The Notice of Race for the 2009 Rolex Osprey Cup has been posted by organizers St. Petersburg Yacht Club (St. Petersburg, Fla.) to the event website www.rolexwomensmatch.org. The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade 1 match racing regatta – scheduled for October 20-24 – annually attracts the world’s top women sailors such as world’s #1 ranked match racer and 2007 ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year Claire Leroy (Nantes, FRA); US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.), Katy Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and Genny Tulloch (Tiburon, Calif.); U.S. Women’s Match Racing champion Molly O’Brien-Vandemoer; and Eurosaf European Champion Lucy Macgregor (Poole, GBR). Women sailors interested in competing should apply for an invitation online through the event website by July 15.
One of three ISAF Grade 1 match race regattas in the United States (Boat U.S./Santa Maria Cup and Congressional Cup are the other two), the Rolex Osprey Cup is expected to receive quite a bit of attention as the match racing discipline for women will make its debut at the 2012 Olympics in England.
“Each year we see a very high level of competition,” said Pat Seidenspinner (St. Petersburg, Fla.), the event’s Principal Race Officer and co-chair with Tom Farquhar. “Increased interest in women’s match racing is being driven by its inclusion in the 2012 Olympics. We expect the competition to ramp up even higher as we get further into the Olympic quadrennium.”
Two competitors will receive invitations to this event based on their performance at the Rolex Women’s Match, a grade 3 event held this past April at the SPYC: winner Genny Tulloch and runner-up Debbie Capozzi.
The Rolex Osprey Cup schedule includes registration and practice sailing on Tuesday, October 20 with daily racing Wednesday, Oct. 21 through Saturday, Oct. 24 just off of the St. Petersburg Municipal Pier. The format consists of a double round robin, with knockout (first to win 3 points) semi-final and final rounds scheduled at the end of the round robins.
The Rolex Osprey Cup was founded in 1996 and in 2000 Rolex Watch U.S.A. became the title sponsor. The regatta was not held in 2000 in lieu of hosting the Rolex ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship.
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