Yesterday, Wisconsin skipper Sally Barkow showed the form that has made her a two-time champion of the BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup Women’s Match Racing Championship.

Barkow won her four remaining round-robin races then took a 1-0 lead in her semifinal matchup with fellow American Molly Carapiet. After losing the start, Barkow showed superb boat speed in battling back to overtake Carapiet and won going away.

Barkow, a native of Nashotah, Wis., is the defending champion and also won the Santa Maria Cup in 2004. The three-time All-American at Old Dominion dominated the round-robin portion of the event with a final record of 16-2.

“We’re excited for tomorrow,” Barkow said. “The forecast looks pretty windy, which should be fun. We’re looking to attack the last two races of the semis tomorrow and move on to the finals. We just need to focus on minimizing mistakes. The less mistakes you make, the better off you are. It’s more focus on fine-tuning our game as opposed to focusing on the teams that we’re sailing against.”

Liz Baylis, the 2003 winner, finished second in the round-robin with a 14-4 record. However, the San Francisco Yacht Club skipper lost her initial semifinal race to Anne-Claire LeBerre yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday’s action was held in a solid, southerly breeze that filled in nicely during the afternoon session. The highlight of the day came when Carapiet and French skipper Christelle Philippe squared off in a battle for fourth place. Philippe drew a penalty during pre-start maneuvers and was never able to recover, enabling Carapiet to earn the final spot in the semifinals.

Annapolis resident and Eastport Yacht Club member Molly Vandemoer is crewing for Carapiet, a San Francisco resident and former All-American at Yale. Those two placed third in 470 class at the recent United States Olympic Trials.

Annapolis native and Severn School product Suzy Leech is crewing for Baylis, who is No. 11 in the latest International Sailing Federation Women’s Match Race rankings.

Annapolis resident Derby Anderson put forth her finest performance in three appearances in the BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup. The former Georgetown All-American, who is unranked on the World Women’s Match Racing circuit, placed sixth with an 8-10 record.

“That is quite an accomplishment. Derby sailed much above her normal level in this event,” principal race officer Mark Murphy said.

Murphy and regatta chairman Tom Mullan hope to complete the semifinals in the morning then contest the championship series in the early afternoon before the weather turns nasty.

“(Today) should be interesting. The weather forecast calls for breeze, but also for thunderstorms late in the afternoon,” Murphy said. “Hopefully, we will be done before the storms hit. If there are thunderstorms, the sailors will have to come off the water and the results will have to be decided by other provisions.”

(Special correspondent Alex Bertrand contributed to this story).

BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup Regatta

Round Robin Results (18 flights)

  1. Sally Barkow (USA, #5), 16-2
  2. Liz Baylis (USA, #11), 14-4
  3. Anne-Claire LeBerre (FRA, #64), 12-6
  4. Molly Carapiet (USA, NR), 11-7
  5. Christelle Philippe (FRA, #4), 10-8
  6. Derby Anderson (USA, NR), 8-10
  7. Lorenza Mariani (ITA, #25), 6-12
  8. Katy Lovell (USA, #17), 6-12
  9. JoAnn Fisher, (USA, NR), 4-14
  10. Caroline Martins de Castro Bejar (BRA, #39), 3-15

Semifinal Round Results

LeBerre (FRA) beat Baylis (USA)
Barkow (USA) beat Carapiet (USA)