Regular readers of this blog will have noticed that I have a thing about Anna Tunnicliffe. No, I'm not an Anna groupie. I'm too old for crushes on athletic young women who can sail a Laser better then me. Besides Tillerwoman wouldn't approve.
No. It's more that I became somewhat tired of the Paige Railey PR machine. A year or two ago it seemed that Paige was always in the news. Youth phenom. Rolex whatever. And nobody seemed to be paying attention to the fact that the US had another top class female Laser Radial Sailor named Anna Tunnicliffe. So, in my contrary way I started blogging occasionally about Anna.
In January 2006, Anna won the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta. Wow, I wish I could hike like she is doing in that photo.
In February my granddaughter Emily and I had a discussion about hiking styles after she saw that photo. She's even more precocious now. Emily not Anna.
In December I had a little patriotic outburst about the dominance of British Olympic sailors in the ISAF rankings, along with a quiz asking who was the only American ranking number one in an Olympic class. Of course the answer was Anna.
In May of this year I did a post about the top two American Olympic campaigners in the Laser and Laser Radial classes. Of course Anna was mentioned.
In July I wrote a couple of posts about Anna's performance in the ISAF Worlds.
Get the picture? I guess I am an Anna fan. Been following her sailing career and blogging about her successes for a couple of years now. So imagine how thrilled I was this week when Anna won the gold medal at the Good Luck Beijing - 2007 Qingdao International Regatta in Qingdao, China, the second test event before the 2008 Olympic Games. Not quite an Olympic Gold but the next best thing I would guess.
Surely she is one of the USA's best hopes for a sailing gold medal in the Olympics next year. But first she has to win the Trials. I'm rooting for you girl.