We had a chance to sit down and ask the newly crowned US Women’s Match Racing Champion, Stephanie Roble (USA), a few questions about her team and her plans for this year. Enjoy!
WIMSeries: How did the event in Cork prepare you for the US Nationals?
SR: The main thing we can pinpoint is the rapport we worked hard to develop at the Worlds. In Cork, We streamlined communication among the team members and further defined each person’s role on the boat. We took this with us to the US Nationals and therefore there were hardly any holes in our communication, which is a huge advantage in match racing.
WIMSeries: Your core team has been together for awhile, is that an advantage?
SR: I definitely believe it is important to have a core team. You learn each person’s strengths and weaknesses and don’t have to waste time on developing skills that a new team needs to. Instead of taking a step back, you are always taking a few steps forward with a consistent team. I am very thankful to have committed teammates like Maggie, Janel and Lara.
WIMSeries: Does your win at Oakcliff change your approach for Lysekil and other WIM Series events?
SR: I don’t think so. We race our best when we are having fun so we will continue to keep the mood light and take it all one race at a time. We are always ready to race anyone.
WIMSeries: Is it an advantage that your next WIM Series event (Lysekil) is also in big boats?
SR: This is definitely an added bonus. My tactician, Janel, and I were able to pinpoint a lot of specific big boat maneuvers and tactics that we will carry forward to Lysekil. That being said though, many of the teams at Lysekil have a lot of experience in the DS 37s so it will definitely be a tough fight to the top.
WIMSeries: What are your take away lessons from Oakcliff?
SR: Speed is everything!! We struggled in the light air in heavy boats because everything was so slow and maneuvers were limited because once you become slow, it feels like you are slow forever! We made a lot of comebacks by just focusing on easy movements and keeping the speed on at all times. We were also reminded of how important boat handling is in a big boat. Good crew work is essential to winning close races and the girls crushed that aspect!
WIMSeries: Any other thoughts about the growth of Match Racing in the US and the effect it will have on the WIM Series?
SR: Women’s match racing is definitely on the rise right now in the States. We had 50 women participating at the national championship!! That’s an outstanding number. The best part is that all the women were super keen on bringing racing to the next level and helping to develop the grassroots level as well. I think very soon you will see the WIM Series dominated by several teams from the States.
WIMSeries: Thanks, Stephanie – Anything else you’d like to add?
SR: A HUGE shout out to my teammates who worked extremely hard all weekend whether we were winning or losing. Janel Zarkowsky on main and tactics, Maggie Shea on trim, Holly Poole in pit, Liz Shaw on the mast/bow and Martha Pitt on the bow.
WIMSeries: Awesome, thanks again. Good luck in Lysekil.
You can find out more about Stephanie’s team here: www.wimseries.com/?team=stephanie-roble