US Sailing Team Members Win Semaine Olympique Française
US Sailing Team-members Sally Barkow (Chenequa, Wis.), Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.), and Carrie Howe (Grosse Pointe, Mich) won the Yngling fleet at Semaine Olympique Française today, an ISAF Grade 1 event. The competition at Hyères proved to be a nail-biting experience from start to finish for Barkow’s team, the only Americans competing in the all Olympic-classes event. Throughout the regatta, the competition in the Yngling fleet was close, and Barkow's team was in the top two the entire time, trading the lead several times with the British team skippered by Olympic gold medalist Sarah Ayton.
The final day of racing turned out to be the most exciting of all when event organizers 'piloted' the Grand Final: after the last race of the day was completed, a Grand Final was to be sailed by the top three Yngling boats in overall rankings (USA, GBR, and RUS). In the Grand Final, the three boats would sail races until one of the boats won two races and that boat would have been named the ultimate winner. However, after three Grand Final races, each Yngling team had won one race and the deadline in the Sailing Instructions didn’t leave enough time for a fourth race to be sailed to determine a winner. Since Barkow's team had won the regular fleet racing event, they were declared the winning team.
This is not their first victory of the year – they won US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR in January, and are currently the top-ranked Yngling on the 2005 US Sailing Team. Fresh from their most recent win, they will travel to Riva del Garda, Italy, for the Yngling Revival and Expert Olympic Regattas in early May.
The US Sailing Team is managed by US SAILING, national governing body of the sport. US SAILING’s mission is to encourage participation and promote excellence in sailing in the U.S. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
For complete results and photos from Semaine Olympique Française, please visit the event’s website at http://126.96.36.199.