Keelboat win secured, Sertl sits out final day

Ex-Annapolitan watches competition finish up

Sailing

September 29, 2001|By Candus Thomson | Candus Thomson,SUN STAFF

They sailed in little breeze, howling gusts and shifty winds during this week's Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championships. So it seemed somewhat appropriate that - with first place already decided - 60 crews competed in the final race yesterday with the wind knocked out of their sails.

Cory Sertl and her J/22 team remained at the Annapolis Yacht Club dock, the championship wrapped up Thursday as neatly as their mainsail. The former Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year from Rochester, N.Y., won two races and took second in two others to build an insurmountable 11-point lead through nine races.

From the start of the regatta on Monday, Sertl never finished any race lower than seventh place.

"We had a good pace all week, which allowed us to sail a conservative style," she said.

Carol Cronin of Jamestown, R.I., in second place at the start of racing yesterday, came out strongly but watched her 70-second lead slip to 13 seconds. She held off several challenges to finish runner-up.

Paula Lewin of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club finished third, and Nancy Haberland of Annapolis, who won the J/22 East Coast Championship last month, finished fourth. Defending champion Pat Connerney of Middleton, R.I., finished 10th. (For complete results, check www.annapolisyc.org.)

Annapolis has been good this year to Sertl, who used to call the city home. In June, she dominated the competition in the Santa Maria Cup, sailed out of the Eastport Yacht Club. And now she has won the Rolex, which had eluded her since 1985.

Sertl fielded an all-star crew, with 2000 Olympic silver medalist Pease Glaser, 1987 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Susan Taylor and Dina Kowalyshn, the past commodore of the Severn Sailing Association and coach of the junior sailing program.

Kowalyshn has reason to double dip in the pride department. One of her students at the SSA, Derby Anderson, 17, finished 22nd as skipper of the only under-18 team.

When Anderson asked her advice about entering, Kowalyshn was succinct: "Don't worry about the stuff you don't know how to do; just concentrate on the things you do know how to do."

Final standings

(Day 5 of 5; 10-race totals)

Top 10 skippers of 61

1.Cory Sertl; 2. Carol Cronin; 3. Paula Lewin; 4. Nancy Haberland; 5. Margaret Podlich; 6. Jody Swanson; 7. Courtenay Becker Dey; 8. Mary Brigden Snow; 9. Deneen Demourkas; 10. Patricia Connerney.

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