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19 October 2005, 09:04 am
BARKOW Retains Title
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Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship 2005
Hamilton, Bermuda

On the final day of racing on Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda the defending champion Sally BARKOW (USA) showed Bermudians and the world what a lake sailor from the American Midwest can do, recovering from two penalties to win the 2005 Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship with a 3-0 victory over Betsy ALISON (USA) in an all American final.
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'Sally BARKOW is a star,' said world renowned commentator Peter J. MONTGOMERY. 'She came back from behind twice in three matches against Betsy ALISON, a world class sailor in her own right.'

BARKOW took on both the world's best sailors and Bermuda's flukiest breezes to power up the race course in near flawless sailing yesterday. With teammates Debbie CAPOZZI, Carrie HOWE and Annie LUSH, the young Americans earned their stripes on the water with skill and strength. To get to these finals they used impressive seamanship abilities as well as their teammate, HOWE fell overboard and BARKOW had to pull her back on board midway through a race.

'We had some aggressive racing in the pre-start today and then received two penalties,' BARKOW said. 'It is so easy to make a mistake in match racing, but we made very few mistakes in our overall sailing. I have a team with great instincts when it comes to calling the breeze and I think that was critical to our results.'

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Sally BARKOW on her way
to victory over Nina
© Bob Grieser/PPL
While BARKOW won the first race, light airs delayed further racing until late afternoon. She then incurred a penalty during the next pre-start, but erased it at the top mark and took the lead. It set the tone for the final race where BARKOW took the lead at the top mark with a spectacular spinnaker set and went on to take the winning gun.

'When we came to the top mark in the last race I got a left shift and opened up the lead. I looked back and said, 'Did Betsy drop an anchor?''

'We sailed a really good regatta and we are proud of what Sally did and that we had two Americans in the finals as it shows that in match racing we can really step up to the plate,' ALISON said. 'This whole field has expanded and it is great to see so many good women sailors out there. Everyone here had the talent to win and we are not disappointed with our second place finish.'

Both ALISON and BARKOW have qualified to compete in the knockout round robin series of the Investor Guaranty presentation of the ISAF Grade 1 King Edward VII Gold Cup starting tomorrow, where BARKOW faces Chris DICKSON (NZL) and ALISON meets Gavin BRADY (NZL).

'I think Chris DICKSON should be a little nervous about Sally,' ALISON said. 'And, Gavin BRADY, well, I just don't know.'

The petite finals also wrapped up today with Claire LEROY of France dominating Danish sailor Nina BRAESTRUP.

In the two semi finals, BARKOW lined up against BRAESTRUP, whilst LEROY, who finished top of the second stage round robin and therefore had a choice of opponents, opted to face ALISON. In the first semi final match, a container ship passed through the race course. BARKOW managed to squeeze ahead but BRAESTRUP lost out.

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The moment of truth when Betsy ALISION forced Claire LEROY to collide and lose their semi final match when
rounding the windward mark and setting spinnakers on Hamilton Harbour
© Bob Grieser/PPL

'We are disappointed that they continued with that race because the ship really hurt us,' BRAESTRUP said. 'In the second race, they just had better boat speed and sailed better in the lighter breezes.'

Leader of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings LEROY was in a strong position in the second round of the semi finals against ALISON after winning their first match, but incurred a penalty on the final downwind leg which led to her being knocked out of the final rounds.

LEROY met BRAESTRUP again in the petite finals where they dominated the Danes and took it 2-0. LEROY and her team of Dorothea Martin d' AURAY, Ingrid CERRATO, and Elodie BERTRAND agreed that they sailed well through the four days.

'We sailed very well today and we did make some mistakes against Betsy ALISON but are still not disappointed in our results this time. We would like to come back next year and sail against the boys,' LEROY said.

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Lifting the ISAF Women's Match
Racing World Championship Trophy
(from left to right) Lady Vereker, wife
of the Governor of Bermuda, Debbie
CAPOZZI, Annie LUSH, Sally
BARKOW, Carrie HOWE and Dr
Douglas LOVE, CEO of Virtual
© Bob Grieser/PPL

At last year's Worlds in Annapolis, USA, BARKOW was somewhat of a surprise winner, entering the event as the lowest ranked of the 16 competitors. After more success on the match racing circuit this year, as well as victory at the ISAF Grade W Yngling World Championship in Austria, the American started the Championship in Bermuda with the pressure of far higher expectations.

After a shaky day one which saw her on a 3-3 record at the end of day one she commented, 'We made small mistakes and that cost us but we will go out there tomorrow and do well.' She was true to her word, storming back with four wins and just a single loss on Sunday to move through to the second stage round robin. Wins against Nicky SOUTER (AUS) and crucially Marie BJÖRLING (SWE) on Monday saw her progress to the last four, where yesterday she produced her top form to win all five of her matches and sweep to her second World title of the year.

Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship Results


Sally BARKOW d. Betsy ALISON, 3-0

Petit Final

Claire LEROY d. Nina BRAESTRUP, 2-0

Semi Finals

Sally BARKOW d. Nina BRAESTRUP, 2-0
Betsy ALISON d. Claire LEROY, 2-1

Second Stage Round Robin Standings
(Top Four Progressed To Semi Finals)

1. Claire LEROY (FRA), 4-0
2. Nina BRAESTRUP (DEN), 3-2
3. Betsy ALISON (USA), 3-2
4. Sally BARKOW (USA), 2-2
5. Marie BJÖRLING (SWE), 2-3
6. Nicky SOUTER (AUS), 0-5

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Sally BARKOW (left) and her team
celebrate their second consecutive
World title
© Bob Grieser/PPL

Round Robin Standings
(Top Six Progressed To Second Stage Round Robin)

1. Marie BJÖRLING (SWE), 9-2
2. Betsy ALISON (USA), 7-4
3. Nina BRAESTRUP (DEN), 7-4
4. Sally BARKOW (USA), 7-4
5. Claire LEROY (FRA), 7-4
6. Nicky SOUTER (AUS), 6-5
8. Paula LEWIN (BER), 6-5
9. Klaartje ZUIDERBAAN (NED), 4-7
10. Jenny AXHEDE (SWE), 4-7
11. Linda RAHM (SWE), 2-9
12. Christelle PHILIPPE (FRA), 1-10

Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship Final Standings

1. Sally BARKOW (USA)
2. Betsy ALISON (USA)
3. Claire LEROY (FRA)
6. Nicky SOUTER (AUS)
8. Paula LEWIN (BER)
9. Klaartje ZUIDERBAAN (NED)
10. Jenny AXHEDE (SWE)
11. Linda RAHM (SWE)
12. Christelle PHILIPPE (FRA)

For a complete list of all the news about the Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship CLICK HERE.

Laurie Fullerton. Image, ISAF Women's Match Racing World Champion for the second year running Sally BARKOW:© Bob Grieser/PPL
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