Sally Barkow and team win 2005 Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Worlds Match Racing Championship in Bermuda

On the final day of racing on Hamilton Harbour, Sally Barkow, the defending ISAF world champion showed Bermudians and the world what a lake sailor from the American Midwest can do when she and her team recovered from two penalties to win the 2005 Virtual Spectator ISAF Women’s Worlds Match Racing Championship. She defeated veteran American sailor Betsy Alison from Newport, Rhode Island 3-0.

“Sally Barkow is a star,” said world-renowned commentator Peter J. Montgomery. “She came back from behind twice in three matches against Betsy Alison, a world-class sailor in her own right.”

Barkow took on both the world’s best sailors and Bermuda’s flukiest breezes to power up the race course in near flawless sailing today. With teammates Debbie Capozzi, Carrie Howe and Annie Lush, the young Americans earned their stripes on the water with skill and strength. To get to these finals they used impressive seamanship abilities as well as their teammate Carrie Howe fell overboard and Barkow had to pull her back on board mid-way through a race.

“We had some aggressive racing in the pre-start today and then received two penalties,” Barkow said. “It is so easy to make a mistake in match racing, but we made very few mistakes in our overall sailing. I have a team with great instincts when it comes to calling the breeze and I think that was critical to our results.”

While Barkow won the first race, light airs delayed further racing until late afternoon. She then incurred a penalty during the next pre-start, but erased it at the top mark and took the lead. It set the tone for the final race where Barkow took the lead at the top mark with a spectacular spinnaker set and went on to take the winning gun.

“We sailed a really good regatta and we are proud of what Sally did and that we had two Americans in the finals as it shows that in match racing we can really step up to the plate,” Alison said. “This whole field has expanded and it is great to see so many good women sailors out there. Everyone here had the talent to win and we are not disappointed with our second place finish.”

Both Alison and Barkow have qualified to compete in the knockout round robin series of The Investor Guaranty presentation of The King Edward VII Gold Cup starting tomorrow (Thursday) when Barkow faces Chris Dickson and Alison meets Gavin Brady.

“I think Chris Dickson should be a little nervous about Sally,” Alison said. “And, Gavin Brady, well, I just don’t know.”

The petite finals also wrapped up today with Claire Leroy of France dominating Danish sailor Nina Braestrup.

In their first semi final match, a container ship passed through the race course. Barkow managed to squeeze ahead but Braestrup lost out.

“We are disappointed that they continued with that race because the ship really hurt us,” Braestrup said. “In the second race, they just had better boat speed and sailed better in the lighter breezes.”

Leroy was in a strong position in the second round of the semi-finals against Alison but after incurring a penalty on the final downwind leg was knocked out of the final rounds.

Leroy met Braestrup again in the petite finals where they dominated the Danes and took it 2-0. Leroy and her team of Dorothea Martin d’ Auray, Ingrid Cerrato, and Elodie Bertrand agreed that they sailed well through the four days.

“We sailed very well today and we did make some mistakes against Betsy Alison but are still not disappointed in our results this time. We would like to come back next year and sail against the boys,” Leroy said.