The skippers roster for next week's Rolex Osprey Cup in St. Petersburg, USA is showing an interesting mix of top Olympic Yngling sailors ready to do battle against established match racing names.
The St. Petersburg Yacht Club will host 10 teams (including one specially invited junior team) for the ISAF Grade 1 match racing event, which takes place on Tampa Bay in four-person Sonars. A double round-robin elimination is scheduled to take place Thursday and Friday, October 30-31, with semi-final and final rounds to follow on Saturday and Sunday, November 1-2.
Skippers confirmed for the event are:
· Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Rolex International Women's Keelboat Champion and Olympic aspirant in the Yngling
· Christine Briand (LaRochelle, France), 1994 ISAF Women's Keelboat World Champion and driver/tactician aboard Team EF Education in the '97/'98 Whitbread Round the World Race
· Sarah Buckley (Chicago, Ill.), second-place finisher in the ISAF Grade 4 Rolex Women's Match held earlier this year at SPYC
· Giulia Conti, (Lake Garda, Italy), at age 16 the highest world-ranked match racer (12th) competing in this event and an Olympic hopeful in Yngling
· Carol Cronin (Jamestown, RI), third-place finisher at the 2003 Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship and ranked ninth in the world in the Olympic Yngling class
· Elizabeth Kratzig (Houston, Texas/Miami, Fla.), 2003 Rolex Women's Match (with Barkow as crew) champion and crew for Jody Swanson's Olympic Yngling campaign
· Claire Leroy (St. Quentin, France), 2003 Trentino Women's Match Race (ISAF Grade 1) champion and ranked 13th in world match racing
· Rachael Silverstein (St. Petersburg, Fla.), specially invited local junior sailor (age 14), third-place finisher in the 2003 Rolex Women's Match and crew in two previous Rolex Osprey Cups
· Hannah Swett (Jamestown, R.I./New York, N.Y.), 2003 Yngling World champion, currently ranked fifth in the world in that class
· Deborah Willits (Houston, Texas), 2003 Sundance Cup champion
Just this week Barkow, Kratzig and Willits advanced to the semi-final rounds of the hotly contested Bermuda International Women's Match Racing Championship, an ISAF Grade 1 event hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.