Through to the quarter finals

Josie Gibson on form at BSPORT ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championships in Auckland

Saturday April 5th 2008, Author: Zoe Hawkins, Location: United Kingdom
Claire Leroy of France, Silja Lehtinen of Finland, Liz Baylis of the USA and Josie Gibson from Great Britain each secured two wins from two races in today’s Quarter Finals, knocking their opponents out of top four contention in the BSPORT ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championships.

Before racing concluded for the day Leroy went on to secure two wins over Gibson in the first flights of the semi finals, with Baylis and Lehtinen squared at one-all.

Conditions on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour have been the lightest yet, presenting 10-14 knots from the northeast, with flat seas and strong tides.

The final two flights in the Repecharge were completed this morning, with Baylis joining Australian Katie Spithill as the two last-chance contenders for the remaining Quarter Final spots.

The Quarter Finals themselves commenced at lunchtime and were complete by 2.30pm, as only two flights were required. Josie Gibson enjoyed the greatest margin in the two matches, beating Silke Hahlbrok of Germany by 1m12s in race one and 30s in race two. Leroy conquered Spithill by 15s and 20s, and Baylis beat Souter by 41s and 38s respectively. New Zealander Jess Smyth put up a more convincing fight, only trailing Lehtinen by 5s in race one, and by 30s - largely owed to a penalty for contact with Lehtinen’s rudder when sailing in from clear astern - in race two.

The losing teams in the Quarter Finals then sailed off, with Katie Spithill of Australia securing fifth and Silke Hahlbrock of Germany finishing in sixth. Nicky Souter - who led the regatta after the Round Robin - completed her event in seventh place, and Jess Smyth of New Zealand slipped back to eighth.

Defending champion Claire Leroy of France says that her team started the day against Australian Katie Spithill feeling a little stressed. “But we did well and now we have to think about the end of the semi finals. It’s not finished yet… now we have everything to win.”

“The race course was pretty challenging today,” comments Liz Baylis, who seemed to benefit from the lighter conditions and was enjoying the feeling of today’s success. “The team is doing a great job of staying focused and finding the pressure that’s out there on the course.”

The BSPORT ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championships are hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and sponsored by BSPORT, Giltrap City Toyota and Auckland City Council.

Racing will conclude tomorrow, Sunday 6 April.

Flight 6
Baylis beat Philippe by 19s
Meldgaard beat Dawson by 6s
Spithill beat Gurioli by 31s
Farrell beat ulrikkeholm by 13s

Flight 7
Dawson beat Philippe by 33s
Baylis beat Ulrikkeholm by 51s
Meldgaard beat Gurioli by 33s
Spithill beat Farrell by 4s

Quarter Finals
Flight 1
Gibson beat Hahlbrock by 1m12s
Lehtinen beat Smyth by 5s
Leroy beat Spithill by 15s
Baylis beat Souter by 41s

Flight 2
Gibson beat Hahlbrock by 30s
Lehtinen beat Smyth by 30s
Leroy beat Spithill by 20s
Baylis beat Souter by 38s

Semi Finals
Flight 1
Hahlbrock beat Smyth by 48s
Spithill beat Souter by 26s
Leroy beat Gibson by 33s
Lehtinen beat Baylis by 8s

Flight 2
Spithill beat Hahlbrock by 47s
Souter beat Smyth by 42s
Leroy beat Gibson by 41s
Baylis beat Lehtinen by 29s

Confirmed overall results for places 5-14 only
5th Spithill
6th Hahlbrok
7th Souter
8th Smyth
9th Philippe
10th Medldgaard
11th Ulrikkeholm
12th Gurioli
13th Dawson
14th Farrell

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