Cory Sertl put the hammer down today (26 September, 2001) in the shifting breezes on Chesapeake Bay to take a useful lead in the Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship
Cory Sertl put the hammer down today (26 September, 2001) in the shifting breezes on Chesapeake Bay to take a useful lead in the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship. She came fourth in the first race and won the start of the second heat to port-tack the fleet and sail off to an easy victory.
Sertl, who is racing with Olympic silver medallist Pease Glaser in her crew, looked at ease in the shifty conditions while the overnight leader from day one, Nancy Haberland was not quite so happy. “We were set up for a little more breeze than we got today, so the rig was a little tight.” She scored a ninth and fourth place today, which is still good enough to see her in second place overall, just a point ahead of Carol Cronin.
Bermudan skipper Paula Lewin kicked off with a 14th place today but bounced back with a second in the next race, leaving her in fourth place on equal points with Courtenay Dey. The Olympic Bronze Medallist from Rhode Island seems to be slowly but surely getting to grips with the J/22 keelboat, a yacht that she is not all that familiar with.
Deneen Demourkas, the Californian Farr 40 sailor, clearly felt more at home in the lighter conditions after the vicious wind and waves of day one. Racing with many-time former winner of this event, Betsy Alison, she took the first race by the scruff of the neck and won it by some margin. Alison said their success came down to patience. “We were patient with the shifts and we were patient with the gusts. We were happy to let things come to us and they did in that race.”
But the next race saw a return to the teens, which is where this team has placed in all their other races. The Demourkas/Alison partnership could only manage 14th in the second race of the day, with Alison admitting that her reading of the wind had not quite gone to plan. Things were to get even more complicated when they stepped ashore, with Alison dragged into a protest with the only Canadian team present, skippered by Anne Marie Shewfelt. The lighter conditions saw a much more tightly bunched fleet today, with a flurry of protest flags the inevitable result. The jury are in for a busy evening at the Annapolis Yacht Club.
After a solid start to the defence of her Rolex title yesterday, the reigning champion Pat Connerney suffered in the moderate conditions today, notching up a 12, 18 scoreline that sees her demoted to eighth place overall, and struggling to get back into the fight for overall honours.
With five races completed, the series is already half way through, and Cory Sertl has so far established herself as the class act of this 61-boat fleet.