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7 November 2002, 10:58 am
American Wins ISAF Grade 1 Event
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2002 Winners

Rolex Osprey Cup
Tampa Bay, Florida

Betsy Alison of Newport, Rhode Island, won the Rolex Osprey Cup hosted by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club on Tampa Bay last weekend.
Sailing with Alison at this ISAF Grade 1 regatta were Lee Icyda of Newport, Dini Hall of Bristol, R.I., and Suzy Leech of Avon, Conn. Alison defeated Klaartje Zuiderbaan (NED) in the "first to two wins" final round. "We are really pleased to have won, as match racing is such a great event format," said Alison, who shifted her focus from match to fleet racing two years ago in preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games. "My teammates did a great job keeping us in the game. We were a bit rusty at the start, but smoothed out the rough edges as the event went on. We are psyched to be back in the game!"

The 10 international teams sailed one full round robin and a partial second round robin, which was ended after 6 flights when the time limit for starting another flight (1400) was reached. The race committee went straight to the semi-final round on Sunday. "The prediction for diminishing winds on Sunday led the St. Petersburg Yacht Club to curtail the semifinal round to a single match and the finals to the first to win two points," said Principal Race Officer Pat Seidenspinner.

In semi-final pairings, Alison defeated Giulia Conti of Italy and Zuiderbaan defeated Marie Faure of France.

Alison, a five-time USA Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, is pursuing a 2004 Olympic berth in the Yngling class with Icyda and Leech. They plan to compete in the Rolex Miami OCR in February and will participate in the U.S. Women's Match Race Championship, in December, as a cross training experience. "Match racing requires quick decision making, puts a premium on boathandling, and demands excellence in communication skills," said Alison.

In the petit-final round Giulia Conti (ITA) defeated Marie Fauré (FRA).
Dana Paxton
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