Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rolex Women's Regatta September 2011

J/22 Rolex Womens Keelboat World Championship

(Rochester, NY)- Who today would think it daring to declare that female athletes should be mainstreamed into big-boat sailing? That was the general attitude in 1985 until US Sailing and Rolex collaborated to create the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship (IWKC).  Twenty-five years later 'The Rolex Women’s' – as competitors fondly call it – stands as a testament to the huge strides made in women’s sailing. This biennial event regularly attracts both the Who’s Who and the up-and-coming of women’s sailing. The 14th running is scheduled for August 29 – September 1, 2011 at the Rochester Yacht Club (Rochester, N.Y.), and utilizes the International J/22 class keelboat, suitable for four-person teams. A Preliminary Notice of Race will be posted in June, 2010 on US Sailing.

Rolex Yachtswoman Anna Tunnicliffe- Rolex Woman's Keelboat Champion on J/22sThe current champion and US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics member, Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), recently received US Sailing’s highest honor as the 2009 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year based in part on her accomplishment of winning the 2009 Rolex IWKC. 'Since US Sailing and Rolex created the Rolex IWKC in 1985, many accomplished women sailors have been part of this regatta’s 25-year history,' said Taran Teague (Annapolis, Md.), chair of US Sailing’s International Women’s Keelboat steering committee. 'In fact, since its founding, this regatta has hosted more than 2,500 women representing 23 countries.'

Part of US Sailing’s Championships calendar, the regatta provides women sailors of all ability levels with high-quality racing and an opportunity to compete against top national and international sailors. Opportunities for skills development are available through nationwide Road to Rolex clinics, as well as mentoring to young women through the Next Step to Rolex program and the Junior Road to Rolex clinic.

Inaugurated in 1985 with J/24s in Newport, RI, the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship quickly became the premier women’s sailing event in the U.S. and worldwide. Held biennially, the event now sailed in J/22s provides women keelboat and offshore sailors high-quality racing and an opportunity to compete with top national and international sailors. The Houston Yacht Club in LaPorte, Texas hosted the event in 2007; the Annapolis Yacht Club, in Annapolis, Md., hosted the event from 2001 through 2005; and the Ida Lewis Yacht Club in Newport, R.I. hosted the event between 1985 and 1999. The regatta is popular with women sailors because it has pioneered a fun, competitive, but relaxed atmosphere sailing the easy-to-handle International J/22 and it's open to any women's team from around the world.  40 to 50 teams regularly participate from up to 12 countries; anyone is welcome, team  housing is provided by request to competitors; daily dockside "happy hours" contribute to camaraderie and "winner's roast"; and the winners get a gorgeous Rolex watch!  How cool is that!  Start your campaign now, get your girls organized and start sailing this summer!    Photo credits- Rolex/ Dan Nerney

For more information about the 2011 Rolex IWKC contact US SAILING’s IWKC Committee Chair Taran Teague at or RYC’s Event Chair Chris Dorsey at