Roble takes early lead in US Women’s Match Racing Championship

Published on June 14th, 2013

Chicago, IL (June 14, 2013)  – With an undefeated scorecard earned after six completed flights, Stephanie Roble and her team have taken the early lead in the 2013 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship, held at the Chicago Match Race Center. One flight remains to complete the first Round Robin, with a second also planned for tomorrow to complete the first stage of the competition for the prestigious Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy.

Besides having spent the last three seasons at CMRC, Roble was also on the winning team as crew in both the USWMRC and the Open US Match Racing Championship last year, and is thus considered one of the favorites among the field of eight competing today through Sunday.

Race conditions today were nearly ideal, with the 10-14 knot northeast to east breeze building up 2-3 foot swells, giving all the teams excellent opportunities to display both their tactical as well as boathandling prowess in the Tom 28’s. These skills been sharpened with help from a clinic held yesterday and this morning by CMRC Director and Alpari World Match Racing Tour card holder Taylor Canfield. Both on the water coaching and off the water in debrief sessions, Canfield has been engaging teams with personalized advice on moves and maneuvers to help improve their game.

These tips helped many, including Clerc Cooper who had a weak start to the event and looked to finish the day without a win until the last match when she defeated Madeline Gill in a close match. This was just one among many hard-fought matches today that featured close starts, multiple lead changes, and for those being too aggressive, penalties assessed by the umpire team led by Kathy Lindgren.

Sitting in 3rd place on 4 points is match racing veteran Sandy Hayes, whose team looked solid throughout the racing today but a few mistakes here and there put them behind leaders Roble and Wilson. Look for them to be a Finals contender as we head into the weekend and they gain more experience in the boats.

Perhaps the most hotly-contested battle of the event will be for the fourth and final spot in the Semi-finals. Currently intercollegiate sailor turned match racer Rachel Austin and crew led by America’s Cup veteran match racer Suzy Leech are tied with umpire-turned-skipper Katie Maxim and her San Francisco-based team. After losing her first two races of the day Maxim went on a winning streak and currently has the upper hand having won her match against Austin.

And with just one defeat suffered to the Roble and her team, it was another CMRC regular has done well in the first day to sit in second on the leader board. Jennifer Wilson and her team have amassed a 5-1 record, and if the favorable wind conditions hold through tomorrow, they will have another shot at Roble to avenge this loss in the second Round Robin of this first stage of the competition.

Match race action resumes tomorrow at 9:00 AM CDT, with the intention of finishing the Double Round Robin.

For results, standings, photos and more information on the 2013 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship, please visit www.chicagomatchrace.com or the event website at championships.ussailing.org/Adult/USWMRC.

For breaking news and race results from Chicago follow us on Twitter @USSailing or @MatchRaceCenter. Use Twitter hashtag #WMRC13 to participate in the conversation throughout the championship.

The U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship is sponsored by Gill North America. This championship is a Sailors for the Sea – Clean Regattas certification event.

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