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23 September 2005, 10:23 am
BARKOW Clinches Title With One Race To Spare
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Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship 2005
Annapolis, Maryland, USA

Not since the early days of the Rolex International Women's Keelboat Regatta when Betsy ALISON (USA) began her streak of five wins has this regatta seen a performance from one sailor and her team as has been witnessed this week in Annapolis, Maryland, USA. Yngling and ISAF Women's Match Racing World Champion Sally BARKOW (USA) and her Team 7 crew clinched the title at the conclusion of yesterday's racing on Chesapeake Bay with one day - and one race - to spare.
With a scoreline totaling 14 points in ten races, BARKOW topped a 42 boat fleet stocked with impressive competitors such as Cory SERTL (USA) and Jody SWANSON (USA), both noted as a USA Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, who are currently in second and third place, respectively. Two races were held yesterday on Chesapeake Bay by host Annapolis Yacht Club.

'It feels fantastic to win,' said BARKOW, who is number one on the US Sailing Team in the Olympic Yngling class. 'We're pretty lucky to win it with one race to spare. We took every race and sailed consistently and that was the game.' BARKOW's crew is the same as her Yngling team - Carrie HOWE and Debbie CAPOZZI - with the addition of Annie LUSH. All four won the 2003 Rolex IWKC title.

BARKOW and crew will sit out the final race and let the rest of the fleet enjoy themselves. After devoting the past two years to full-time sailing with the goal of earning a berth for the 2008 Olympic Games, BARKOW explained that she needs the rest.

SERTL, who is in second place overall, also appears to be able to sit out today's race. 'The way we figured it, we don't think we have to sail tomorrow, but we'll make that decision in the morning,' she said noting that Carol CRONIN (USA), currently in fourth place overall, might be awarded redress by the jury for picking up a crew person who had fallen overboard, changing her fifth place finish in yesterday's last race. SERTL is sailing with USA Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Pease GLASER, Dina KOWALYSHYN and Suzy LEACH.

CRONIN described the last race where soon after rounding the leeward mark in third place, she was headed back upwind as Stephanie MCMAHON's (USA) boat was sailing downwind toward them. MCMAHON lost crew member Teresa STROUT overboard when the boat accidentally jibed. 'We tacked because we didn't want to hit them,' said CRONIN, who won this regatta as crew in 1999. 'Then we saw their teammate in the water and quickly went head to wind. She swam right to us and jumped on. We were able to get going again, and sail with her, but we lost the two boats we were covering, so that is why we were filing for redress.' Later CRONIN was awarded a third place by the International Jury, bringing her point score to 48, one point behind SWANSON.

SERTL won the race, which was held on a triangle course. 'Pease said that we're probably the only ones here old enough to remember triangle courses,' joked SERTL noting that when this regatta was first held in J/24s in the late 1980s and early 90s, triangle courses were more common. 'We started at the pin, because there was room there. But Jody was down there and I was careful to start to leeward of her, because there were a lot of waves and it is important to have a clear lane to steer. Once we had that and had clear air, we made the boat go fast, then we tacked and had the whole fleet behind us.'

New Zealand's Sharon FERRIS is in fifth place, with local standout Jo Ann FISHER (USA) in sixth. FISHER captured two second places yesterday.

The regatta concludes today with one final race planned.

Event Media (As Amended by ISAF). Image, Sally BARKOW has been at the top of her game in Annapolis:© Dan Nerney/Rolex
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