'I have been enjoying sailing in the Etchells class,' said LEWIN adding that she and her crew have been out in the J24 recently practising for the World Championships. 'We will be going out some more before the racing starts,' she said.
While LEWIN has mainly been sailing in Bermuda following the gruelling campaign for the 2004 Olympics, she did travel to Annapolis this summer for the ISAF Grade 1 Santa Maria Cup which featured many of the women skippers who will racing later this month in the championships.
'We always try and go to the Santa Maria Cup,' she said. This year she finished in third place in Annapolis in the J22s.
Of her competitors in Bermuda for the championships, LEWIN said: 'Many have been here before and I have sailed against a lot of them in other regattas.'
Eleven of the 13 top ISAF ranked women match racers, according to the rankings released on 22 June 2005, will contend for the World Championship title - and a share in the $25,000 prize money. And the top two skippers will have the chance to compete in the prestigious, ISAF Grade 1 King Edward VII Gold Cup on Hamilton Harbour.
'To watch the professional women's circuit and see the constant display of determination, teamplay and skill of these top ranked women's skippers, makes being the title sponsor of their World Championship an honour,' said Douglas L. KING, Managing Director of Virtual Spectator.
Sally BARKOW from the United States is the reigning match race champion whose team just won the 2005 Rolex Interntional Women's Keelboat Championship. She will defend her current ISAF Women's Match Racing World title against the top ranked women skippers in the world today namely Claire LEROY from France who is ranked at number one, Marie BJÖRLING from Sweden who is ranked number two, Nina BRAESTRUP from Denmark who is the number three ranked sailor, number four Jenny AXHEDE from Sweden, number five Klaartje ZUIDERBAAN from Holland, number seven Christelle PHILIPPE from France, number nine Linda RAHM from Sweden, number ten Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN from Denmark, number eleven Paula LEWIN from Bermuda, number 12 Betsy ALISON from the United States and number 13 Nicky SOUTER from Australia.
Vice Commodore of host club, The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Andrew COX said: 'To have Virtual Spectator, who is widely recognised across the sporting world, as Title Sponsor is a major advantage and promotion of this world-class regatta. We look forward to working with them in the Women's Event and appreciate their participation as Presenting Sponsor and Technology Partner of The King Edward VII Gold Cup.'
Action begins on Saturday, October 15 with the Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship sailed in J24's and the unseeded ISAF Grade 3 Gold Cup qualifying match racing event being sailed in classic IOD's. It will be non-stop action straight through to Tuesday when the ISAF prize giving crowns the women's world champion and racing confirms the top six in the Gold Cup Qualifier.
Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship Entrants
(Helm, Crew, Current ISAF World Match Race Ranking as of 22 September 2005)
For a complete list of all the news about the Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship CLICK HERE.