Anna Tunnicliffe Visit Captivates AYC

Anna Tunnicliffe helps ASF high school kids. Photos: Mike Ferring

Accomplished. Humble. Determined. Nice. All Anna Tunnicliffe.

We’re still dazzled that she took time from her Olympic training schedule to come to Arizona to talk with the club. That she even slipped into shorts and stepped onto one of our ASF Laser Radials to spend more than an hour teaching raw beginners a thing or two about roll tacking.

In just two months this world #1-ranked women’s match racer will know whether her team will compete in this summer’s Olympic Games and take a shot at winning her second Olympic gold medal. Tuesday night (3/13) she posed with dozens of us holding that first gold medal and talked about the race that won it—a race that began by turning around to restart after she thought she might have been OCS (on course side), one where she picked the wrong side of the course for the wind, where a shift suddenly vaulted her into medal position, where she sat still on her boat during the final leg to avoid being called for a Rule 41 (propulsion) violation and held her breath to the finish, where she flew into the water in celebration, but only felt the joy and weight of the accomplishment after she sat alone in her hotel room that night, crying after having achieved a dream that took so much effort and concentration.

Anna coaches roll-tacking.

Now she drills with coach Dave Dellenbaugh and teammates Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi on an Elliot 6 meter, a boat she describes as being hugely physical, getting fully-powered-up in 8-10 knots of breeze and then demanding a crew that will fight her to keep her moving. Anna is clearly up to the job physically. She’s rock hard and toned. And she matches it mentally: she’s focused and determined (one of her four “Ds” that keeps her driving).

After saying good night to the AYC audience Tuesday night, she headed off for a brief night of rest and a 4:30 airplane back to Florida and more time on the water. Thanks, Anna. It was a fabulous few hours.

Go here for quick donations to Anna’s Olympic campaign, or here for tax-deductible contributions, or here to keep track of her exploits.

The Bucc Bunch at the AYC meeting: Matt Davis, Cindy Pillote, Brenda Shears (with the gold medal), Anna (with the burgee), and Emory Heisler.