Sunday, July 27, 2014

Stephanie Roble wins U.S. Women’s Match Racing

Step Roble and the EPIC Race Team- winning match race (Long Island Sound, NY)-  Having sailed a diversity of boats in the past few years, especially J/22s, J/24s, J/70s and J/80s in various one-design fleet and match-racing regattas, Steph has applied her extraordinary ability to adapt to different boats to go fast and win!

Having just come off an excellent performance in the recent ISAF Women’s Match Race Worlds sailed on J/80s in Ireland, Steph added yet another feather in her distinguished list of accomplishments by defeating another long-time J sailor (J/22s, J/24s, J/80s, J/105s), Nicole Breault from St Francis YC, 2-0 in Sunday’s final series to win the 2014 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship, hosted by Oakcliff Sailing.

The win for Roble marks her first U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship title in five attempts. Roble receives an invitation to the 2014 U.S. Match Racing Championship, which will be sailed October 3-5, 2014 at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, Calif. She also receives an invitation to the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge at Sail Sheboygan (Wis.) on September 23-28, 2014. The U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship Committee will be providing travel grants to the team for both events.

Crewing for Roble’s Epic Racing Team this week was Maggie Shea (Chicago, Ill.), Jane Zarkowsky (Annapolis, Md.), Martha Pitt (Newport, R.I.), Hollister Poole (Falmouth, Maine), Elizabeth Shaw (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada).

An exuberant Roble explained her team’s success this week: “We expected light air this weekend and we got a wide range of conditions, including heavy breeze today. We did a great job getting in good position for the finals. We had our hands full in the finals with Nicole’s team. They led us along the track, but we were able to get some lead changes. I thought we had great boat handling and Maggie did an amazing job downwind on the kite, which is where we made most of our moves.”

Roble advanced to the Finals with a 2-0 series win over Sandy Hayes (Scituate, Mass.) in the morning semifinals. Breault also advanced to the finals with a 2-0 win over Katie Maxim (Napa, Calif.).

“We learned a lot this week in the Swedish Match 40s,” said Breault. “At times we felt like we were in control and other times it got hectic. Our hats off to Stephanie’s team. In more breeze they were able to handle their chute better. We are looking forward to our next chance to race at this championship.

Roble placed third at the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship in June at Cork, Ireland. Roble is the third ranked women’s match racer in the world and #1 in the U.S. She also won the 2013 Stena Match Cup Sweden Women’s Trophy. She returned to the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship after placing second last year in Chicago.   For more US Sailing Match Race sailing information