Tunnicliffe Gets A Step Closer With Olympic Qualifier Win

October 30, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Oct. 30, 2011

Key Biscayne, Fla. (October 30, 2011) - In a dramatic conclusion to five days of racing, ODU sailing great and 2008 Olympic Gold medalist Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.) and her Team Maclaren crew Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) won the 2011 U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta over Genny Tulloch (Sausalito, Calif.) and her Team GetSailing Alice Manard Leonard (East Haven, Conn.) and Jenn Chamberlin (Washington, D.C.). Tunnicliffe defeated Tulloch in two straight matches on Biscayne Bay. As the top four skippers at this event, Tulloch, Barkow (ODU'02) , Tunnicliffe (ODU'05) and Roble (ODU'11) (advanced to the second, and final, selection event for the 2012 Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta, scheduled for May 4-7, 2012 at the Olympic sailing venue. The winner of that event will represent USA at the 2012 Olympic Games. The Olympic Regatta will be held July 27 - August 12, 2012, in the towns of Weymouth and Portland, which are located on the southern coast of England, approximately 120 miles southwest of London.

"I'm really proud of my team," said Tunnicliffe moments after reaching the dock. "We put a lot of time in on the water and depended on that training today. We took one race at a time and it went our way."

With this win, Tunnicliffe secures the berth to represent the USA at the 2011 International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Combined World Championships, Dec. 3-18, in Perth, Australia. The team will soon travel to Australia to begin training.

Tunnicliffe was up two wins over Tulloch coming into the day's matches after coming back to win the semi-final round.

"I'm really proud of my team," said Tunnicliffe. "We came back and we've really gelled together as a team. We put a lot of time in on the water and depended on that. We took one race at a time. Training paid of in that when you see a situation at a regatta you know what to do. The more time you spend in the boat is going to help you.

Tulloch's team spent that past season sitting out the ISAF Sailing World Cup events as they were the third-place team at the U.S. Qualifier regatta in early 2011. With this second-place finish, they will have the second USA berth at World Cup events when the U.S. is given one.

"We're totally happy," said Tulloch. "We didn't need to win this regatta. There's not a lot of difference between first and second. We didn't know until yesterday that we had a spring schedule and now we do."

The day started with a passing storm squall resulting in 18-22 knots of wind for racing. Conditions on the race course made for a thrilling final flight of matches.

First up was the final match of the semi-finals to determine third and fourth place between Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.) and Stephanie Roble (Chicago, Ill.). Barkow came into today with one win on her score card in the "first-to-two-wins" round and went at Roble, quickly winning the match to seal third place.

Barkow sails with Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham (Miami, Fla.) and Alana O'Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) as Team 7 Match Race, while Roble, Maggie Shea (Chicago, Ill.) and Darby Smith (Chicago, Ill.) represent Chicago Match Racing Center.

Racing was run by the Key Biscayne Yacht Club Race Committee and organized in collaboration with US SAILING's Olympic Sailing Committee. Sail Sheboygan supplied the Elliott 6m Olympic class boats as well as on-the-water assistance.

Full results and photos: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Events/2011WMRTrials.htm

About the 2011 US Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta - Women's Match Racing Organized by US SAILING, the national governing body for the sport, the Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) and Key Biscayne Yacht Club, the ISAF Grade 3 event is scheduled for Oct. 26-30, and will determine the top four teams who will advance to the second, and final, selection event for the 2012 Olympic Team berth in Women's Match Racing. The winning team will qualify for the USA berth at the following events: ISAF Combined World Championships (Dec. 3-17, 2011 in Perth, AUS); US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR (Jan. 23-28, 2012 in Miami, Fla.); Princess Sofia Regatta (March 31-April 6, 2012 in Palma, ESP); French Sailing Week (April 20-27, 2012 in Hyeres, FRA); and the 2012 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship (June 25-20 in Gothenburg, SWE).

About US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top athletes in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. US SAILING supports these elite athletes with funding, coaching and training. The title sponsor of the team is AlphaGraphics; other sponsors include Rolex Watch USA, Atlantis WeatherGear, Sperry Top-Sider, LaserPerformance, Harken Team McLube, Trinity Yachts, New England Ropes, Group Experiential Learning and Bow Down Training. http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.

About US SAILING The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org .

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Dana Paxton, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, danapaxton@ussailing.org; onsite in Miami 401-369-0490