Newport Beach, Calif. (November 13, 2006) – By the time the teams for the finals of the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship were lined up on Saturday, spectators were in for a treat, and the finalists didn’t disappoint. The finals put the team led by Deb Capozzi up against another very strong team led by Katie Pilley-Lovell. After a hard-fought battle, Capozzi and her crew of Lindsay Bartel (Bayport, N.Y.), Kelly Hand (Vancouver, Canada) and Chantal Legler (Montreal, Canada) took home the National Championship title. The U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship, sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A., Inc. and Dry Creek Vineyard was hosted by Newport Harbor Yacht Club in Newport Beach, Calif., and raced on Governor Cup 21s.
It certainly was no easy win for Capozzi, particularly in the finals. Capozzi won the first race in the finals, but Pilley-Lovell – sailing with Chafee Emory (Newport, R.I.), Deb Willits (La Porte, TX) and Tara Thomas (Severna Park, Md.) – dug back in the second race to tie the series. Race 3 saw a great battle between the two, with Capozzi barely taking the win. After changing boats, the two teams went back at it. After a very exciting pre-start, Capozzi was able to control off the line, then used great boat speed to stay out in front, even with Pilley-Lovell and her team finding some great pressure and advantageous lifts. Capozzi cruised across the line to take the fourth match and win the title. Capozzi, who was on the winning boat last year, and her crew took home US SAILING’s Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy as the 2006 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Champions.
By winning US SAILING’s U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship, Capozzi has been presented with the Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy and has qualified for a position on the starting line at the 2007 Mayor’s Cup, an ISAF Grade 2 event. For Pilley-Lovell, this was the second consecutive year she has won the Mrs. Charles Adams Trophy.
In the Petit Finals, Liz Baylis (San Rafael, Calif.) and her team of Melinda Erkelens (Piedmont, Calif.), Pease Glaser (Long Beach, Calif.) and Jo Ann Jones (Arnold, Md.) defeated the team led by Sandy Hayes (Scituate, Mass.) and her crew Kelly Dale (Long Beach, Calif.), Lee Icyda (Stuart, Fla.) and Amanda Callahan (Canton, Mass.).
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