Lucy Macgregor tops leaderboard
The inaugural Women's International Match Racing Series kicked off today with the first event in St Quay-Portrieux, France.
Britain's Lucy Macgregor claimed seven straight victories, the sole crew undefeated at the top of the scoreboard. But her day wasn't at all as relaxed as the results might imply.
"Wad a few close matches, coming from behind," Macgregor comments.
One of them was the last match of the day, against fellow London Olympian, Sweden's Anna Kjellberg: "We started very badly in that match, and were left behind for a while. But good upwind speed got us back into the match, and on the last downwind leg we managed to do a couple of excellent gybes to get ahead of Anna and her crew," Macgregor explained.
Kjellberg gave her side: "We made a great start, but then some things got stuck in the boat on the first downwind, slowing us down. And on the last leg we didn't observe a major wind shift coming, when at the same time making a few bad gybes. Of course Lucy took the advantage of that."
Veteran Klaartje Zuiderbaan of The Netherlands is back in match racing after a few years break as a successful Paralympics coach (gold in London). She is skippering an international crew from France, Slovenia and Great Britain and holds second place in Saint Quay, with a 6-2 scoreline: "I'm so happy to be here!" she said. "Today we really learned how to work together in the boat."
In her match against young Stephanie Roble, both boats got penalised in the prestart. After a close match almost all the way around the course, Zuiderbaan managed to leave the American crew behind at the last top mark: "My brain can still recall a few useful tricks," joked Zuiderbaan.
Stephanie Roble and her experienced crew from Chicago Match Race Center missed a plane and came in late to the event, without any time to do their practise session before racing. In their first match of the day they were over the start line early, and had to turn back to restart.
"We clearly underestimated the current that pushed us over the line," Roble commented, happy with their 5-2 score, putting them in third place so far in the regatta.
1. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 7 - 0
2. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 6 - 2
3. Stephanie Roble, USA, 5 - 2
4. Julie Bossard, FRA, 5 - 3
5. Alexa Bezel, SUI, 3 - 4
5. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 3 - 4
5. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 3 - 4
8. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 2 - 5
8. Milly Bennett, AUS, 2 - 5
10. Morgane Dreau, FRA, 0 - 7
The inaugural 2013 Women's International Match Racing Series is a
professional sailing circuit, hosted by the Women's International Match
Racing Association for the world's leading women match racing sailors. In
match racing the crews meet two by two in exciting duels that can easily be
followed and understood by the spectators.
An overall prize purse of 50 000 USD will be distributed by the WIMRSeries
at the final event in Lysekil, Sweden, in addition to the prize money at
each of the five events included in the WIMRSeries (date, event name,
location, boat type):
* May 15-19 - Saint Quay Women's Match Racing - St Quay-Portrieux, France -
* June 6-9 - Busan Cup International Women's Match Race - Busan, Korea - K
* June 20-23 - Danish Open Ladies Cup - Copenhagen, Denmark - J/80.
* July 11-14 - New York Women's Invitational - Oakcliff, New York, USA - SM
* August 5-10 - Lysekil Women's Match - Lysekil, Sweden - DS 37.