Light winds continue at Buddy Melges Challenge

Published on September 26th, 2014

Sheboygan, WI (September 26, 2014) – Friday’s racing offered even less breeze than the previous days of the Buddy Melges Challenge. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen won all her four matches of the day, to win the round-robin stage and secure her slot in the semi finals.

“We are a new team and had to have a few days to get all the teamwork running smoothly,” says the Danish skipper. Anne-Claire Le Berre of France also took a semi slot, though losing all her matches on Friday. “We didn’t find the right speed today, nor make good decisions in the starts,” she explains.

After going undefeated in the first two days of the Buddy Melges Challenge, the fourth and penultimate stage of the 2014 WIM Series, the French helmsman Anne-Claire Le Berre suddenly lost all her three matches on Friday. Leaning back on previous results, she can still avoid the repechage round-robin, and, with her 9 – 3 record, advance directly to the semis.

“It was very difficult today. First we complicated things in the starts. Then the water was like a mirror with only some patches, so it was hard to know if there was wind in the blank area or not” she sighs, not being too unhappy with the outcome. At least we stayed top two, so the job is done. Now we’re hoping to end the regatta with a good result in fair conditions,” Le Berre continues.

Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen finished the round-robin stage with the same score as Anne-Claire Le Berre, to win the stage when the tie was broken. “Today we felt more comfortable, and the last three races proved that we are up to full speed also in very light conditions. Until today we’ve had some good starts, but then lost it on the downwinds. Today we gained also on the downwinds,” says the Danish 2012 Olympian.

Meldgaard Pedersen is ready for racing in the semis, with the five lower placed skippers continuing the event in a repechage round-robin.

With eight wins and half as many losses local sailor Stephanie Roble finished third in the round-robin stage of the regatta, followed by Swedes Caroline Sylvan and reigning World Champion Anna Kjellberg, both on six wins and six losses. Sylvan beat Kjellberg twice in the double round-robin, to win their tie and finish fourth in the stage.

“It’s been super light conditions and extremely hard to find the pressure and get the tactics right, but so far we’ve managed to keep focused and fight all the way to the finish. We’ve tried hard to keep our eyes up the course and find the little pressure that’s been critical,” says Caroline.

PRO Rich Reichelsdorfer and his crew are doing their outmost in the light and very challenging conditions. “I don’t see any change for tomorrow or Sunday. We’ll do the best we can and work through the program with as much fair racing as we can” he says.

The third round-robin of the Buddy Melges Challenge has been cancelled. The first two crews after the two round-robins advance to the semis, while the rest have to battle it out in a repechage round-robin for the other two semi slots. Repechage scheduled for Saturday followed by the semis and final on Sunday.

Standings after the round-robin stage of the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge, (skipper name, nationality, wins/losses)

1. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 9 – 3
2. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 9 – 3
3. Stephanie Roble, USA, 8 – 4
4. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 6 – 6
5. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 6 – 6
6. Juliana Senfft, BRA, 4 – 8
7. Madeline Gill, USA, 0 – 12

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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