Storm leaves tough sledding at Women’s International Match Racing Series

Published on October 14th, 2014

Busan, South Korea (October 14, 2014) – Racing resumed Tuesday in Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race after yesterday’s postponement due to strong winds. A difficult sea state and shifting winds remained to challenge the sailors, but Australian Katie Spithill managed to come out of the day with six wins and only one loss, finishing her round-robin with a 9-2 total that takes her to the top of the score board.

“It was great to get off the water and find the results today” says Spithill, who won the national title just a month ago. “My girls did a really good job today, so we had no real issues on the crew work.”

WIM Series titleholder Lucy Macgregor was one of the skippers that Spithill defeated during the day, after the British helmsman did a crucial mistake in the prestart of their match.

“We were in control two minutes before the start, but then we lost it and that’s very frustrating,” Lucy admits, shaking her head. “Other than that we sailed very well, so we can’t complain too much. We’re happy to come out with just one loss after a full day of racing in this very competitive field.”

With three matches left to complete her round-robin stage, Macgregor is runner up with six wins and just two losses.

Trine Palludan of Danish World #1 Team Ulrikkeholm finished her round-robin stage with eight wins and three defeats, after a 5 – 2 result in Tuesday’s matches.

“We’ve reached our first goal, to be in the top after the round-robin stage. Now we have to move forward from here,” she declares, analyzing their performance. “I think we are really good at handling the boat under difficult conditions, as well as finding the pressure when it comes down the course.”

For French Anne-Claire Le Berre, the swells and the shifting winds caused more trouble, as she went from undefeated at the top to a fourth position overall with her 5 – 3 score so far.

“I found it really hard to keep the speed in the big waves, and sometimes we didn’t understand the wind shifts either,” she sighs, telling about the match against Palludan as an example. “We were ahead coming in to the top mark after the second upwind, but missed a shift and let her through. Then it was too hard to get back in front on the last run.”

As hard as the conditions were for the competitors, Principal Race Officer David Campbell-James didn’t have it easy either. “It was a difficult east-north-easterly wind direction today, with a lot of shifts, but the average wind direction didn’t change very much.”

Denise Lim is tied with the French team on fourth place in the standings of the yet incomplete round-robin, and the Singaporean is all sunshine.

“We’ve switched crew positions to get a taller bowman. First it caused a little mess, but rather soon we got it,” she smiles, revealing what they will work on for tomorrow’s racing. “The timing to the starting line is crucial, and today it was too hard for us to get back there in the right time for a good start.”

In Lim’s match against Stephanie Roble it was, however, the American that tacked away in the prestart and then couldn’t make it back in time. That mistake gave the Singaporean an advantage big enough to be kept all the way around the course.

“We’re struggling to get these boats up to speed, but there are still a few matches left for us in the round-robin and we’re improving a lot,” says Roble, concluding with a big thanks to her crew. “The girls do a really nice job with the boat handling.”

Racing is scheduled to conclude October 16.

Standings in the yet incomplete round-robin
(skipper, country, wins – losses)

1. Katie Spithill, AUS, 9 – 2
2. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 6 – 2
3. Trine Palludan, DEN, 8 – 3
4. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 5 – 3
4. Denise Lim, SIN, 5 – 3
6. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 3 – 2
7. Stephanie Roble, USA, 4 – 4
8. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 2 – 3
9. Susannah Pyatt, NZL, 4 – 7
10. Urara Fujii, JPN, 2 – 6
11. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 0 – 5
11. Sung Eun Choi, KOR, 0 – 8

Report by WIMS media. Photo by Photos by Kim Wolf/

Background: Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race (October 11-16) is the fifth and final stop on the 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. Series website:

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