Friday, 31 July 2009

Womens Match Racing Worlds: Day 3 - First Round Robin Completed in Tough Conditions

Claire Leroy (FRA) tops the round robin

Claire Leroy (FRA), Mermaid Sailing Team. Image copyright Dan Ljungsvik/LWM.

by Josefine Ås

The 12 teams in the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship encountered physical sailing when the first Round Robin was completed today. The quarterfinals did not start today as the racing was interrupted at mid-day when a front came in, bringing gale winds to the race course.

Cascades of rain were pouring down from the main sails during the last matches of the round robin this afternoon. Strong, very shifty, hard read wind, and at times heavy rain showers, made the racing difficult for both competitors and race committee. But the world’s best female match racers sailed superb races with a lot of action and top level boat handling.

Marie Björling (SWE), Team Björling. Image copyright Dan Ljungsvik/LWM.

France's Claire Leroy and the two Swedish teams Marie Björling and Anna Kjellberg were ready for the quarterfinals already yesterday. The three remaining spots were determined in tough duels resulting in a very tight score.

Australia's Katie Spithill sailed aggressively in the physical conditions and won two of her matches today, and therefore making it to the quarterfinals, which also was the case for her fellow country member Nicole Souter. "It is a big benefit for us to have a sparring partner. We are more like a team of 12, having the same coach and pushing each other, said Katie Spithill currently ranked number two on the ISAF women’s match racing world ranking", said Souter.

Camille Ulrikkeholm of Denmark scored the final spot to the quarterfinals, with the same points as the two Australian teams: six victories and five losses.

Reigning World Champion Claire Leroy of France topped the first round robin with 10 victories and only one match lost: "Our objective in the first round robin was to finish top four, so this result is a big surprise and we are very happy. All six teams that have made it to the quarterfinals are sailing really well and every match will be tough racing, said Claire Leroy, who sailed with a brand new crewmember today as the team’s bowman injured her hand when helping trim the gennaker during a difficult tack yesterday afternoon. The new bowman, Camille Lecointre, who has never sailed with the team, was flown in from France late last night. The issue does not seem to have changed Leroy’s success, winning all her matches today."

Madde Magnusson trimming the spinaker on Anna Kjellberg's boat. Image copyright Dan Ljungsvik/LWM.

For the quarterfinals the six competitors will sail another round robin (everyone meeting everyone). The four best teams continue to the semi finals. The points from the first round robin are not counted to the quarterfinals.

Anna Kjellberg (SWE), Carpe Diem Beds Sailing Team. Image copyright Dan Ljungsvik/LWM.

On Saturday the final will be held and the World Champion 2009 will be crowned.

Result day 3: ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship (with ISAF women's match racing world ranking number):
First Round Robin completed. Top six to quarterfinals.

1. Claire Leroy (1) FRA 10-1
2. Marie Björling (43) SWE 9-2
3. Anna Kjellberg (10) SWE 8-3
4. Nicole Souter (8) AUS 6-5
5. Katie Spithill (2) AUS 6-5
6. Camille Ulrikkeholm (13) DEN 6-5

Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen (DEN), Team Marine Pool. Image copyright Dan Ljungsvik/LWM.

7. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen (5) DEN 5-6
8. Sally Barkow (7) USA 5-6
9. Lucy Macgregor (3) GBR 5-6
10. Linda Rahm (4) SWE 4-7
11. Silke Hahlbrock (6) GER 2-9
12. Christelle Philippe (19) FRA 0-11

ISAF Womens World Match Racing Championships/Lysekil Womens Match

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