Monday, March 21, 2016

International Women’s Keelboat Championship- Open for Entries!

J/70 women's sailing team
(Rye, New York)- US Sailing is now accepting applications from domestic and international teams to the new and improved International Women’s Keelboat Championship on August 14-20, 2016 at the American Yacht Club in Rye, N.Y. The championship will feature 24 teams in J/70 class sailboats and half the fleet has been reserved for international teams.

Inaugurated in 1985 at the instigation of US Sailing's Women’s Championship Committee, the IWKC quickly became the premier women’s sailing event in the U.S. and worldwide. Held biennially, the event provides women keelboat and offshore sailors high quality racing and an opportunity to compete with the top national and international sailors. The Ida Lewis Yacht Club, Newport, RI became host for the event and hosted the championship until 2001, when it began to move around the country.  Rolex- sponsor at its inception- subsequently became the title sponsor until 2013.

The trophy is named for Bengt Julin, an international judge and sailor from Sweden and strong supporter of women’s sailing.  A sailing philanthropist, Julin championed the event from its inception and was instrumental in making it an international competition.  Julin presented the very first trophy to Betsy Alison of Newport, RI and retired the original to her after she had won it three times consecutively.  Alison had an unbroken winning streak competing against teams from a dozen or more nations from 1991 through 1997. In 2007, Sally Barkow matched Alison by winning the championship for the third time (the same Sally that was a crew-member on the famous Volvo Ocean Race all-women’s team- TEAM SCA).

This is a great opportunity for top-notch women sailors around the world. Any women’s team can apply- just submit your application & resume. Application fee is refundable if not accepted.  Since the event is run using J/70 class rules, there is no limit on crew. 24 teams will be selected from around the world.  Half the teams will be from North America  and half from the rest of the world.

To ensure fast and competitive racing, the format will be “sailing league” style- just like the popular Sailing Champions League in Europe. The format consists of fleet racing, featuring two flights of six boats each with teams rotating after every two races. Each team will race an equal number of races against the others. Races will be approximately 15 minutes in duration. All racing will be held close to shore, providing an improved viewing experience for spectators.

All J/70’s will be provided and will be tuned identically with a set of brand-new matched one-design sails.  For more International Women’s Keelboat Championship sailing information