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21 September 2005, 09:11 am
Sure And Smooth For BARKOW's Team 7
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Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship 2005
Annapolis, Maryland, USA

Sally BARKOW (USA) and her Team 7 crew looked steady as a rock yesterday, with straightforward victories in two of three races at the Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship in Annapolis, Maryland, USA. With five races now completed after the second of five racing days, Team 7 is showing a total point score (with one discard allowed) of five points.

'We might make it look easy, but it's really hard work,' said BARKOW, who with all but one of her four-woman crew sails an Yngling in an Olympic campaign that takes the team around the world. 'We love the J/22. It's easy for us to jump in it and go.' There are 42 of the J/22s competing in the biennial event, which for its last three runnings has been sailed on Chesapeake Bay.

Directly behind BARKOW, with 13 points, is Jody SWANSON (USA), with Cory SERTL (USA), aboard Lucy, following in third with 15 points. SWANSON and SERTL, as USA Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Award winners, have the clout of Heisman Trophy recipients, and the foreign team sitting in fourth is comprised again of Olympic aspirants, the skipper being Sharon FERRIS of New Zealand and her boat name being TeamOneNewport. FERRIS represented her country at the 2004 Olympic Sailing Competition, sailing to seventh in the Yngling event, and has announced her intent to win a berth for the 2008 Olympic Games.

'We're one of the only two teams that have beaten Sally in a race here,' said FERRIS' tactician Raynor SMEAL, 'so she is beatable.' SMEAL recounted that they finished second to BARKOW's team at the 2005 ISAF Grade W Yngling World Championship, so the heat will be turned up as such. 'We'll try to throw her a few curves, at least, if we can.'

SMEAL added that she keeps an eye on the top ten boats and the local Maryland teams, of which there are 14. 'We know if we are near them, we're going the right direction.'

Marker 88, one of the Maryland teams skippered by the 17 year old Sara MORGAN WATTERS, were pleased with their performance yesterday, even though the scoreline read 24-14-33. The 14th was their regatta best, and they were close in that race to Carol CRONIN aboard Team Spidey, who sits in fifth overall. 'Carol went to the Olympics!,' said Marker 88 crew Christina MURRAY, referring to CRONIN representing the USA in the Yngling class at the 2005 Games. 'That was so exciting!' The Marker 88 crew members have never sailed in a regatta of this size and calibre before, their experience being relegated to dinghy sailing at the local Severn Sailing Association. CRONIN's eleventh in the race to which MURRAY referred became a throwout, and she keeps three sixth-place finishes and a second.

Event Media (As Amended by ISAF). Image, Sally BARKOW and crew lead the regatta overall after five races:© Dan Nerney/Rolex
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