The 21st Santa Maria Cup Women’s Match Racing Championship was officially opened with the declaration of September 27 - October 1 as “Celebrate Women in Sailing” week by proclamation of the Mayor of Annapolis, Josh Cohen. Racers were escorted to the podium by local high school students bearing their country flags.  2011 teams and their skippers include, Team Baylis - Liz  (USA) Santa Maria Cup 2003 Champion, Team Bossard - Julie (France), Team Dellenbaugh - Becca (USA), Team Ferris-Choat - Sharon (Canada) Team Lichtenen - Silja of Finland, Team Ruhlman - Maegan (USA), Team Silva - Martina (Argentina), Team Tunnicliffe (Team Maclaren) - Anna (USA), currently ranked number one in the world.

The first round robin will begin at 9:00 Wednesday. Students ages 12 - 22 are invited to register for the Eastport Yacht Club Foundation’s “Sailing Olympians …2008…2012…You’re Next!” to meet the teams, learn more about their Olympic campaigns and the excitement and challenges of match racing.  The event will be at Eastport Yacht Club, Wednesday from 4:30 -6 and participants will receive an autographed poster and raffle prizes courtesy of Helly Hansen. Refreshments will be served. Students can register at

Thank you to the Eastport Yacht Club and the wonderful volunteers and sponsors who make the Santa Maria Cup a success: BoatU.S., SpinSheet, Go The Airport Shuttle, Eastport Yacht Club Foundation, Boatyard Bar & Grill, Heineken, Gosling’s Rum, Evolution Sails, Dean’s Yacht Services, West Marine, Hell Point Seafood and the Historic Annapolis Foundation.With a change in dates for the 21^st^ Santa Maria Cup International Women’s Match Racing Championship, an evolving roster of top women sailing athletes will race on Annapolis’ Severn River course September 28 through October 1. The public is encouraged to meet skippers and crew, past Santa Maria Cup racers, as well as leading sailors from the sport of sailboat racing at the “Celebrate Women in Sailing Week” in Annapolis at the BoatUS “Meet the Champions” Public Reception at the William Paca House and Garden, September 30, 6:30pm - 9:00pm in Annapolis. Newly released footage of the 1995 America^3^ Team – the first all-women America’s Cup with Team Captain Dawn Riley, the 1992 Santa Maria Cup winner, will be previewed.

The public is also invited to opening ceremonies on September 27 at 6:00pm at the Susan C. Campbell Park City Dock, Annapolis to welcome the sailors from who hail from five countries. Hosted by the Eastport Yacht Club, racing can be watched from the water each day and through live commentary on The Santa Maria Cup is an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) grade one event.

Eight teams of four sailors in J-22 sailboats will compete in heated head-to-head duels much like the famed America’s Cup. However, unlike the America’s Cup, each Santa Maria Cup boat is identical, testing the sailing ability of each team, with boat design and materials not being factors. 

Team skippers will be Anna Tunnicliffe (USA), Silja Lehtinen (FIN), Julie Bossard (FRA), Maegan Ruhlman (USA), Martina Silva (ARG), Becca Dellenbaugh (USA), returning champion Liz Baylis (USA) and Sharon Ferris-Choat (CAN). Olympic hopefuls can use this event to increase their world rankings for the first Olympic Women’s Match Racing at the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games.

See a full schedule of events and ticket information at http://www.EastportYC.organd in Spinsheet Magazine at Photos from past cups and other women sailing events are available at

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.

About Eastport Yacht Club:

Located on the Severn River in Annapolis, Maryland, this club of 600 members is recognized around the yacht-racing world as a leader in race management.  Additional information about the club is available at .