Nicole Breault (USA) and her Vela Racing team of Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer, Dana Riley Hayes, and Maggie Bacon are undefeated on Day 1 of the 2023 Casa Vela Cup, the opening stage of the 2023 Women’s World Match Racing Tour. Breault posted an impressive 7-0 score with two flights remaining for the first of the double round robin qualifying stage.
Perfect conditions graced the fleet of ten teams as they headed into San Francisco Bay this morning with a building 7-10 knot breeze, blue skies and sunshine.
As racing got under way just after 1030 with Principal Race Officer Mark Townsend setting the start line right in front of the St Francis Yacht Club, teams had to quickly contend with a dominant flood tide interspersed with some eddies of ebb, a condition which Breault and her Bay Area team know only too well:
“We had a great day today but we really had to look for tidal relief by coming close to shore” commented Breault. “This time of year, we also have the meltwater from the mountains which makes the spring runoff much stronger, causing the ebb to over-ride the flood on the surface, so it can be tricky. My team did a great job of focusing on placing us in more pressure and dealing with the shifts, and we are happy with our result.”
Rebecca Coles (GBR) on 2023 Casa Vela Cup Day 1 – photo © Simone Staff / WWMRT
Skippering her first event on the Women’s World Match Racing Tour, Rebecca Coles from Great Britain admitted it was a fast learning curve in the Bay today:
“It took us a little while to get to grips with the current today and we did hit the mark in one of our starts” said Coles, “but we were learning fast and getting better every race and we were pleased to get two wins today with some close matches, so we are feeling positive!”
Great Britain’s Sophie Otter/Otter Racing team were first up in the round robin against Australia’s Brooke Wilson/Amphitrite Racing representing the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. With both skippers new to sailing in the Bay, Otter led Wilson to a convincing lead for their first of five wins and went on to post a 5-2 result for the day, second place behind Nicole Breault/Vela Racing.
Kristine Mauritzen (DEN) on 2023 Casa Vela Cup Day 1 – photo © Simone Staff / WWMRT
As the breeze built to 15-18 knots in the afternoon, a signal error forced a re-match between New Zealand’s Megan Thomson and USA’s Janel Zarkowsky in the last flight of the day. Hugging the shoreline in front of the St Francis Yacht Club, the teams had a tough tacking duel to the top mark with Thomson pulling ahead for the last win of the day, finishing 5-2 to share second with Sophie Otter/Otter Racing.
Round Robin Results after Day 1:
2023 Casa Vela Cup Results after Day 1 – photo © Simone Staff / WWMRT
Racing continues tomorrow 26 April with the first start scheduled for 1030 PST. Follow live results at www.matchracingresults.com/2023/wwmrt-casa-vela-cup
by Women’s WMRT