Women’s Match Racing Title to be decided in Korea

Published on October 27th, 2015

Busan, Korea (October 27, 2015) – The Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race marks the conclusion of the Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) 2015 season. A dozen of the world’s leading women match racing sailors have come to Korea, but only a quartet can still win the 2015 WIM Series and the coveted Terry J Kohler Perpetual Trophy.

The American Epic Racing team, with ordinary skipper Stephanie Roble, is leading World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby by just 7 points in the Series’ standings, with Swede Anna Östling and Anne-Claire Le Berre of France respectively 12 and 14 points from the top spot.

“We expect this competition to come down to the wire as the teams battle it out on the beautiful waters off the iconic Haeundae Beach in Busan,” says WIM Series Manager Liz Baylis.

Stephanie Roble has so far had an extremely successful season with her Epic Racing team, posting their first ever WIM Series’ event victory last month on their home waters of Lake Michigan. On the Grand Finale in Busan, Roble herself will, however, not be able to attend. “I’m extremely bummed I won’t be in Busan with Epic Racing,” remarks Roble. “I had a previous commitment to sail the Etchells Worlds in Hong Kong, where I will be defending the title from 2014.”

Substituting for Roble is professional sailor and long time Epic Racing crew Maggie Shea, Sailing Director of the Chicago Match Race Center and a US Sailing Team member aiming for the 2016 Olympics in the 49er FX. In 2012 Roble and Shea became the first women to win both the US Women’s and the Open Match Racing Championships, an achievement they repeated in 2014.

“We have sent an extremely strong team, and I have no doubt that the girls will have a strong performance,” reports Roble. “Maggie and the team will do an excellent job!”

World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby experienced the same situation last year, when her pregnancy prevented her from travelling to Korea and co-skipper Trine Palludan had to secure the 2014 WIM Series title to the Danish team. This year Ulrikkeholm Klinkby is back at the helm, trying to catch up the 7 points for a second consecutive Terry J. Kohler Perpetual Trophy.

“It won’t be easy, but we’ll certainly do our best. I think we’ll have to win in Busan to be able to take the title, so that’s our goal,” the Dane says, revealing their preparations. “We’ve practised a lot with five people on board, like it will be in Busan. The K30s will seem lighter and maybe easier to handle, than the heavier DS37s we’ve used in our home club.”

The second Scandinavian team with a chance to step up to the WIM Series top position, is led by former World Champion Anna Östling of Sweden.

“It’s always exciting going into the final event, and we’re happy to be fighting for podium positions for the third year in a row,” Östling said. “We’ve done a lot of racing and practising since the latest event in USA, so we really think we’re in race mode now. And it’s wonderful to be in warm and welcoming Busan again.”

Anne-Claire Le Berre and her team just won the French Women’s Match Racing Championship, and are now aiming for another victorious event in Korea. Le Berre praises the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race for the great hospitality and the superb sailing conditions.

“We’re really looking forward to this event,” notes Le Berre. “We’ve improved a lot during the latest two regattas, and now we’d like to make a very good finish to this year’s season.”

With the rich prize pool of USD 100 000 for the event and USD 40 000 for the WIM Series, there is a lot for the sailors to be fighting for. The eighth edition of the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race will be raced October 28 – November 1 on historic sailing waters, with the torch from the 1988 Olympics still to be seen close to the Haeundae Beach. The boats supplied are very well maintained K30s.

The trophy for the WIM Series overall winner – The Terry J. Kohler Perpetual Trophy – is named after US businessman Terry Kohler, a long-time proponent and supporter of women’s match racing.

Skippers in the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, the fourth and final event of the 2015 WIM Series:

Standings in the 2015 WIM Series, after three stages out of four (skipper, nationality, WIM Series points):
1. Stephanie Roble, USA, 67
2. Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN, 60
3. Anna Östling, SWE, 55
4. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 53
5. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 41
6. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 30
7. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 26
8. Lotte Meldgaard, DEN, 25
9. Juliana Senfft, BRA, 21
10. Renée Groeneveld, NED, 16
11. Johanna Bergqvist, SWE, 14
12. Katie Spithill, AUS, 14
13. Alexa Bezel, SUI, 13
14. Diana Kissane, IRL, 12
15. Annabel Vose, GBR, 10
15. Milly Bennett, AUS, 10
17. Louise Christensen, DEN, 6
18. Morgan Wilson, USA, 4
18. Sanna Häger, SWE, 4
20. Rikst Dijkstra, NED, 0
20. Johanna Larsson, SWE, 0
20. Nina Ramm-Schmidt, FIN, 0

About the Women’s International Match Racing Series
The Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) is the first and only professional sailing series for women, hosted by the Women’s International Match Racing Association and joined by the world’s leading women match racing sailors. Match racing is sailed in two identical boats around a short course, providing fast action close to the crowds on shore.

The intense racing is just as exciting for the spectators as it is strategically, tactically and physically challenging for the competing crews. An overall prize purse of 40 000 USD will be distributed by the WIM Series at the final event in Busan, Korea, in addition to the prize money at each of the four events included in the 2015 WIM Series

2015 WIM Series (date, event name, location, boat type):
* July 8 – 12, ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship, Middelfart, Denmark, Match 28.
* August 3 – 8, Lysekil Women’s Match, Lysekil, Sweden, DS 37.
* September 16 – 20, Buddy Melges Challenge, Sheboygan, USA, Elliott 6.
* October 28 – November 1, Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, Busan, Korea, K30.

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