DETROIT, Sept. 8, 2009 – 2008 – Beijing Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe sailed against 11 competitors from five nations to win the Second Annual International Match Race for the Detroit Cup Labor Day weekend.
“I always enjoy sailing at Bayview,” Tunnicliffe said in an interview with D-Business magazine. “The river current is always challenging and sailing against world class competition here reminds me very much of the Olympic matches last summer,” she said. Tunnicliffe skippered her way to a gold medal in Beijing.
Tunnicliffe, who skippered an all women crew of Liz Bower, Amanda Callahan and champion Debbie Capozzi, sailed into the quarter-finals as one of the match races top four skippers among the 12 competing teams. Tunnicliffe won the match race overall with, Phil Robertson of Auckland, New Zealand taking the second place trophy, Keith Swinton of Australia placing third and Laurie Jury of New Zealand taking the fourth spot in the finals competition.
As the top qualifier, Tunnicliffe was given honors to choose her opponent for the semi-final flight. She chose Swinton of Australia’s Black Swan Racing as her competition. That paired off Robertson against fellow Kiwi Slam team of Jury.
The regatta was favored with brilliant sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70s (farenheit) with steady three to seven knot breezes for much of the four days of the International Match Race.
Local favorite Nathan Hollerbach and his team of Paul Hulsey and Mike Rehe sailed well but did not make the semi-final round, with New Zealander Laurie Jury and her crew taking the semi-final match against Hollerbach. The shifting breeze caused the left side of the course to be favored making the starts especially critical. Jury and her crew continued to control the starts and in both quarterfinal races against Nathan being able to win the pin end of the line and lead across to the left. Solid crew work bought the team home for two wins.
International Detroit Cup won by Olympian Anna Tunnicliffe
The regatta was sailed September 3-6 with competitive “flights” between match racers in a round robin format. The entire regatta was raced under sun drenched skies with steady breezes of three to seven knots. The races were sailed on the Detroit River on Bayview’s club owned fleet of Ultimate 20 sailboats and is one of the most prestigious match racing events in North America in 2009 and measured a Class 2 match by the International Sailing Federation criteria. The only other higher sailing ranking is a Class 1 and that is reserved for the America’s Cup. The entire match race was broadcast live over the internet.
“This has been a pioneering effort in sailing and has been truly cutting-edge,” said Alan Block, senior editor of Sailing Anarchy, the company that broadcast live video feeds from three cameras of all four days of the Class 2 match races. “A lot of people say nobody wants to watch sailboat racing on TV. Well 7,000 web hits in a single day with people locked on for coverage — I think this proves them wrong,” Block said. Block said Bayview offered the perfect venue to the streaming web cast because of the club’s close proximity to the Detroit River where the match races took place. He said the club helped by securing added bandwidth for the uploading of video shot from a fixed shore camera and two other cameras. He added that trying to accomplish this feat in the middle of a lake or the ocean is possible for very cost prohibitive. “This is the kind of coverage you would expect of an America’s Cup race and we’re able to do it for a fraction of the cost,” Block said, adding that Bayview Yacht Club, Doyle Sails and PureEco environmental services committed funds to help offset the production costs. Sailing fans around the world were hitting the site offered through Bayview on Sailing Anarchy’s host site at surprising levels. “They are logging in and staying for hours,” said Block.
Bayview Club Manager Mark Stefke said he was impressed with the partial video coverage of the club-hosted 36.7 Beneteau First regatta held at Bayview the previous week. He approached Block about producing and directing live coverage of the International Match Race and induced club member companies to join Bayview in sponsoring the Sailing Anarchy “On-The-Water- Anarchy” production of the International Detroit Cup.
In July, Bayview assisted Title Sponsor “Pure Michigan” in securing a record number of hits to its web site by hosting GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking of all boats racing in the historic 85th Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race from Port Huron to Mackinac Island, Michigan.
International D-Cup Race at Bayview
“This event represents Bayview’s commitment to match racing and solidifies our club’s reputation as the home to world class sailing in the Great Lakes,” said BYC Commodore Robert Amsler, D.O. Winners of the regatta will have an opportunity to compete in Brazil on the World Tour.
Racing Skippers include: 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe, Olympian Sally Barkow – both past Rolex US Yachtswomen of the Year. Sailors from Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, U.S. Virgin Islands and the United States will compete for the Detroit Cup. Local sailors include Chris Van Tol and Adam Hollerbach, who placed 6th in the inaugural event last year. Winner of the BYC spring invitational, Nathan Hollerbach, made his Detroit Cup debut.
Media inquires on the International Detroit Cup or other Bayview Yacht Club issues should be directed to Bruce Babiarz, BAB Associates, LLC at Babiarz@comcast.net or 248-890-5030. Website: www.byc.com.