July 2007

Grants Offered To Prepare Women Sailors For Competition

Hosts, Instructors Sought For ‘Road-To-Rolex’ Clinics

LA PORTE, Texas — To foster growth in women's sailing, Rolex Watch U.S.A. has announced that it will sponsor several  "Road to Rolex" clinics across the U.S. and abroad in preparation for US SAILING's Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship (Rolex IWKC), scheduled for Nov. 14-17, 2007 at Houston Yacht Club, La Porte, Texas.  

Organizers are seeking yacht clubs and sailing centers to host the "Road to Rolex" clinics. Since 1997 the clinics have provided women sailors with additional opportunities to hone their keelboat racing skills needed for competition in the Rolex IWKC.

The Road to Rolex clinic program is designed for one- or two-day formats and features an instruction manual developed by five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Betsy Alison ( Newport , R.I. ).  Alison, an internationally recognized sailing educator and coach, has won the biennial Rolex IWKC five times.

"The Road to Rolex clinics are designed to be adaptable to a group's ability level, knowledge of the equipment and skills requiring attention," said Liz Filter, a 2004 Olympian and national chairperson for the event. "Our goal is to pair up expert sailors as coaches, such as Betsy Alison, with aspiring women sailors to prepare them for competition in the Rolex International's Women's Keelboat Championship."

At clinics with more than five boats participating, the host organizer will run a series of short races at the conclusion of the clinic.  The winner will receive a $200 credit toward her entry fee for the Rolex IWKC.

Organizations interested in hosting a "Road to Rolex" clinic should contact Trish a McElroy at no720s@gmail.com .

The "Road to Rolex" clinics were initiated in 1997 to provide women sailors with additional opportunities to hone their sailing skills.  Locations where past clinics have been held include Rochester , N.Y. , Monterey , Calif. , Oklahoma City , Okla. , Chicago , Ill. , and Minnetonka , Minn. , as well as Cape Town , South Africa .

The Notice of Race is available on the event Web site at www.ussailing.org/riwkc . Sailors also may subscribe to receive e-mail news announcements about the Rolex IWKC by visiting www.usssailing.org/riwkc . For more information contact Ginny Garrett, regatta chair, by email at rolex07@houstonyachtclub.com or at (281) 471-6131.

About The Rolex IWKC

Inaugurated in 1985 at the instigation of US SAILING's Women's Championship Committee, the Rolex IWKC quickly became the premier women's sailing event in the United States 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 women sailors.

The winning team will receive US SAILING's Bengt Julin Trophy.