Macgregor leads into semis
There were no Saturday surprises in Saint Quay-Portrieux at the first event of the inaugural 2013 Women's Match Racing Series, as all four of the crews that dominated the double round-robin also qualified for the semis.
Event leader Lucy Macgregor, and Klaartje Zuiderbaan from The Netherlands, both swept away their opponents (Milly Bennett of Australia and Swede Caroline Sylvan) with a clean 3-0 score lines in their respective quarterfinals.
Sylvan admitted she made a few mistakes that turned out to be critical in the quarterfinals against the Dutch skipper, with her international crew from France, Slovenia and Great Britain: "I think we made pretty good starts and got away ahead in our matches, but twice we sailed into light air after rounding the top mark, and then Klaartje managed to come with good speed from behind and roll us while we didn't have any pressure. We've still had great fun in this regatta, learning a lot for the coming events on the new Women's International Match Racing Series this year."
Local hope Julie Bossard and American Stephanie Roble lost only one match each in their respective quarterfinals against Anna Kjellberg of Sweden and Kiwi Claudia Pierce.
Pierce explained: "We had a good morning wrapping up the round-robin, but as we went into the quarterfinals our prestarts weren't too strong. We indeed got the side of the course that we wanted, but with Stephanie ahead of us it really didn't matter.
"In the first quarterfinal match we were ahead of Stephanie after the start, but then we made a stupid mistake and sailed to the wrong top mark." Pierce adds that she will bring her team to Korea, USA and Sweden for the inaugural Women's International Match Racing Series events. "Hopefully we will improve along the way!"
Stephanie Roble started her Saturday in France with three consecutive wins, to finish the double round-robin on 14 wins and 4 losses. Going into the quarterfinals as second seeds she and her crew from the Chicago Match Race Center decided to focus on the areas where they had to improve: "It was mostly communication issues, such as how to tack on the opponent, but our discussions obviously paid off in the quarterfinals," said Roble. "I think we had close quarterfinal races, not always knowing exactly where on the course to go. But my crew did an excellent job in finding that out, so I could concentrate on driving the boat fast, she concludes."
QF 1: Lucy Macgregor, GBR vs Milly Bennett, AUS, 3 - 0
QF 2: Stephanie Roble, USA vs Claudia Pierce, NZL, 3 - 1
QF 3: Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED vs Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 3 - 0
QF 4: Julie Bossard, FRA vs Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 3 - 1
Bennett, Pierce, Sylvan and Kjellberg will sail a Sunday round-robin to decide 5 th to 8th place.
Results after the second round-robin in Saint Quay Women's Match Racing, the first event of the inaugural 2013 Women's Match Racing Series. The eight first teams advanced to the quarterfinals. Place/name/nationality/victories/lost matches:
1. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 15 - 3
2. Stephanie Roble, USA, 14 - 4
3. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 12 - 6
4. Julie Bossard, FRA, 12 - 6
5. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 10 - 8
6. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 8 - 10
7. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 8 - 10
8. Milly Bennett, AUS, 6 - 12
9. Alexa Bezel, SUI, 5 - 13
10. Morgane Dréau, FRA, 0 - 18
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.