U.S. Women's Sailing Championship comes to metro

Friday, September 19th 2008, 7:30 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The best of the best in women's sailing are in Oklahoma City this weekend. The women are competing for the most prestigious award in the sport -- the Adam's Cup.

Even on the calmest days in Oklahoma City, there's still enough wind to sail.

"After the first day we still have a long way to go," Wendy Vann Roach from Ft. Worth, Texas said.

The U.S. Women's Sailing Championship consists of four days of racing.

"The sailing course they're on will be generally a four or five mile course," Gary Sanders, the U.S. Sailing Representative for the boat club, said. "Races will last as best they can arrange them for one hour."

There are 44 competitors that make up 11 teams. Women came from all over the country to sail. Two of those teams are from Oklahoma City.

"Some of these women, yes, will go on to do Olympic events," Justin Howard, Regatta Co-Chair, said.

To qualify for what they're calling, the biggest amateur sailing event in the U.S., the teams were chosen to race based on finish times in previous races and resumes.

"Sailing as the wind comes up, gets to be an active sport, a very physical sport, since there are no brakes on the boat, and almost scary sport, because you're engaging other folks and you gotta duck them or miss them or get out of the way," Sanders said.

Each race lasts for about one hour. There are several each day.

"As the wind comes up, the course length will change or shrink depending what the conditions are," Sanders said. "Each time the wind changes directions, they'll change the course."

Mastering the skill of sailing takes experience to judge the varying wind and water condition, making it difficult to win the race.

"It would take reading to wind right, and being in the right place at the right time," Roach said.

The last day of racing is on Sunday. The team who wins will take the Mrs. Charles Francis Adams Cup.