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11 October 2006, 09:18 am
World Number Ones Line Up
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Rolex Osprey Cup 2006
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

In less than two weeks, some of the world's most accomplished sailors will gather at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club in Florida, USA for the ISAF Grade 1 Rolex Osprey Cup. World number one women's match racer Claire LEROY (FRA) heads a line up that also includes Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA), number one in the Laser Radial World Rankings and three former World Champions.
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The tenth annual regatta is scheduled for 18-22 October and will take place in Sonar class keelboats on Tampa Bay. LEROY and her crew will compete against nine teams who were selected based on previous match racing accomplishments and each skipper's World Ranking. Notable sailors among the ten teams include Olympic silver medallist in the 470 Pease GLASER; three former ISAF Women's Match Racing World Champions Liz BAYLIS (USA), Malin MILLBOURN (SWE) and Betsy ALISON (USA); and world number Laser Radial sailor Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA). GLASER, BAYLIS and ALISON have all been recipients of US SAILING's Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Award.

LEROY Aims To Put A Cap On Year

'This year we're looking forward to having a lot of fun,' said LEROY, who will sail with her regular crew Ophélie THÉRON, Ingrid CERRATO and Julie BOSSARD. 'It is a nice event and our last one this year. The Rolex Osprey Cup was one of the two events we won three years ago when we decided to start match racing. It is a good memory for us.' This year, LEROY won the ISAF Nations Cup, in Ireland, alongside countryman Mathieu RICHARD, who won the men's division, and the ISAF Grade 2 Mayor's Cup, in Long Beach, USA. Notably LEROY's team won the Spi Ouest, a fleet racing regatta in France, and was the first women's team to win in the history of the prestigious event.

Last year's runner up TUNNICLIFFE has been concentrating on her Olympic campaign in the Laser Radial, picking up two fourth place finishes at the ISAF Grade W Laser Radial World Championships and the ISAF Grade 2 Olympic Test Event in Qingdao, China.

TUNNICLIFFE Back On The Match Scene

The 2005 Rolex Osprey Cup is the last event in which TUNNICLIFFE skippered. 'We will try and learn as much as possible,' said TUNNICLIFFE, referencing her team of Ali SHARPE, Liz BOWER and Genoa GRIFFIN. Both BOWER and GRIFFIN are repeats from 2005; GRIFFIN also is working toward a USA berth in the Laser Radial class. 'We are trying to do as well, if not better than last year. Of course, we are there to have fun!' TUNNICLIFFE crewed for double World Champion Sally BARKOW (USA) and won the 2005 U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship.

Two competitors received invitations to this event based on their performance at the ISAF Grade 4 Rolex Women's Match, held in April at the SPYC: Sandy HAYES (USA) and Kathy LINDGREN (USA).

The schedule includes a practice race on Wednesday 18 October. Racing will take place from approximately 0930 each day from 19-22 October, near the St. Petersburg Municipal Pier, making watching from shore easy and enjoyable for spectators. The format consists of a double round robin, with knockout (first to win three points) semi-final and final rounds scheduled at the end of the round robins.

For all the news on the Rolex Osprey Cup CLICK HERE.

Dana PAXTON (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Malin MILLBOURN in action last year:© Char DOYLE
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