67 teams from seven countries have registered for the Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship. The USA, Bermuda, Canada, New Zealand, Denmark, South Africa and the Cayman Islands are all represented in this event which will be sailed in J/22s.
And it's an impressive looking line up. Notable skippers include Betsy ALLISON, Sally BARKOW (USA), Carol CRONIN (USA), Paula LEWIN (BER) and Jane MOON (CAY). Alison and her Yngling crew Suzy LEECH and Lee ICYDA have come straight from the ISAF World Championship in Cadiz where they finished fifth and teamed up with Diane HALL and will be hoping to add a sixth title to her bow.
Paula LEWIN, Sally BARKOW and Carol CRONIN were also competing in Cadiz and are making the switch from the Yngling to the J/22. Cronin will be sailing with her Yngling crew mate Elizabeth FILTER and they will be joined by Linda EPSTEIN and Kate FEARS whilst her third team mate from Cadiz, Nancy HABERLAND is fielding her own team. Haberland has teamed up again with Karina SHELTON and Aimee HESS who were part of Liz BAYLIS'S 2002 ISAF World Match Race Championship winning crew and with ISAF Committee member Dina KOWALYSHYN who was part of the winning team at this championship in 2001.
A pre-event "Road to Rolex" clinic got underway yesterday, September 25. The "Road to Rolex" clinic series, now in its fourth year, is a unique educational component of the Rolex IWKC and has provided hundreds of women sailors a chance to learn from five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Betsy ALISON as well as other high-profile sailing coaches. Alison, who will vie for an unprecedented sixth Rolex IWKC title this year, wrote the instruction manual and helped to develop the now four-year-old instructional series. Greg FISHER, from Rolex IWKC sponsor North Sails, is lead the clinic which welcomed all competitors to participate. The Rolex IWKC is one of US SAILING's national championships.
Racing begins on Monday 29 September following a practice race on Sunday and continues until Friday 3 October.