A fresh breeze greeted the opening race day of the 22nd Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Santa Maria Cup today, the second stage of the 2023 Women’s World Match Racing Tour from 30 April – 4 May. The event features ten of the best all-women match racing teams from six countries including USA, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Starting the first of two round robin qualifying stages, teams had to battle shifty conditions and gusts over 20 knots on the race course which was set directly in front of Eastport Yacht Club, host of the event.
Top seeds Nicole Breault (USA)/Vela Racing and Anna Östling (SWE)/ Wings Sailing top the leader board at five wins each after seven races.
Also tied for the lead with five wins is match racing newcomer Brooke Wilson (AUS) representing the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron with her Amphitrite Racing Team of Emily Keg, Gemma Burns, Tiana Wittey and Jade Gavin.
“We had a really awesome day on the water” added Amphitrite Racing crewmember Gemma Burns. “After last week in San Francisco at the Casa Vela Cup, we have obviously spent more time bonding as a team and more time in the [J22] boats which has made a big difference in our development and there is also less tide here in Annapolis which has helped!”
Vela Racing’s Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer added “It was incredibly shifty today and no lead was comfortable at any point. You could easily be overstood to a windward mark and then within seconds not make it by a mile, it was very challenging all day.”
2023 marks the long-awaited return of the Santa Maria Cup after a 10-year break. Past competitors of the event series include Olympic sailors, Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year, and other international stars of women’s sailing. Some of the American past winners are JJ Isler, Dawn Riley, Betsy Alison, Cory Sertl, Liz Baylis, Sally Barkow, and Anna Tunnicliffe. The Santa Maria Cup relocated to Annapolis in 1993 when Eastport Yacht Club (EYC) became the organizing authority.
Racing continues tomorrow from 0900 Eastern Daylight Time.
About Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County
Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County (VAAAC) is a nonprofit, membership-based Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) that generates revenues for the local economy by promoting Annapolis and Anne Arundel County to business and leisure travelers across the country and around the world. Anne Arundel County’s official DMO executes strategic marketing, sales, and media campaigns that position the destination’s portfolio of brands in key markets to bolster the economy and enhance employment opportunities. www.visitannapolis.org
About Maryland Sports Commission
The Maryland Sports Commission is the go-to resource for the sports events and sports tourism industry in Maryland. Our mission is to enhance Maryland’s economy, image and quality of life through the attraction, promotion, retention and development of regional, national and international sporting events.
About Women’s World Match Racing Tour
The Women’s World Match Racing Tour was launched in 2022 to continue the hugely successful legacy of the WIM Series (Women’s International Match Racing Series) providing a global match racing series for female sailors. The name of the series was re-launched as the Women’s World Match Racing Tour with its continued mission to expand and strengthen global match racing and promote opportunities for competitive women’s sailing at every level. The Women’s World Match Racing Tour is the world’s first and only professional sailing series for women providing a valuable pathway for aspiring female world champions in the sport of sailing. See womenswmrt.com