Blecher Wins First U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship

DETROIT, Mich. (August 18, 2019) — Allie Blecher (Long Beach, Calif.) won the 17th U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship with a 2-0 victory over Giselle Camet Nyenhuis (San Diego, Calif.).

Blecher, the 2010 Quantum Collegiate Female Sailor of the Year and a member of the US Sailing Team in 2013, won the Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy for the first time in her second attempt. She finished runner-up in last year’s championship held in San Francisco. This year she won an abbreviated final that was reduced to a best-of-three from a best-of-five due to thunderstorms in the Detroit area.

“This is a good one. This is the highlight of our season. We’ve been working towards this one in particular,” said Blecher, who works as a sustainment integration project manager for Northrup Grumman in El Segundo, Calif. Her crew included main trimmer and tactician Beka Schiff (Los Angeles, Calif.), trimmer Krysia Pohl (San Francisco, Calif.) and bowperson Ali Blumenthal (Bellport, N.Y.).

“Last year we were sort of new to match racing, it was our first time facing Nicole (Breault, three time winner),” said Blecher. “We were in a good spot against her at every start, but she had the boatspeed. We knew we were able to sail against her. This year we were coming in for the win. This one is a highlight, top of the list right now.”

Camet Nyenhuis (left, at helm) was awarded the Mrs. Charles Francis Adams Memorial Trophy for finishing runner-up. Her crew included Dana Riley Hayes (San Rafael, Calif.) and Molly Vandermoer (Stanford, Calif.).

Blecher and Camet Nyenhuis advanced to the final of the US Sailing National championship by winning their semifinal matches. Blecher defeated Marilyn Cassedy (Lawndale, Calif.), 3-0, while Camet Nyenhuis defeated Janel Zarkowsky (Annapolis, Md.), 3-2, in a much tighter match.

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