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Gunboat 60 sailing in Annapolis, MD.

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Posts Tagged ‘stephanie roble’

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ROBLE : noun \rō-blā\:

 1. Spanish - A non-standardized Spanish labeling term in the Spanish ‘hierarchy’ of wines, indicating that a wine has been aged in oaken barrels for a shorter time than required for the Crianzaa designation; Spanish wines commonly considered to be younger, fruitier, and spicier than the norm with a bit of added interest from the wood.

2. US -  A non-standardized American woman, and one of the only true full-time professional female racers in the hemisphere, if not the world (excluding olympic hopefuls and a boat prep/administrator ‘pros’); Indicating a beautiful bouquet of brains, power, and talent that is considered younger, fruitier, and spicier than the norm.

3. US –  STEPHANIE ROBLE – Skipper of 2014 US Women’s Match Racing Champion Epic Racing, crowned Sunday in Long Island Sound on her fifth attempt at the USWMR title.

Wanna help more women get into the sport while winning?  Then hire America’s top female sailor and show your family, crew, and friends that you think girls can be pro sailors too. Trust us, there are so many reasons you want Steph sailing with your team; and top teams have noticed –  after more than a year at the top of the US Women’s Match rankings (and 3rd worldwide) and lots of success in classes like the Melges 20 and J/70, Roble’s calendar is getting seriously full a year or so into her decision to become a full-time race pro.  Get in touch with her via Epic Racing or chat with Stephanie at the 80-boat J/70 NAs starting on Thursday, and here’s her report from the event (with photo from Larry Kennedy and a massive gallery here).

Epic Racing was crowned the U.S. Women’s Match Racing National Champion this weekend at Oakcliff Sailing Center. It was a challenging weekend bringing a broad range of conditions in heavy, 40 foot boats called SM 40s. Our team of 6 girls did an amazing job working hard to make the boat go fast at all times, which is not an easy task. We are proud to be at the top of the 8 teams who competed, as each team gave us a run for our money! 

The first day was relatively light, shifty and very hot in the harbor right next to Oyster Bay. The focus was just to keep speed on and never let the boat stall on the foils or sails. This is much easier said than done while match racing and trying to take out your opponent! We finished the first day 5-0 and learned a lot about tactics and strategy (especially in the pre-start) that are specific to these big boats. 

We started day two excited about our momentum from the previous day, but knew we had our two hardest races of the first round robin left. Chantal Hearst, who has a lot of experience in these boats, beat us after we were over at the start and had some traffic issues on the course with some boats in other races. We then raced the next top ranked skipper, Nicole Breault, who had a great team onboard. We earned a penalty in the pre-start and managed to lead around the course. We set up perfectly to execute a penalty play at the windward mark but misjudged our layline back to the finish and killed the penalty too early, giving her an opportunity to pass us on the last run. We ended Round Robin one 5-2. 

As the day went on, the breeze built to a beautiful sea breeze and because of this, we felt much more comfortable in the boats. We were also hungry for more wins after our 2 silly losses in round robin 1. We ultimately finished round robin two 6-1. This meant that we won the double round robin and received honors of first pick for the semis.We chose the 4th place team, Sandy Hayes, and won the series 2-0. 

We started the finals on Sunday in 12-15 knots with jibs (instead of genoas) against Nicole Breault. We knew our boathandling and pre-starts would be our strengths but she was much faster. In race 1 we were in control most of the pre-start until the most important final 30 seconds when we stalled out after being head to wind. We trailed her off the line and around the course until the final run. From two boat lengths back, we matched her gybe to starboard, hit her breeze, gybed back to port, hit her breeze again, and gybed back to starboard right behind her. At this point we were holding her out from finishing but were restricted by rule 17, which means you have to sail your proper course (to the finish). We perfectly executed a double gybe later on so that we could continue to hold her out from the finish. It was a very exciting comeback and amped us up for race 2. 

Race 2, she had us tangled up in the dial up but after we broke free, we rallied for a “wide right” start in the breeze. This is very powerful as we were able to hold on her hip most of the beat until layline. We led downwind, but she passed us by getting to the right of us on the second upwind beat. On the last run, we were all set up to match her gybe to starboard and roll her to the finish. The girls perfectly executed the gybe and we had a very close, photo finish to take the series. 

It was an incredible weekend of sailing. Women’s match racing in booming in the States right now and that was proved by the level of sailing at this event. Our boathandling was INCREDIBLE and the attitude was right on par. The girls worked so hard and gave it their all whether we were ahead or behind. A huge shout out to Janel Zarkowsky (main/tactics), Maggie Shea (trim), Holly Poole (pit/trim assist), Liz Shaw (mast/bow) and Martha Pitt (bow). They crushed it! 

A huge thank you to our only fan for the weekend, Mary Lou Scott for coming down to cheer us on. Thank you to Oakcliff, US Sailing and Darcy Cook for running an excellent event. Thank you to all of our fans and supporters who help us make these events happen. And last, thank you to Helly Hansen for our team swag and making us look good! 

 

July 15th, 2014 by admin

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Professional racer Steph Roble checks in with her final report from what was by all accounts a barnstorming St. Thomas International Regatta, and we advise you to watch this one; Roble has a keen mind, serious competitiveness, and a great attitude in a hell of a package, and we urge you to go and like her Epic Racing Facebook page to follow her pro sailing and Women’s Match Racing exploits this summer. Congrats also to Jaime Torres and his Melges 32 Smile and Wave for following in his father’s footsteps to win the Rolex…ironically, the year they no longer give out the watch.  Follow SnW’s Facebook Page to watch the Caribbean M32 fleet grow.  Photos from Dean Barnes, and you can see all the galleries from the STIR here.  Dean Barnes photos.

dlb01975489olWhat a day! Team Line Honors started the final day of STIR with a 2 point lead over Puerto Rico’s Cachondo, and we knew it wouldn’t be easy to beat them. All week, it had been tight between us and today would be no different.

We sailed out to Jersey Bay this morning feeling good with our waterproof speakers blasting. The race course was much more open than yesterday’s tight courses, and we knew this would be more boatspeed and shift, and less boat-on-boat tactics. We won the first two races by winning the very favored boat end of the line and staying on starboard, getting out to the left where a nice geographical shift helps. The RC had 6 races scheduled – we knew we had to pace ourselves, but after two bullets, we were feeling pretty darn fine.

In the start of race 3 we played with the Cachondo boys for a bit, but at a minute to go, he went off for the crowded boat end while we went mid-line. The boat was so favored that Marco took the lead at the gun and basically sat on us the entire rest of the way; we grabbed a third place in this one.

dlb01975386olFor the final buoy race, we wanted to put some more point separation between our boats, and as befits the Match Race World Champion at our tiller, we went after Marco and his boys on Cachondo. And we misjudged our time and distance to the line…starting behind Cachondo…and then we missed a right shift on the last run, and lost 4 boats. We were extremely annoyed, and now, instead of a nice lead, we had a 3-point deficit going into the distance race that would end the regatta.

The race started in Jersey Bay, went up and around Great St James Island, through the awesome Current Cut, and to the finish line directly in front of the St. Thomas Yacht Club. “How the f%^$ are we going to make up that point gap??” we all thought to ourselves. Naturally, we all thought the same thing: “Let’s match race him,” and somehow, magically, put 3 boats between Cachondo and us before the finish. Sure…no problem.

Taylor went on to manhandle Marco in the pre-start, and on the beat, we pushed him hard to the right side of the course while the rest of the fleet went hard left. Our only hope was to keep sending him back, hoping we could somehow squeeze boats behind us. But with such a gap and so much leverage on the fleet, we didn’t know if we would be first, last or somewhere in between. We tacked about 12 times up the beat while Marco tried to break loose; finally we got to the layline to the cut of the island and left him to extend. We caught up to the fleet but left enough distance between us that exactly 3 boats were between us; we were all wound so tight as it unfolded! We hoisted the kite and snuck in front of a couple of boats, which we managed to pass on the reach, and coming into the final run to the club with spectators stacking the beach, we had 5 boats between us and Marco.

dlb01978039msNo one said anything; we all knew what was happening, but we had to keep our cool until such an unlikely scenario actually came true. Taylor’s dad and regatta organizer Bill Canfield was on the finish line boat for our final race, and what an experience – live music blasting from the stage, hundreds of competitors already partying it up, Bill on the RC boat with a big smile, champagne sailing conditions, and just enough boats behind us to take a hard-earned win.

We could have easily given up and handed the regatta to Marco, or fight hard against the odds and send it. We sent it, and it goes to show that hard work pays off, and aggression is competition, and to never ever give up no matter the circumstances. We are proud to represent Line Honors Yacht Racing Outfitters as the champions of the St Thomas international Regatta. One final shout out to the team: Mike Rehe, Taylor Canfield, Matt Clark and Taylor Ladd. And a big thank you to Sailing Anarchy for giving us a lot of love. Now it’s time to fill the glass with rum and celebrate!

 

March 31st, 2014 by admin

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St. Thomas is going off, and Steph checks back in after a windy Day 1 at the STIR.  Results here, photos here, and a little dismasting action here.  Dean Barnes photo. 

Breeze on in St Thomas today! We had an 11 am start time for our “distance” race to Charlotte Amalie. Mike Rehe got a little excited this morning and we left the dock at 930 only to find out we were the 8th start. So after floating around for more than two hours in squalls with whipping rain, breeze on and big swells, we were ready with a proper game plan for our race.

We had a downwind start with the pin end super favored. With 5 match racers on our boat we aced the time to the pin and had a perfect set right as another squall rolled thru. It was a long downwind race and we managed to pull away pretty well from the fleet. We had perfect surfing swells but IC24 class rules disallow pumping of sails. It took all of our team’s will to hold back on pumping but we managed. After the long downwind we had a short beat and reach into the finish downtown. We didn’t protect the left side enough and the Puerto Rican team “Cachondo” passed us. It was pretty much a parade from there.

Race two was another super pin-end favored start with a puffy reach to the next mark. Taylor blocked everyone out on starboard tack and we started perfectly on port at the pin, leading everyone on the parade to the channel marker we needed to round. Sneaky Marco got into some more pressure and a lefty on the reach and passed us. The breeze and swells continued to build and we were left with a long upwind back east. He held onto the lead the rest of our windward leeward race and we finished 2nd.

Race three was a long windward beat back to the yacht club. Again we crushed the start at the pin (seems to be a trend…) and waited until we got to the rocks for a nice lefty off the shore. We forced the fleet to tack under us but as we sailed away from the shore the lefty faded and the boats to leeward gained. From there we just felt a bit off the pace in the big waves and breeze. We managed to grab a third for the race.

Thinking ahead to tomorrow, we are going to use our starts to our advantage and focus on getting up to speed. The RC can schedule up to 8 races on the windward/leeward course so it’s definitely going to be a marathon. We are ready to go and will be out there blinding the fleet in our neon green Team Line Honors shirts. Big shout out to our sponsor and the STIR for an awesome first day of racing!

 

March 29th, 2014 by admin

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Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 8.47.40 AMPast Sailor Chick of the Week Stephanie Roble has been busy over the past year, working her way up to the 6th ranked spot in ISAF’s Women’s Match Racing standings and 54th in the Open list in her run to try to conquer the WIMRS; all this as she finished up a multi-year stint helping to run the Chicago Match Racer.  She’s an all-around badass, one of very few pro sailor chicks in the game, and this week, she’s sailing with her man Taylor in the St. Thomas International Regatta.  Steph gave us a few minutes of her time – you can give her a few minutes of yours by checking out the Epic Racing newsletter and her team’s Facebook Page.

SA: After a season of Grade 1 and 2 match racing, you just rocked up to St. Thomas regatta to sail on a chartered IC-24 boat in a crazy local 1-design class.  What made you do that, and what are your expectations?

SR: I came down here for the free rum, some fun in the sun, to get rid of my tan lines and the dance party (just kidding…though that is definitely a bonus).  Actually it just so happened that my boyfriend and reigning World Match Racing World Champion, chartered an IC 24 and signed me up to sail with him. It was a great excuse for him to come home to roots and see his family [dad Bill Canfield runs the event -ed].  Taylor’s been doing a lot of coaching and pro crewing and hasn’t really steered since the Monsoon Cup, so he wanted some tiller time – I just wanted to sail! We recruited good friends to join Team Line Honors: Mike Rehe, Matt Clark & Taylor Ladd (see crew positions here).  Basically, it’s awesome to sail with good friends, and the regatta and class are major fun on and off the water.

 

SA: What makes St. Thomas stand out as a racing venue?

SR:  Obviously, being in the islands in the middle of winter isn’t bad!  It’s 85 degrees everyday and the trade winds are in full force right now. Our forecast for the week is 15-20 knots every day and some possible rain showers. Can you really beat that? Well, St. Thomas does, because in addition to the great sailing, the STYC is just so chill.  You come in from the water to a huge beach covered with palm trees, sponsor flags, and a stage for the band right on the water, the breeze blowing right on the club from the topaz water…have I painted the picture yet? All around, a fantastic vibe.

SA: Lots of folks find racing with their significant otherwise difficult, and knowing both of your personalities, it can’t be easy for you two.  How do you guys do it?  Have any tips for other guys and gals to make it fun, and positive?

SR: It’s definitely a unique situation; people always ask how we make it happen. We’ve sailed 3 US Match Race Championships together, he coached me in match racing and we do a lot of pro sailing together. I’m a very competitive person, so when I’m on a boat or team, I treat every person the same. It’s definitely easy to get more annoyed or sensitive with someone who is that close to you, but it’s important to understand the competitive atmosphere. It’s important to leave whatever happens (good or bad) on the water and when you get back to shore you can go back to normal. It’s also cool learning from your significant other; I ask questions and become a better sailor because of that, it’s definitely a win-win situation. Bottom line is that we both love to have fun and being on the water with our close friends is, well, fun.

SA: You’re America’s top-ranked women’s match racer and 6th in the world, what does that really mean for you?  Where do you go with that now that the MR Olympics are gone?

SR: I fell in love with match racing back in college and it was a bonus that it was in the Olympics. I did a short campaign with Maggie Shea and Darby Smith afterwards, and fell even more in love with the fast paced, tactical and athletic game. It’s definitely a bummer that it’s not in the Olympics anymore but that hasn’t stopped me yet! I was also fortunate enough to have a job at Chicago Match Race Center where I could focus on improving as a skipper and crew.

Now we have a professional women’s match race series (WIM Series) that is set up similar to the World Match Race Tour and my team, Epic Racing (follow us on Facebook please!), will sail all 5 Series this year.  The WIMRS is a huge step towards developing women’s professional sailing but also giving girls something to look forward to besides the Olympics. As for the ranking, it’s really cool to be ranked so high in the women’s, but as my college coach, Mitch Brindley, always said, rankings only mean so much. We believe we are the top team at every event, and we will continue working our hardest no matter what the ranking says. We are also proud of our work in the open match race events we have done. Training and racing against the guys has been great for our development as a team.

SA: You’re young, super fit, massively competitive and great at marketing yourself; all the things that make a great Olympic competitor.   Why didn’t you dive into the Olympic stuff this cycle?

SR: That’s a tough call.   I have a lot of friends in the Olympic circuit now and I really admire their drive. I sailed the Nacra 17 a good bit this winter with the US Sailing Team and absolutely loved racing a multihull.  But you have to be honest with yourself, and I honestly want to focus 100% on Epic Racing’s match race campaign and developing my skills as a professional sailor.  It is not an easy course; how many female pro sailors do you really see out there on any circuit?   I also want to prove (to myself and other girls) that this is a path you can take. It can definitely be hard but I love sailing so much and this feel like the right path for me right now. I definitely see the Olympics in my future.  I received some great advice lately that it’s important to set specific goals and to make sure you focus only on those goals, otherwise if you have too much going on you will only be overwhelmed and exhausted rather than fresh and competitive at your goals.

SA: Now that 6 of the VOR teams are more or less announced, tell us how you see the SCA team faring against the others?  Did you have any interest in being part of the VOR?  What happened?

SR: I think the girls are ready to kick ass! They have been working extremely hard and are the only team right now with a lot of training time under their belts. I may be a little biased, but you guys all know its true. SCA has picked the top sailors in the world who are mentally and physically strong and are going to work the hardest to crush the race and the guys. Again, I could definitely see myself being apart of the VOR but it wasn’t the right time. I’m only 24: I have a lot to learn and a lot of time left to set goals like the Olympics and the VOR.

SA: Tell us the format of the STIR IC 24 class racing, and will you send us daily reports?

SR: The racing is going to be Epic!!! There are 16 boats in our class with the top guys from all over the Caribbean. On Friday, we have a distance race to downtown Charlotte Amalie and back to the Club. Saturday & Sunday is all short course W/L bouy racing. Again, the forecast looks fresh the entire time and Team Line Honors is pumped to get on the water. And yes – I will send you daily reports along with color from Bill & Taylor Canfield, and we’ll do our best not to have too much rum before we send them out!

 

March 27th, 2014 by admin

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