Monday, August 15, 2016

J/70 Women’s Worlds Preview

Women J/70 sailing team (Rye, New York)- The American Yacht Club in Rye, N.Y. will host the new International Women’s Keelboat Championship in provided J/70 class sailboats from August 14th to 20th. The IKWC Committee Chair for the event is Carolyn Russell and the Event Chair is Hilary Davidson.

The championship will offer women keelboat and offshore sailors high quality racing on the international stage without the need to provide their own boats or sails. To ensure a fast and competitive racing format, additional changes have been made to speed up the action. The format consists of fleet racing with a twist. The championship features sixteen teams from the USA, New Zealand, Germany and Canada, with each team rotating boats after every two races. Each team will race an equal number of races against the others. Races will be approximately 15 minutes in duration. The AYC, in cooperation with US Sailing, will provide on-the-water judging.  The event will be hosted immediately offshore of the AYC peninsula that thrusts into Long Island Sound, it should provide a great viewing experience for spectators.

On Monday, August 15th, the “Magenta Project” will host a training clinic led by three-time International Women's Keelboat Champion, Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, and Olympian Sally Barkow.  A native of Wisconsin, Barkow will host a presentation on her experience as a skipper/crew on the all-women’s TEAM SCA in the 2015 Volvo Ocean Race that same evening.

Women J/70 sailing team off CowesThe two Canadian teams are Isabella Bertold from Vancouver, British Columbia and the other is Elizabeth Hjorth, currently living in Marina del Rey, CA.  The German team, lead by Mareike Weber from Munich, has an experienced crew of J/24 sailors.  The Kiwi team from Auckland, New Zealand is led by skipper Melinda Henshaw.

The American crews come from six states from across the country, notably California, New York, Washington, South Carolina, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  As recently as last weekend Megan Ploch’s crew finished tied for first in the YRA Long Island Sound Championship and will be sailing in her home waters.  Similarly, Suzie Leech, a top woman J/70 skipper from Jamestown, Rhode Island, will have Long Island local knowledge expert, and former America’s Cup skipper, Dawn Riley on her crew as tactician.  Also, hoping that knowledge of western Long Island Sound conditions will help are Morgan Wilson’s team from Port Washington, NY, Danielle Gallo’s crew from New York, NY, Emily Maxwell’s team from New York and Clematis Everett’s team from the host club AYC in Rye, NY.  Coming from the south is Elaine Parshall’s team from Hartsville, SC, with a top women J/70 sailor aboard- Holly Graf from Fishing Bay YC.

A significant contingent is participating from the west coast, including three teams from California- Giselle Camet Nyenhuis (with Molly Vandemoer aboard) from San Diego YC, Ashley Tobin (with Melinda Erkelens as tactics) from San Francisco, and Allie Blecher from Long Beach.  Two crews are participating from Seattle, Washington- Liesl Mordhorst and Kathryn Meyer.

Inaugurated in 1985 at the instigation of US Sailing's Women’s Championship Committee, of which Helen K. Ingerson was a long-time Chair, the International Women’s Keelboat Championship 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.  For more Women’s Worlds sailing information