Meldgaard and Le Berre both scored 8 – 0 to lead the way, and after an action-packed day Meldgaard said, ‘Even with one reef in the main and a smaller jib replacing the genoa, the Match 28’s we’re racing here are quite overpowered. We lost control a couple of times, but excellent crew work got us back on track again.’
Just a few weeks after summer solstice, the light Scandinavian evenings allowed organizers, Match Racing Denmark, toget 14 flights of four matches in to a long day to kick off the 2015 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship. The opening day offered truly challenging conditions for the competitors as well as the race management team.
Gusts approaching 30 knots swept down the course, leaving broaching boats, freely flying kites and wet and exhausted sailors behind.
‘It’s been a tough day at the office, no doubt about that,’ event manager Sören Laugesen smiles, revealing that a couple of spinnakers had to be sent to the sailmaker, one of which with a hole bigger than Sören himself.
World #4 Anne-Claire Le Berre from Brest, France, managed the tough conditions excellently winning all her eight matches on the day. At 21:00 local time, in the 14th and final flight, Le Berre completed her perfect day with a victory over Australian Katie Spithill. Spithall said, ‘We left home because it was so cold, but this is certainly not better.’ Spithall finished the day a little bit disappointed with her 5 – 3 score and eighth place overall in the round robin so far.
Reigning World Champion and World #1 Sweden’s Anna Östling didn’t lose a match until the very last fight against Australia’s Milly Bennett, but experienced tight racing with a lot of lead changes throughout the day. Östling said, ‘We haven’t gone through the day without mistakes, but I don’t think we’ve done as many as our opponents. It was good for us to get several tight matches today, since we’ll need to shape up before meeting the higher ranked sailors at the end of the round-robin.’
The racing in Middelfart continues with the round-robin on Thursday and Friday, while the weekend will see the exciting knock-out rounds to crown the World Champions.
Standings after one day of round-robin in the 2015 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship in Middelfart, Denmark, the first event on the 2015 WIM Series (skipper, country, wins – losses):
1. Lotte Meldgaard, DEN, 8 – 0
1. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 8 – 0
3. Anna Östling, SWE, 7 – 1
4. Camilla Ulrikeholm, DEN, 5 – 1
4. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 5 – 1
6. Stephanie Roble, USA, 4 – 2
6. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 4 – 2
8. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 5 – 3
8. Katie Spithill, AUS, 5 – 3
10. Milly Bennett, AUS, 3 – 5
11. Louise Christensen, DEN, 2 – 6
12. Johanna Larsson, SWE, 0 – 6
12. Nina Ramm-Schmidt, FIN, 0 – 6
12. Rikst Dijkstra, NED, 0 – 6
12. Diana Kissane, IRL, 0 – 6
16. Sanna Häger, SWE, 0 – 8
by Dan Ibsen