The skippers roster for next week's Rolex Osprey Cup, an ISAF Grade 1 match racing regatta hosted by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, shows an interesting mix of Olympians, Volvo Ocean Race veterans and Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year.
Returning champion and world #3 match racer Claire LEROY of France will have her work cut out for her as she will face nine outstanding sailors from five different countries, including her countrywoman Christelle PHILLIPPE, who is ranked fourth in the world. Sailed in Sonar class sailboats with crews of four, the 10 invited teams will take part in two round robins, with a knockout semi-final and knockout final round scheduled at the end of the rounds. Racing will take place October 28-31 on Tampa Bay within viewing range of the St. Petersburg Municipal Pier.
"We are excited about the high level of competitors this year,"
said Pat SEIDENSPINNER, regatta chair. "Eight of them represented their countries at the Athens Olympics this summer. Liz Baylis, the 2002 world match racing champion and Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year is bringing her team that includes 2000 Olympic Silver Medallist and Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Pease Glaser. There are also a couple of around-the-world sailors in the group - Christine Briand and Klaartje Zuiderbaan."
Two competitors received invitations to this event based on their performance at the Rolex Women's Match, a grade 3 event held this past April at the SPYC. Sandy HAYES (Scituate, Mass.) won the regatta and Rachael SILVERSTEIN, who placed second.
"Our specially chosen race committee recently ran the U.S. Match Racing Championship,"
said Seidenspinner. "We are all looking forward to putting on an excellent event. The umpire corps, headed by Henry Menin of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is outstanding and we look forward to working with them as well."
Skippers confirmed for the event are:
1. Liz BAYLIS (San Francisco Yacht Club, San Francisco, Calif.) 2002 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year
Crew: Pease GLASER, Katie PETTIBONE, Aimee HESS
ISAF rank: 12
The San Francisco Women's Match Racing Team won the 2000 and 2001 Sundance Cup, 2001 Rolex Osprey Cup, 2002 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship, 2003 Boat/US Santa Maria Cup and 2003 US Women's Match Racing Championship.
2. Christine BRIAND (La Rochelle, France)
Crew: Gwenaele Joulie/Metivier, Claire De NOMAZY, Claire PRUVOT
ISAF rank: 14
Returned to match racing in 2003, in 2004 the team placed second at Spring Cup (France), eighth in Calpe (Spain) and Lisykil (Sweden), fourth in Antibes (France), 2003 third in Antibes (France), fourth Rolex Osprey Cup, 1994 ISAF Women's Keelboat World Champion and driver/tactician aboard Team EF Education in the 1997/98 Whitbread Round the World Race
3. Giulia CONTI, (Lake Garda, Italy)
Crew: Alessandra MARENZI, Angela BARONI, Giulia MAZZOTTI
ISAF rank: 24
At age 18, she represented Italy in the Olympic Yngling Class at Athens.
4. Sandy HAYES (Scituate, Mass.)
Crew: Kim HAPGOOD, Chafee EMORY, Sarah LYNCH
ISAF rank: 18
Second at the 2003 Sundance Cup, third at the 2003 U.S. Women's Match Race Championship.
5. Elizabeth KRATZIG (Houston, Texas/Miami, Fla.)
Crew: Leah HOEPFNER, Wibke BUELLE, Jamie HAINES
ISAF rank: 15
2003 Rolex Women's Match (ISAF grade 3) champion
6. Claire LEROY (St. Quentin, France)
Crew: Dorothée Martin D'AURAY, Julie GERECHT, Ingrid CERRATO
ISAF rank: 3
2003 Trentino Women's Match Race (ISAF grade 1) champion
7. Christelle PHILIPPE (Saint Nazaire, France)
Crew: Claire GLAYMANN, Eva FOUCHER, Céline DEVAUX
ISAF rank: 4
The team has been sailing together for four years, First 2004 European Championship, 12th 2004 ISAF Women's World Match Racing Championships
8. Lisa ROSS (Toronto, Canada)
Crew: Deirdre CRAMPTON, Chantal LEGER, Jen PROVAN
ISAF rank: NR
Ross represented Canada in the Olympic Yngling class in Athens.
9. Rachael SILVERSTEIN (St. Petersburg Yacht Club, St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Crew: Kira DEVERS-JONES, Kaylyn BRICKEY, Becca THOMPSON
ISAF rank: 44
Local junior sailor, youngest competitor in the event, second-place finisher in the 2004 Rolex Women's Match and crew in three previous Rolex Osprey Cups
10. Klaartje ZUIDERBAAN (Netherlands)
Crew: Anneke VLIEGER, Marion KOOISTRA, Carrie HOWE
ISAF rank: 25
Amer Sports Too crew in the 2001/2002 Volvo Ocean Race.