After eight rounds in the Santa Maria Cup sailing regatta, three semifinalists have been decided and the fourth hangs in the balance of a match between Dawn Riley and Mary Brigden Snow today in the last flight of round-robin races.
Julia Trotman of Syosset, N.Y., Hannah Swett of Jamestown, R.I., and Paula Lewin of Bermuda clinched semifinal spots after each won at least two races yesterday.
Trotman, who leads the regatta with a 7-1 record, won all three of her matches yesterday, including a close match with Swett in the third flight of the day.
Swett and Lewin, tied for second with 6-2 records, are matched today. The finals will be held tomorrow.
"None of us has match-raced before or raced with spinnakers very much," Lewin said of her crew, all of whom are from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "We sail every day, but it has been college racing and this is a learning experience.
L "Our speed and tactics are good, and we are getting better."
In yesterday's racing, said Trotman, whose only loss of the regatta was to Lewin on Thursday, fleet racing tactics were more important than the defensive tactics of match racing.
"We have had a good day because my crew spotted the wind puffs and we were able to sail the course rather than our opponent," Trotman said of the conditions on the Inner Harbor off Canton. "When the wind is that shifty, that unpredictable, it is hard even to stay close to an opponent."
Swett, who finished third here last year after losing to Riley in the semifinals, said, "This is a different show this year.
"The top people -- Julia and Paula -- weren't even here last year and they are both really in tune with the wind shifts -- and there are a lot of shifts out there."
Brigden Snow and Riley finished yesterday's racing with 5-3 records.
In her final round-robin match today, Trotman will sail against Susie Madrigali, who has not won a match.
If Madrigali were to upset Trotman, and Lewin were to beat Swett, then Lewin would be the top seed in the semifinals because she beat Trotman earlier in the regatta.
The best-of-three semifinals will be raced today after the conclusion of the round robin.
Race 5 -- Berge def. Madrigali; Trotman def. Snow; Lewin def. Burton; Swett def. Johnson; Riley def. Corrado.
Race 6 -- Johnson def. Burton; Snow def. Corrado; Trotman def. Riley; Lewin def. Madrigali; Swett def. Berge.
Race 7 -- Corrado def. Madrigali; Johnson def. Lewin; Snow def. Berge; Trotman def. Swett; Riley def. Burton.
Race 8 -- Lewin def. Corrado; Burton def. Snow; Riley def. Berge; Trotman def. Johnson; Swett def. Madrigali.
ROUND ROBIN STANDINGS
- After eight of nine races No. Sailor .. .. .. .. .. .W-L
Julia Trotman, New York 7-1
2. Paula Lewin, Bermuda .. 6-2
Hannah Swett, Rh. Island ..6-2
3. Dawn Riley, New Zealand 5-3
Mary Brigden Snow, Calif. .5-3
4. Karen Johnson, Canada ..4-4
5. Melinda Berge, Baltimore 3-5
Diane Burton, Annapolis .. .3-5
6. Lynda Corrado, California 1-6
7. Susie Madrigali, California 0-8