Victory to Lucy Macgregor
In the finals of the Saint Quay Women's Match Racing, St Quay-Portrieux, France, local sailor Julie Bossard gave the French crowd at the pier some hope after beating former Olympian Lucy Macgregor in the first match. But then the British London 2012 hope fought back, winning three consecutive matches to secure the title in this first event of the inaugural 2013 women's series.
"The races were very tough today, with tricky conditions and very good competitors," a tired but certainly happy Macgregor commented afterwards, before receiving her prize check of 2,475€.
She has undoubtedly been the dominant competitor at the event, winning 24 of her 29 matches here in Saint Quay. On the final day of racing she also lost one match in the semi-final, against Dutch veteran Klaartje Zuiderbaan, but apart from that it was all a victorious Sunday for the British crew.
"We are quite a new team, but we started working together really well, and the boat handling got us out of a few tight situations," Macgregor explained. "Our starts were really good, and that obviously helped. There were a lot of gains and losses and a few calls downwind, so you had to have at least five boat lengths to feel a little comfortable. With the short wind shifts it was very important to cover."
Julie Bossard reached the finals after defeating her American semi-final opponent Stephanie Roble in three straight matches: "We made some weak prestarts, in which we lost the game in the last 20 seconds before the signal. Then we fought hard but were not able to get it back," said Roble, not too disappointed who won the Petite Final against Zuiderbaan 2-0.
"Our boathandling was superior and my crew made an awesome job," said Roble. "Everything was perfectly executed and we managed to keep calm in the tricky conditions."
Zuiderbaan added: "Our matches were really close, but the others were obviously better than us today. I've never sailed the Elliott 6 before, so we have to be happy finishing within the top four."
Despite losing the final Julie Bossard was happy with her performance, and praised her crew: "I have a new team and it was our first time together, but everybody did a good job. There was a lot of fighting in the final, and in the last match we got a penalty that we couldn't recover from, after a luffing duel on the first downwind."
In the round-robin deciding 5th to 8th places, Caroline Sylvan of Sweden excelled, winning all her three matches while all the others only had one win each. In her matches against Kiwi Claudia Pierce and Milly Bennett from Australia, Sylvan and her crew managed to plant penalties on their opponents. In Sylvan's match against compatriot Anna Kjellberg the racing was even tighter, at least early on. As Sylvan said: "We got off the starting line fairly well and then we could tack on them all the way up the first beat. Then we read the windshifts right, and stretched our lead further. We've had an incredibly fun event, with a lot of sailing and a lot of lessons learned."
Liz Baylis, Executive Director of Women's International Match Racing Association (WIMRA), was invited by organising yacht club, Sport Nautique de Saint-Quay-Portrieux (SNSQP) to this first event on the inaugural 2013 Women's International Match Racing Series.
Summing up Baylis was very enthusiastic: "All the sailors are very happy that we've managed to get this series going. Here in Saint Quay we've had a lot of matches in good conditions, and it has for sure been a fantastic start to the inaugural series."
1. Lucy Macgregor, Saskia Clark, Claire Lasko, Maria Stanley, GBR, 2.475€ (3.200 USD)
2. Julie Bossard, Pauline Courtois, Nadege Douroux, Clara Scheiwiller, FRA, 1.275€ (1.640 USD)
3. Stephanie Roble, Maggie Shea, Meg Six, Janel Zarkowsky, USA, 975€ (1.250 USD)
4. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, Morgane Gautier, Lena Koter, Sarah Hornby, NED, 750€ (965 USD)
5. Caroline Sylvan, Louise Kruuse af Verchou, Sofia Engström, Frida Langenius, SWE, 675€ (868 USD)
6. Anna Kjellberg, Johanna Larsson, Karin Almquist, Therese Antman, SWE, 600€ (770 USD)
7. Claudia Pierce, Aimee Famularo, Marie Kent, Janelle Peat, NZL, 450€ (580 USD)
8. Milly Bennett, Kajsa Doyle, Alice Tarnawski, Seldon Coventry, AUS, 300€ (385 USD)
9. Alexa Bezel, Corinne Meyer, Romy Hasler, Laurane Mettraux, SUI, 0€
10. Morgane Dréau, Pauline Bryere, Violette Lemercier, Tifanie Leon, FRA, 0€
Lucy Macgregor, GBR vs Julie Bossard, FRA, 3 - 1
Petit final results:
Stephanie Roble, USA vs Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 2 - 0
Semi final results:
SF 1: Lucy Macgregor, GBR vs Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 3 - 1
SF 2: Stephanie Roble, USA vs Julie Bossard, FRA, 0 - 3
Results in round-robin for 5th to 8th place (place/name/nationality/wins - losses):
1. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 3 - 0
2. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 1 - 2
3. Milly Bennett, AUS, 1 - 2
4. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 1 - 2