Kjellberg v Macgregor final
Saturday was an eventful day in Oakcliff as the New York Women's Invitational concluded round-robins and quarterfinals as well as the semi finals. Swede Anna Kjellberg continued her great performance and grasped one of the final slots after beating Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen of Denmark 3 - 2.
In the other semi final American Stephanie Roble was defeated 3 - 1 by Women's International Match Racing Series' leader Lucy Macgregor of Great Britain.
"Our crew work was really strong today, and that definitely helped," said Macgregor. "It was a big day to have quarters and semis, plus the end of the round-robin, so we're really pleased to have come out with a spot in the finals.
Of what it will take to win Sunday's final, the British London 2012 Olympic match racing held adds: "Yes, but I'm also sure it won't be easy. They've been sailing very well."
Anna Kjellberg was exhausted after a demanding day, but also happy having discovered the key to success with her team. After 18 matches won and only three lost so far in the regatta, the Swedes have found..: "We just have to continue talking. Our communication is great and we take such good decisions while talking a lot in the boat. When we get too quiet we lose our composure," Kjellberg explains.
Kjellberg was a little disappointed that they, after having won the first two semis, let Meldgaard Pedersen into the game: "We had several good opportunities in match 3 and 4 to determine, but Lotte sailed well and we lost our focus. But we learned a lot to bring with us into the finals. We're making really good starts and I know we can push Lucy and her team in the finals if we keep our focus. It will be tough, but we yearn for it!"
Meldgaard Pedersen is doing her second event on the Women's International Match Racing Series, sailing with an all-new crew of mixed nationalities. Yet winner of the last event on her Danish home waters, Lotte is not too disappointed not to reach the Oakcliff finals: "We have done better than anyone could expect. We are starting really well, but when something goes wrong we're not quick enough to have the problem promptly solved. That's the difference between our crew and teams that are welded together through years" she comments, giving an example: "In the first semi final match we had a great lead but dropped the spinnaker and got it under the boat. That probably would not have happened with a crew that had sailed together more."
Stephanie Roble, USA, had an injury in her crew in the last match of the round-robins, and had to do the first semi final match with a temporary substitute crew. Then the ordinary crew came back, but the American team lost their semis anyway: "Two of the races were lost already in the prestart" Roble admits, not blaming the crew change. "We were definitely shook up and short handed, but it also came from the back of the boat" she continues, looking forward to fight for third place. "We are excited to sail Lotte. It's definitely not going to be easy, but I feel that we have what it takes!"
New York Women's Invitational results
Semi final results: Anna Kjellberg, SWE - Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN 3 - 2 Stephanie Roble, USA - Lucy Macgregor, GBR 1 - 3
Quarterfinal results: Anna Kjellberg, SWE - Madeline Gill, USA 2 - 0 Stephanie Roble, USA - Claudia Pierce, NZL 2 - 0 Lucy Macgregor, GBR - Nicole Breault, USA 2 - 0 Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN - Caroline Sylvan, SWE 2 - 0
Round-robin results: 1. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 13 - 1 2. Stephanie Roble, USA, 10 - 4 3. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 10 - 4 4. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 7 - 7 5. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 6 - 8 6. Nicole Breault, USA, 6 - 8 7. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 4 - 10 8. Madeline Gill, USA, 0 - 14