Le Berre remains undefeated at Buddy Melges Challenge

Published on September 25th, 2014

Sheboygan, WI (September 25, 2014) – From flat calm to a little breeze, and with a foggy conclusion. Anne-Claire Le Berre handled it all. With her 9 – 0 record the French skipper remains undefeated at the top of Buddy Melges Challenge, the fourth and penultimate stage of the 2014 WIM Series.

“We managed to get the favourable right hand side of the start and of the course in all the races today, and that helped a lot,” Le Berre explains.

Local hope Stephanie Roble also won all three of her races for the day, moving up to second place on the scoreboard. “A good day but too short. We fixed a few little things from yesterday and focused on speed in the light air,” says the American skipper.

Thursday’s fickle conditions on Lake Michigan didn’t stabilize until the afternoon. When the breeze finally filled in, the races were held to the north of the North Pier; an area most of the sailors (and many of the locals even) have never sailed.

PRO Rich Reichelsdorfer managed to squeeze all the juice out of that lemon, and got four flights completed before the fog rolled in and the wind rolled out. “In a southerly, North Point helps generate some breeze on the water. It’s a good place to go when you are searching for breeze,” he reveals.

Anne-Claire Le Berre kept winning races, ignoring the common opinion that it’s impossible for the winner of the round robin stage to win the regatta. “I’d be the first to agree, but the round-robin isn’t finished yet. And this year we’ve tried not to win the round-robin, but still we haven’t won a regatta yet. So let’s try new things,” says the French skipper.

Local hero Stephanie Roble and her Epic Racing Team also went undefeated through Thursday’s races in the Buddy Melges Challenge. She didn’t find the tactics very challenging.

“Not really. With the light air we just had to find a controlling position on the opponent and using speed to an advantage” she explains her winning formula. Any gains on the course were made from pressure, so upwind and downwind we tried our best to put ourselves in that,” Roble adds, hoping for some more breeze when the racing continues Friday.

A newcomer on the WIM Series, coming directly from the ISAF Worlds in Santander, is Juliana Senfft of Brazil. For 2008 – 2012 she made an Olympic campaign in the Elliott 6Ms, and loves to be back in that boat again here in Sheboygan.

“It’s a really fun boat to sail, and I feel so at home in this place. It was a long trip from Spain, but it’s so worth it,” she comments.

With two wins and as many losses today, the Brazilian’s now moved to fifth place overall. “Today was a better day for us. We’ve gotten more used to the boat again, and to match racing. Sometimes it’s hard to switch from fleet racing to match racing, it took me a while…”

Scandinavians Lotte Meldgaard-Pedersen, Denmark, and Swedish World Champion Anna Kjellberg, hold third and fourth place so far in the Buddy Melges Challenge. The event is planned to be sailed as a triple round-robin, followed by a repechage round on Saturday and then semi-finals and final on Sunday.

Standings in the round-robin after Day 2 of the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge, the fourth stage of the 2014 WIM Series (skipper name, nationality, wins/losses):

1. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 9 – 0
2. Stephanie Roble, USA, 6 – 2
3. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 5 – 3
4. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 4 – 4
5. Juliana Senfft, BRA, 3 – 6
6. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 3 – 6
7. Madeline Gill, USA, 0 – 9

WIMS websiteEvent detailsComplete results

Report by event media.

Background: Buddy Melges Challenge (September 24-28) is the fourth stop on the five event Women’s International Match Racing Series, a professional sailing circuit, hosted by the Women’s International Match Racing Association for the world’s leading women match racing sailors.

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