City of Annapolis, Maryland, Ward Eight Alderman Ross H. Arnett, III, read a proclamation from Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen proclaiming this week, “Celebrate Women in Sailing Week,” to coincide with the BoatUS Santa Maria Cup Women’s Match Racing Championship. The competition is now being hosted by Eastport Yacht Club and runs through Saturday, June 5.

“This proclamation is a great way to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the BoatUS Santa Maria Cup,” said Claire Wyngaard of BoatUS. The recreational boat owners association has sponsored the race for fifteen years. “It also reinforces the importance of women’s sailing programs not only in America’s sailing capital, but in every community with sailboats on the waterfront.”

With a field that includes 10 teams of the top-ranked female match racers in the world – including six of the top 11 – the “match race” format pits identical 22-foot sailboats in one-on-one duels, with each boat carrying crews of four. Some in the racing world are saying the competition is an early look into the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games.

The Santa Maria Cup began in 1991 when women were refused entry into Baltimore’s Columbus Cup. At the time was said to be “the first women’s regatta of its type to be held in the United States,” reported the Baltimore Sun. Today, the event is an International Sailing Federation Grade 1 event, and continues to attract the top women’s match racing skippers.

After two days of double round robin competition, 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2008 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Anna Tunnicliffe is leading with 10 wins. Racing resumes today with finals tomorrow.

For more information on the BoatUS Santa Maria Cup, go to . For more information on women in boating, go to: .

About BoatUS:
BoatUS - Boat Owners Association of The United States - is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money saving services. For membership information visit or call 800-395-2628.