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9 December 2002, 09:52 am
Alison Wins Convincingly
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US Womens Match Racing Championship
New Orleans

Five teams from around the country came together in New Orleans this weekend to compete for the chance to be the top US female match race team.
Five teams from around the country came together in New Orleans this weekend to compete for the chance to be the top US female match race team.

Thursday was to be the first day of racing, but with winds of 20-25, with gusts well over 30, the Race committee decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and cancelled racing for the day.

Friday dawned cold, and rather blustery, but with the winds down in the 15-20 range, the race committee led by Bill Brundige, ran off 9 flights of races. Had a boat break down not occurred, he and his team would have got through a double round robin. This kept the teams (skippered by Betsey Alison, Sandy Hayes, Sally Barkow, Charlie Arms, and Tammy Oullette) and umpires (Chief Umpire Deb Schoenherr, Tom Robers, Don Makowiecki, Egil Wold (NOR), Steve Wrigley, Kim Kymlicka, Dwight LeBlanc, and Jeff Borland) very busy.

The day started out with the first flight being run without Spinnakers, but from the second flight on, spinnakers were used, and the teams were worked to their maximum. Friday evening, the teams were treated to an incredible seafood buffet by the host club, Southern Yacht Club.

Saturday, the day dawned sunny but still cold by New Orleans standards. With a dying breeze, the Race Committee was able to get in 6 more flights to get through the third round robin. Racing was much closer with the moderating breeze, and newcomer Sally Barkow was able to take a race from Betsey Alison, keeping her form running the table. This ended at about two o'clock, but with the breeze looking rather spotty, the RC and umpires got together and decided to end the round robins at this point. As the competitors got ashore, and Lake Ponchatrain went flat, that decision became the perfect one.

Final standings (after three round robins):

Alison: 11-1
Hayes: 7-5
Barkow: 8-4
Arms: 4-8
Ouellette: 0-12


The finals consisted of Alison versus Barkow, and the petit-finals Hayes versus Arms in a best 3 of 5 series.

Sunday dawned clear and cold, with less breeze than began Saturday. The RC did a great job in trying conditions, getting off 4 flights. Alison won out 3 -1 over Barkow and the Petit Finals were won by Hayes 3 -1 over Arms.
Jeff Borland/ISAF News Editor
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