistakes. So on the second day, heading out to the race course, we reviewed what we had to do and I told my crew that if we won I'd buy them all Porsches, since the St. Pete Grand Prix was going on beside the yacht club. Now I'm going to have to buy them cars!'

Close Thing

On Sunday morning, there almost was not a regatta. As co-chair Pat SEIDENSPINNER explained, 'There was only a bit of fog and no wind, but later in the morning, a light southerly breeze appeared and the race committee decided to take the competitors out into the bay. The breeze filled in and racing started just before noon.' By the end of the weekend, a total of 39 matches were held and using Appendix C Match Racing Rules of the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing, the overall winner was determined on a tiebreaker formula of 'who beat who'.

Organizers of the Rolex Women's Match are Tom FARQUHAR (who also served as an umpire) and Pat SEIDENSPINNER (both St. Petersburg).

Established in 2002, the Rolex Women's Match annually strives to improve opportunities for women sailors. Results and photos are posted on St. Petersburg Yacht Club website - and the Rolex Women's Match website

Rolex Women's Match Final Standings

1. Sandy HAYES (USA)
3. Jo Ann FISHER (USA)
4. Chafee EMORY (USA)
5. Louise BIENVENU (USA)
7. Karen PARK (USA)
8. Debby GRIMM (USA)

Dana PAXTON (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from Tampa Bay:© Char DOYLE/Trisha BIRKENSTOCK
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