Massachusetts Skipper Parshall Steals Lead at Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship

NEWPORT, R.I. (Sept. 23, 1999) – After winning two races on Rhode Island Sound, a Massachusetts team skippered by Elaine Parshall (Charlestown) has taken the lead at the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship. After sailing “up the bay” yesterday, 28 teams of six women today tackled the high seas off Newport, R.I., where this prestigious biennial regatta is being held for its eighth time. Parshall credited her tactician, Mary Marshall (Newport, R.I.), with helping her “peg the shifts” and soar to a quarter-mile lead in the 15 knots of breeze that powered the first race.

“I was looking for wind velocity constantly, and we went for that” said Marshall, who also convinced Parshall that she didn’t have to tack one last time to make the finish line in the second race. That move may have kept French skipper Christine Briand from sneaking in at the last moment. In that race, Parshall, Briand and skipper Karen Lynch (Scituate, Mass.) jockeyed for the lead around the six-mile windward-leeward course. Briand’s second, combined with a third in race one, propelled her to fifth overall, up from 11th on yesterday’s scoreboard. She now trails fourth-place skipper Vicki Sodaro (Tiburon, Calif.) by four points. Lynch, who finished 7-3 today, maintains her third-place standing. Yesterday’s leader Pat Connerney (Middletown, R.I.) slipped to second overall with finishes of 4-5 today. Five points separate her from leader Parshall.

Hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club (Newport, R.I.) and sailed in J/24s, the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship is one of the world’s most prestigious sailing regattas. Competing this year are teams from the Cayman Islands, Canada, France and Japan as well as the U.S., which has 16 states represented. Racing continues through Saturday, September 25, with ten races scheduled. For complete results, visit (end)

Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship Results

Sept. 23, 1999 – Top 15 after four races
1. Elaine Parshall, Charlestown, Mass., U.S.A,. 2, 2, 1,1; 6.
2. Pat Connerney, Middletown, R.I., U.S.A., 1, 1, 4, 5; 11.
3. Karen Lynch, Scituate, Mass., U.S.A., 5, 3, 7, 3; 18.
4. Vicki Sodaro, Tiburon, Calif., U.S.A., 7, 4, 6, 8; 25.
5. Christine Briand, La Rochelle, FRANCE, 9, 14, 3, 2; 28.
6. Susan Reddaway, Flowery Branch, Ga., U.S.A., 4, 15, 5, 7; 31.
7.(t) Felicity Clarke, Toronto, Ontario, CAN, 13, 5, 14(PO5), 4; 36.
7.(t) Liz Hjorth, Marina del Ray, Calif., U.S.A., 16, 8, 2, 10; 36.
9. Amanda Clark, Shelter Island, N.Y., U.S.A., 6, 11(P05), 13, 11; 41.
10. Nancy Stark Zangerle, Chardon, Ohio, U.S.A., 3, 11, 8, 20; 42.
11. Judy Woellner, Minnetonka, Minn., U.S.A., 14, 7, 14, 16; 51.
12. Yumiko Takano, Fukuoka, JAPAN, 15, 9, 16, 12; 52.
13. Anne Marie Shewfelt, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA, 8, 18, 12, 18; 56.
14.(t) Anne Hannan, Stratford, Conn., 29(P11), 12, 10, 6; 57.
14.(t) Laurie Poppen, Muskegon. Mich., 17, 16, 15, 9; 57.

(P) = penalty points