Final Four Advance at Busan Cup
Published on October 31st, 2015
Busan, Korea (October 31, 2015) – Le Berre, Groeneveld and Spithill celebrated Halloween by making it through to the semi finals of the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, with World #1 Ulrikkeholm Klinkby defeating Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) leader Shea of Epic Racing 3 – 1 for the last semi slot.
“Maggie pushed us a lot in the prestarts, but we found the right shifts and had very good boat handling,” said the Danish skipper. “Now we’re going for victory, in Busan and in the WIM Series.”
“We had really close races and most of them could have gone either way,” remarked Shea. “We did the best we could, but now it’s not in our hands anymore.”
Shifty and puffy winds have characterized the event, the fourth and final event of the 2015 WIM Series, during the week. Saturday’s quarterfinals were certainly not an exception to that, with an even lighter and more unreliable breeze than the previous days. The somewhat spooky Halloween conditions put both the race committee and the sailors to the test, as the quarterfinals stretched out from early morning until late afternoon.
“It was stressful quarterfinal racing because we didn’t have much wind, and it was very tricky with a lot of shifts and puffs,” noted World #4 skipper Anne-Claire Le Berre. “Anything can happen in that kind of wind.”
The French team defeated Singaporean Denise Lim 3 – 0 in the quarters, finishing in very, very light wind at the end of the day.
“We didn’t make very good starts, so we had to work well with the tactics to compensate for that,” says Le Berre, who at the debriefing afterwards chose Dutch rising star Renée Groeneveld as her opponent for Sunday’s semi final.
Groeneveld beat World #3 Anna Östling 3 – 1 in their quarterfinal, effectively terminating the Swede’s chances to reach the 2015 WIM Series podium.
“In the match we lost we got a big rope stuck under our keel and rudder, but apart from that misfortune I think we made good starts and played the shifts well,” Groeneveld comments. “We haven’t sailed a lot together before, but now we’re really into the racing, with great boat handling and manoeuvres. The girls did really well today.”
Australian Katie Spithill took the first two bullets in her quarterfinal against Caroline Sylvan, but then the Swede broke back with a victory in the third race.
“I got the timing wrong when I pushed Caroline over the starting line too early, and then followed her over the line when I didn’t actually have to,” explained Spithill. “It was a brainfade and a silly mistake, but no more mistakes from now on!”
The Aussies, who are now happy to be in the semis in their first regatta since this summer’s World Championship in Middelfart, Denmark, won the fourth quarterfinal match.
“Today was good training in light wind, and we’re ready to fight tomorrow,” notes Spithill.
The fight for the coveted WIM Series title and the Terry J Kohler Perpetual Trophy will now continue without the Series’ leaders of Epic Racing. However, the American team can still get the title, if Ulrikkeholm Klinkby doesn’t reach the final. Anne-Claire Le Berre can as best finish runner-up in the WIM Series, but only if she wins the Busan event and the Danes finish fourth here in Korea.
Semi final pairings
Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA – Renée Groeneveld, NED
Katie Spithill, AUS – Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN
Renée Groeneveld, NED – Anna Östling, SWE, 3 – 1
Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN – Maggie Shea (substituting for Stephanie Roble), USA, 3 – 1
Katie Spithill, AUS – Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 3 – 1
Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA – Denise Lim, SIN, 3 – 0
Final Round Robin Standings
(skipper, nationality, wins – losses)
1. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 10 – 1
2. Katie Spithill, AUS, 9 – 2
3. Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN, 8 – 3
4. Maggie Shea (substituting for Stephanie Roble), USA, 7 – 4
5. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 7 – 4
6. Anna Östling, SWE, 6 – 5
7. Renée Groeneveld, NED, 4,5 – 5
8. Denise Lim, SIN, 4 – 7
9. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 4 – 7
10. Milly Bennett, AUS, 3 – 8
11. Diana Kissane, IRL, 2 – 9
12. Sung Eun Choi, KOR, 1 – 10
The Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race marks the conclusion of the Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) 2015 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. Racing in K30s is scheduled on October 28 – November 1. 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.
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.
Report by Event Media