BoatU.S. 2004 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship: Barkow Upsets Field In Tie-Breaker

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, Although only four flights of the semi-final stage and none of the final matches of the BoatU.S. 2004 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship could be completed today after the breeze died early in the afternoon, the regatta’s outcome is now final and a new world champion, American Sally Barkow, has been crowned.
Wisconsin native Barkow, who came into the regatta as a relative dark horse, ranked 27th by the International Sailing Federation in women’s match racing, at the bottom of the list of the 16 top international contenders, has sailed strongly from the beginning, and emerged from the double round robin phase yesterday in first with scores of 11-4 in the first round and 12-3 in the second.
Sailing with Barkow were the other two members of her Yngling team, Long Islander Debbie Capozzi and Carrie Howe from Detroit, along with Briton Annie Lush; this team also had won last year’s Rolex International Keelboat Championship here.
Barkow went on yesterday afternoon to knock out fellow American Elizabeth Kratzig in two straight races to win her quarter-final series, then defeated French sailor Claire Leroy in their first match of the semi-finals.
The remainder of the semi-final series was postponed until today after a member of Betsy Alison’s team was hit by the boom before the start and was rushed to the hospital late yesterday afternoon; fortunately, she was not seriously injured and was able to rejoin the team for more semi-final racing this morning.
As the semi-final action unfolded today, Alison defeated Bermuda Olympic sailor Paula Lewin in the remaining match of the first flight. In the second flight, Barkow again defeated Leroy, while Lewin bested Alison. In the third and fourth flights, Barkow lost to Leroy, while Alison and Lewin again split, leaving the scores even at two points each for all four contenders. The series had been scheduled as a best-three-of-five; the wind died off shortly after 2 p.m., however, and no further racing could be completed.
Final standings among the top eight skippers were determined based on a complex series of calculations of tie-breakers and points earned throughout the regatta, while the lower eight remained in the positions they earned during the double round robin. Five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Alison emerged from the calculations in second overall, with Leroy third and Lewin fourth.


The regatta, hosted by Eastport Yacht Club and sailed in J/22 sloops, began on Sunday, June 6. For more information, including results updated often during sailing, see the website at