Blecher wins Women’s Match Racing title
Published on August 21st, 2022
Allie Blecher and her team from California Yacht Club claimed their second U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship on August 19-21, besting last year’s runner-up Janel Zarkowsky and her team from Scuttlebutt Sailing Club / Storm Trysail in the finals 3-0. The 2022 edition was in Sonar boats at Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in Oyster Bay, NY.
The event was also the U.S. qualifier for the 2022 Women’s Match Racing World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand. As Blecher has already won her berth to the 2022 Women’s World Match Racing Championships this November in Auckland, New Zealand, Zarkowsky will receive an invite for her second-place finish.
Event reigning champion Nicole Breault of St. Francics Yacht Club bested last year’s third place finisher Bridget Groble and the Bow Down racing team in the Petit Finals, taking third overall. Breault will be joining Blecher at the 2022 Women’s World Match Racing Championships, having qualified because of her World Sailing ranking.
“For us it’s always about communication, staying heads out of the boat and connecting the dots,” said winning skipper Allie Blecher. “It was a tricky event – sometimes you had to leave your guy to head for pressure, and it would be well worth it.”
After three days of light mornings, shifting to a Long Island Sound sea breeze in the afternoons, race committee was able to race a round robin, consolation round robin, semifinals, and finals for a total of 70 races. From match racing rookies to seasoned veterans, a multitude of sailors were in attendance with a large focus on learning and uplifting female sailors.
“My favorite thing about the women’s match racing series is that everyone is really willing to work together to get better,” said Ali Blumenthal, a member of winning Team BAAM. “There’s no ‘every man for themselves’ out on the water or on land, so it is a wonderful opportunity for women of any ability to get into match racing because everyone wants to share information and make the fleet better.”
Top three teams:
1. Team BAAM: Allie Blecher, Katja Sertl, Beka Schiff, and Ali Blumenthal
2. As One: Janel Zarkowsky, Rose Edwards, Annabelle Ayer, and Eva Fortunato
3. Vela Racing: Nicole Breault, Karen Loutzenheiser, Julie Mitchell, and Hailey Thompson
First held in 1974, the U.S. Women’s Open Championship was rededicated as the U.S. Women’s Match Race Championship in 2000.
Source: US Sailing