BoatUS Santa Maria Cup

Santa Maria Cup History

Santa Maria Cup

The Santa Maria Cup Women’s Match Racing has an exciting history crowned with the success of women's match racing reaching the 2012 London Olympics. After the long pre-Olympic trials, travel, the Olympics themselves and long-awaited obligations, high-ranking women match racers were difficult to schedule. A certain number of high-ranking competitors and international teams are required for the event to remain the highest Grade - ISAF Grade 1 event. The long-time host, Eastport Yacht Club, not wanting to downgrade the event, has called a conclusion to a long successful run of this Match Racing Championship. See the list of champions at the bottom of this page from 1991 to 2011. BoatUS is proud to have sponsored the event for over 15 years.



The Santa Maria Cup is an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade 1 women's match racing championship


2011 Santa Maria Cup

Women's Match Racing Championship
Held September 27 - October 1, 2011 by Eastport Yacht Club
Annapolis, MD

Anne Tunnicliffe (USA) and Team Maclaren win 2011 Santa Maria Cup

Photos by Walter Cooper

Annapolis, MD – October 1, 2011 - Anna Tunnicliffe (Team Maclaren - USA- Ranked #1) took four exciting flights to win the 21st Santa Maria Cup today. Second place went to Julie Bossard (France) and third place to Becca Dellenbaugh (USA). There were consistently strong winds on this final day of the Championship accompanied by choppy water. In the third flight of the final, Elodie Fauve of Team Bossard fell overboard and quickly recovered but with the strong winds it meant a chilling finish. Team Ferris-Choat (Canada) finished fourth, Team Baylis (USA) was fifth, Team Lehtinen (Finland) was sixth, Team Ruhlman (USA) was seventh and Team Silve (Argentina) was eighth.

The Gay Lynn Trophy is given annually to the skipper of the top finishing Santa Maria Cup skipper in her first Santa Maria Cup. The 2011 winner is Becca Dellenbaugh. A second special Santa Maria Cup award is the Eleanor Ruth Wilcox Memorial Trophy for the Bowperson on the winning team. This award was given to Liz Bower Lewin, who dedicated her trophy to Team Maclaren and spoke too modestly of her role in the team’s victory.

At the Eastport Yacht Club's 'Prizegiving and Farewell Party' tonight, Eastport Yacht Club Commodore, Rich Jackson, expressed deep appreciation for the contributions of volunteers, competitors and umpire in making this an exceptional Santa Maria Cup Championship. He also thanked the EYC Race Committee and all the Santa Maria Cup subcommittees for their hard work and generous support of women’s match racing.

Both Commodore Jackson and Regatta Chair, Susan Nahmias, thanked the sponsors of the 2011 Santa Maria Cup. These include BoatUS, SpinSheet, Go The Airport Shuttle, Eastport Yacht Club Foundation, Boatyard Bar and Grill, Heineken, Gosling’s Rum, Evolution Sails, Dean’s Yacht Services, West Marine, Historic Annapolis Foundation and National Sailing Center and Hall of Fame.. Each ticket for this event included a complimentary Gosling’s Dark n Stormy and Annapolis area restaurants and caterers donations supported the event through generous contributions of food.

Thank you to all who followed and supported the 2011 Santa Maria Cup! We are already looking forward to 2012.

By Susan Nahmias, Eastport Yacht Club, Santa Maria Cup Regatta Chair

Anna Tunnicliffe is ranked #1 woman sailor in the world and her team is ranked #1 in Women's Match Racing. Her team members are Anna Tunnicliffe, Debbie Capozzi, Molly Vandemoer and Liz Bower. Visit her team websites at and

Read interviews of some of the competitors at the BoatUS Reception.

Event details: September 27 – October 1, 2011

Hosted by the Eastport Yacht Club - Annapolis, MD

2011 Schedule
Tuesday, September 27

Pick up a Santa Maria Cup Program in the September issue of Spinsheet Magazine 

(also link to program here)

4:00 pm Pro Am fleet race, Spectator cruise planned

6:00 pm Opening Ceremony - Susan C Campbell Park – Annapolis City Dock - Open to the public. 
Immediately to follow - Reception at Hell Point Seafood - By Invitation Only

Sponsored by Hell Point Seafood and the National Sailing Hall of Fame.
Wednesday, September 28
9:00 am Racing starts
Immediately to follow racing - Autograph and photo hour for high school and college sailors at Eastport Yacht Club
Thursday, September 29
9:00 am Racing starts
7:00 pm (approx ) Team Sponsor dinner
Friday, September 30
9:00 pm Racing starts
7:00 pm BoatUS "Meet the Champions" Santa Maria Cup Public Reception** - William Paca House and Garden - Annapolis, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm   
Read interviews here!

Saturday, October 1
9:00 pm Racing starts
approx 7:00 pm Awarding of Trophies and Farewell Party** - Eastport Yacht Club

The 2011 Photographer was Walter Cooper, who also took great photographs for some previoius Santa Maria Cups! See his website at

Visit - to see list of competitors and more!

See LIVE blog and results when racing begins!

The Santa Maria Cup is an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade 1 women's match racing championship, one of five held in the US.



Santa Maria Cup


2010 BoatUS Santa Maria Cup Hosted by the Eastport Yacht Club


2010 Notice of Race Issued - Read Press Release of January 12, 2010

2010 Teams Announced - Read Press Release of April 27, 2010

2010 Opening Ceremony at Annapolis City Dock June 1, 6 p.m. - Read Press Release of May 25, 2010

Mayor of Annapolis Proclaims "Celebrate Women in Sailing Week" to coincide with 20th BoatUS Santa Maria Cup, June 1-5, 2010 - Read Press Release of June 4, 2010

Claire Leroy Takes BoatUS Santa Maria Cup for Second Year in a Row
- Read Press release from June 7, 2010


Opening Ceremony at Annapolis City Dock - Ward Eight Alderman Ross H. Arnette, III reads the Proclamation "Celebrate Women in Sailing Week".

2010 Day One Racing Photos


2010 Day Two Racing Photos


2010 Finals Racing Photos




Returning 2009 Champion Claire Leroy (France) Wins 2010 BoatUS Santa Maria Cup!

Claire Leroy (far right) with team members (L-R) Claire Pruvot, Marie Riou and Elodie Bertrand.

The 2010 photographer was Fried Elliott. See his website at

See More 2010 photos at

Claire Leroy (France) Wins 2009 BoatUS Santa Maria Cup!

Photo by Rob Rowlands

Keeping her world ranking of #1, Claire Leroy (France) captured first place beating Genny Tulloch (USA). Light winds plagued each racing day and prevented the the semi-finals, leaving Claire Leroy in first place on the Final Round-Robin Standings. Her crew were Elodie Bertrand, Claire Pruvot and Marie Riou.


Claire LeroySanta Maria Cup

Photos by Sara Proctor - SailFastPhotography.

Left photo: Claire Leroy team. Right photo: Genny Tulloch team and Julie Bossard team.

BoatUS Santa Maria Cup Match Racing May 26-30, 2009

A confirmed slate of world-class match racers has been announced for the 18th Annual BoatUS Santa Maria Cup, being held May 26 - 30 in Annapolis, MD and hosted by Eastport Yacht Club and sponsored by Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS).

The list of racers scheduled to compete (with home country and world ranking) include:

Claire Leroy (FRA, #1), Elizabeth Baylis (USA, # 6) Katie Spithill (AUS, #7), Julie Bossard (FRA, #14), Katy Lovell (USA, #22), Lorenza Mariani (ITA, #24), JoAnn Fisher (USA, #43), Genny Tulloch (USA, #44), Maria Ramires (POR, #48), Juliana Senfft (BRA, #58)

Claire Leroy returns after a year’s absence to pursue this championship that has eluded her over the five years she has reigned as the world’s top-ranked match racer. She will face stiff competition from the USA’s top racer, Elizabeth Baylis, Australia’s Katie Spithill and another US team led by Genny Tulloch, who has been blistering the competition in recent weeks.

Each skipper leads a hand-picked crew of three. Over the course of three days a series of round-robin, two-boat heats, each lasting about 15 minutes, will determine who goes to the finals on Saturday, May 30. Unlike sailing races where big budgets and expensive high-tech boats can have an advantage, these match racers will take to the Chesapeake Bay course in identical J-22 (22-foot) sailboats.

The 2009 photographer was Sara Proctor. See her photos at

Sally Barkow Wins 2008 BoatUS Santa Maria Cup Third Time

Top Women sailors met again in Annapolis, MD, hosted by Eastport Yacht Club, May 28 - 31, 2008.

USA's Sally Barkow Takes 2007 BoatUS Santa Maria Cup

The US Team Of Sally Barkow Came Out On Top
In Spite Of A Late Wakeup Call By The Strong French Team Of Claire Leroy

June 2, 2007 - Annapolis, MD - After Friday's final round robin series that ended with Sally Barkow (USA) leading by 17-1 against Leroy (FR), who had come roaring back to a perfect day but still down at 15-3, Saturday's semis were a USA vs. France event. Liz Baylis ended up third going in with a 13-5 score against Christelle Philippe (FR) in fourth place with 11-7 going into the final four.


Barkow had an outstanding performance going into the round robin portion of the competition with 17 wins to only 1 loss, but that was against Leroy, who had posted a perfect score with an exciting last-minute spinnaker douse to a 360 penalty turn at the last finish ahead of Barkow. Then in the first race of the semi-finals, sailed at the end of Friday's matches, Philippe beat Barkow in a fading breeze to make them rethink their performance and tactics for the final day of racing. “We definitely got a little slack toward the end of Friday. It was a long day on the water and we were happy about winning the round robin and I think we let up a little,” Barkow said. The loss to Philippe definitely shook us up and made us realize that there still was work to be done.”

Saturday, Barkow's team came out gunning and nailed their semis best-of-three with a score of 3 to 1 over Philippe and went against Leroy, who had beaten Baylis to qualify in the finals 3-1 also. In the finals, Barkow came out on top 3-1 again and cinched the win and join the ranks of Dawn Riley and Marie Bjorling as the only three to have won the BoatUS Santa Maria Cup twice.

The final results for the event had Sally Barkow (USA) 1st , Claire Leroy (FR) second 2nd, Liz Baylis (USA) 3rd , Christelle Philippe (FR) 4th , Nicky Souter (AUS) 5th , Katy Lovell (USA) 6th , Katie Spithill (AUS) 7th, Jo Ann Fisher (USA) 8th, Lorenza Mariani (IT) 9th and Liz Hjorth 10th. All of the competitors deserve recognition for putting on another fantastic competition and for pushing each other to excel in the fast-paced sport of match racing. The starts and finishes were always close, sometimes only seconds apart. Those who did not finish on top, made the leaders work harder for their wins and will be back next time to make their own podium stand next year.

The racing conditions were perfect each day and spectators and competitors alike enjoyed a great competition. The predicted last day thunderstorms held off until after the races were done and competitors were back on shore for the awards ceremony. The army of volunteers from the hosting Eastport Yacht Club, Annapolis, MD put on another fantastic BoatUS Santa Maria Cup event. With the dedication of these experienced race committee people, visiting judges, umpires and all the support staff, BoatUS and other sponsors, the event continues to be a premier international competition.

Katie Spithill of Sydney, Australia is the Champion of the 2006 BoatUS Santa Maria Cup

The event, sponsored by BoatUS and Eastport Yacht Club, was held in Annapolis, MD, May 31 – June 3. Traditional light winds delayed racing Thursday afternoon and Friday, but Saturday’s high winds made the competition exciting.

The semi-finals were shortened to first to win two points. Giulia Conti, World Rank 31 (ITA) and Katie Spithill, World Rank 12 (AUS) advanced to the finals with Liz Baylis, 2003 Cup winner, World Rank 39 (USA) and Christelle Philippe, World Rank 8 (FRA) in the petit-finals. Baylis won the petit-finals giving her third place overall.

The final races on Saturday were to be determined by the first team to win three races and were full of suspense. Winds ranged from 14-20 knots, gusting to 25, challenging the skills of all racers and umpires. The first two races were very close with Spithill in the lead. Conti took the next two, requiring a fifth race to decide the winner. Race 5 score was thrown out due to a committee boat breakdown causing contact with Conti. In the re-match race 6, Spithill defeated Conti, making a remarkable recovery, even after serving a penalty turn.

Katie Spithill, age 24, is only the fourth non-American to win the title. Spithill’s winning crew included Stacey Jackson (main and tactics), Angela Farrell (jib), and Nina Curtis (bow).

2006 BoatUS Santa Maria Cup Final Results:

Katie Spithill (AUS) D. Giulia Conti (ITA), 3-2

Liz Baylis (USA) D. Christelle Philippe (FRA), 2-1

Katie Spithill (AUS) D. Liz Baylis (USA), 2-0
Giulia Conti (ITA) D. Christelle Philippe (FRA), 2-0

Round Robin Standings
1. Liz Baylis (USA), 11-3
2. Christelle Philippe (FRA), 10-4
3. Giulia Conti (ITA), 9-5
4. Katie Spithill (AUS), 9-5
5. Katy Pilley-Lovell (USA), 9-5
6. Carol Cronin (USA), 7-7
7. Deb Capozzi (USA), 6-8
8. Jo Ann Fisher (USA), 5-9
9. Lorenza Mariani (ITA), 3-11
10. Jen Provan (CAN), 1-13

Sweden's Marie Bjorling Wins 2005 BoatUS Santa Maria Cup

awardsSwedish skipper Marie Bjorling was declared champion of the 15th annual BoatUS Santa Maria Cup women's match racing regatta, hosted by Eastport Yacht Club, after dying winds on Saturday forced the cancellation of both the semifinals and final races. The final results of the Grade 1 event sailing in Annapolis, MD, June 1-4 were based on the best records compiled during the double round-robin series of the regatta with each team racing 18 races over three days.

Bjorling finished first in the round-robin series with an overall record of 15-4, winning a tie-breaker with French skipper Claire Leroy, ranked number one entering the regatta. Third place went to Paula Lewin of Bermuda (13-5), and fourth place to Newport, RI's, Betsy Alison (12-6). Alison and her team had come on strong at the end, winning eight of nine races in the second round-robin.

"It is kind of a strange way to win a regatta," Bjorling said. "We knew it was possible the regatta might get cut short, which is why we wanted to do so well in the round-robin."

After two semifinal races were held in dying breezes Saturday, Bjorling and Alison were tied 2-2 while Lewin and Leroy were also tied 2-2. Principal race officer Mark Murphy tried hard to start the decisive fifth race for both semis, but the wind faded. "We were at absolute rock-bottom, marginal conditions for racing and then things got worse," Murphy said. "It's disappointing, but I am confident we did everything the proper way." Because the semifinals were not able to be completed, the final results were based only on the round-robin series.

Bjorling won the BoatUS Santa Maria Cup in 2002 and had been ranked No. 1 in the International Sailing Federation world match race rankings for two years before slipping to second a few weeks ago. Bjorling took more than a year off to have a baby; Leroy moved into the top spot. Alison has won the regatta twice, in 1997 and 2000. Lewin was champion in 1998. Last year's winner, Sally Barkow, placed fifth this year.

"We really wanted to win this regatta, partly because of the ranking, but mostly because it was such a strong field," Bjorling said. "Our performance here gives the team a boost of self confidence for the rest of the season,” Bjorling told local papers. Bjorling's winning crew included Anna Holmdahl who trimmed the main and called tactics, Elisabeth Nilsson (jib), and Annika Carlunger (bow).

Santa Maria Cup2Santa maria Cup1Santa Maris Cup3

Photos by Walter Cooper. 

2005 Final Scores

1, Marie Bjorling, Sweden, 15-4
2, Claire Leroy, France, 14-5
3, Paula Lewin, Bermuda, 13-5
4, Betsy Alison, United States, 12-6
5, Sally Barkow, United States, 10-8

Santa Maria Cup Past Winners
1991 JJ Isler US flag
1992 Dawn Riley US flag
1993 Julia Trotman US flag
1994 Karen Johnson Canadian flag
1995 Jody Swanson US flag
1996 Melissa Prudy US flag
1997 Betsy Alison US flag
1998 Paula Lewin Flag of Bermuda
1999 Dawn Riley US flag
2000 Betsy Alison US flag
2001 Cory Sertl US flag
2002 Marie Bjorling Swedish flag
2003 Elizabeth Bayliss US flag
2004 Sally Barkow US flag
2005 Marie Bjorling Swedish flag
2006 Katie Spithill Australian Flag
2007 Sally Barkow US flag
2008 Sally Barkow US flag
2009 Claire Leroy French flag
2010 Claire Leroy French flag
2011 Team Maclaren US flag