A second day of perfect weather met the teams again on a course set further out in the Bay today, with light early morning breezes building to double digits out of the South combined with a strong ebbing current making the course and tactics key factors for the racers.
Seven flights today plus a penalty round, combined with six in the first day of the Santa Maria Cup, continued to see the top ranked women sailors in the world almost even in points and way above their competitors from among ten teams competing. Sally Barkow (USA), who won in 2004, is leading with a perfect 14 wins, while Liz Baylis (USA), who won this competition in 2003 is tied for second with Claire Leroy (FR) of France with 11 wins each. Leroy pulled up even with Baylis after winning a rematch with Lorenza Mariani (IT) in the last race of the day as a result of a protest in their last race on Wednesday.
In third place after two days of racing is Christlle Philippe, also from France with a total of 8 wins. Katie Spithill of Australia and Nicky Souter from Australia are all tied at 7 wins each, and Mariani and Joann Fisher (USA) are tied for fourth at 3 wins each, with Liz Hjorth of the U. S. still hoping to get on the score board against a stellar field of strong competitors.
Barkow dominated all races today even though by only a few seconds in some cases. In her final match against Leroy, she led the whole race and finished ahead by almost a minute to record a perfect score for the two days.
The competition was so intense that virtually no one, even the leaders, got by without some close calls, penalties and even a few close encounters with marks during roundings.
In spite of the heavy swells that made the course very lumpy for spectators and competitors alike, no one came out with any serious damage or injuries. With two more days of competition to go, the weather is expected to continue to offer excellent conditions with more winds out of the South to Southwest and possibly building with a chance of thundershowers for the finals on Saturday.
The round-robin competition continues in Annapolis thru June 2 with 10 of the top women match racers competing in the Boat U.S. Santa Maria Cup. Spectators will be able to view the competition on the Chesapeake Bay or tune their VHF radios to channel 78 for live commentary on the races as they happen.