Women's Keelboat Championship
The 2005 edition of US SAILING's Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship (Rolex IWKC) will return to Annapolis and the beautiful waters of the Chesapeake Bay from September 17-23. The Annapolis Yacht Club also returns as host for a third time, with Taran Teague, an experienced sailor and race committee veteran, serving as the event chair. The biennial regatta, which was founded in 1985, is considered one of the world's pinnacle events for women sailors and utilizes the International J/22 class keelboat, suitable for four-person teams. Entries are expected from across the U.S. as well as Europe, Asia, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
Inaugurated in 1985 at the instigation of the US SAILING's Women's Championship Committee, the Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship quickly became the premier women's sailing event in the U.S. and worldwide. Held biennially, the event provides women keelboat and offshore sailors high-quality racing and an opportunity to compete with top national and international sailors. The Ida Lewis Yacht Club in Newport, R.I. hosted the event between 1985 and 1999. In 2001 the event made its debut at Annapolis Yacht Club. Rolex Watch U.S.A. has sponsored the regatta since its inception. The event is part of US SAILING's Adult National Championships series.
Previous contestants have included Olympic medallists, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race veterans, world champions and Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year, in addition to women of all ages with varying levels of racing experience. The regatta does not require pre-qualification for entry, however each team must be a member of its country's national governing authority for sailing. Prospective entrants can register online at www.race.annapolisyc.org/2005rolex for direct email updates about the 2005 regatta.
"Annapolis and the Chesapeake have become a hub of activity for the J/22 fleet," said local event chair Taran Teague (Annapolis/Raleigh, N.C.). "The Annapolis Yacht Club hosted the J/22 world championship this past May with 130 teams from around the globe, and the club's members are extremely enthusiastic about hosting the 2005 Rolex IWKC."
Returning for the third time as Rolex IWKC race committee chair is Chip Thayer (Annapolis). "Our highly experienced and dedicated team of international race committee officials guarantees the competitors world-class racing and professional race management in a venue well known for its awesome sailing conditions," he said. "We admire the training and determination it takes to participate in this kind of international sailboat racing challenge and we will provide the sailors with the very best racing available anywhere."
Annapolis Yacht Club Commodore Mark Myers (Annapolis) is pleased to welcome the women sailors back to Annapolis. "Plans are already underway to continue the outstanding experience for all Rolex IWKC participants and will include world class one design racing, wonderful camaraderie and our warm Annapolis hospitality," he said. "Numerous Chesapeake Bay sailors and residents are already hard at work volunteering to make this regatta our finest yet."
The Rolex IWKC will feature 11-races in five days and will be preceded by two days for registration, measurement and a practice race. Evening social events will culminate with the traditional Rolex gala and awards presentation. A Rolex timepiece will be awarded to the winning boat's skipper.