Harken Derm

Women’s Match Race Circuit Coming to the Caribbean

Published on May 26th, 2016

The Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) has confirmed that the 2016 schedule will include a fifth event on December 1-4 that will be the finale event of the fourth season.

A dozen of the finest women’s match racers from around the globe will be competing at the 8th annual Carlos Aguilar Match Race (CAMR), known for bringing some of the best international match racing talent – from America’s Cup veterans to current World Champions – to sail in the scenic yet challenging Charlotte Amalie Harbor.

“The challenging and beautiful venue, the unique boats, the amazing organization, warm weather and lots of fun to be had on and off the water, are all reasons why I think adding the CAMR to the WIM Series is a brilliant decision,” says Stephanie Roble.

With her Team Epic Racing of the USA, Roble won the 2015 WIM Series, finished second overall to the USVI’s Taylor Canfield at the 2015 CAMR, and expects to sail the 2016 WIM Series finale at the CAMR.

“I love the shifty, puffy conditions the Charlotte Amalie Harbor produces,” shared Roble. “Coming from lake sailing, this is natural to me. My team is really good at shifts and transitions. It’s fun because you are never out of a race, nor are you ever safe with your lead!

“Being a North American event, it will kind of be our home turf, so we will be excited to be representing USA and going for a repeat of winning the WIM Series!”

WIM Series and CAMR organizers are excited to bring another world-class sailing event to St. Thomas.

“This is a change for us this year, but will only increase international interest as it’s a spectacular combination of the best of women’s match racing in one of the world’s best sailing venues,” says Bill Canfield, who co-directs the regatta with Verian Aguilar Tuttle.

A strong contingent of twelve teams is expected to compete for the highly-coveted 2016 WIM Series title. Early entrants include Roble and Sweden’s Anna Östling, the 2014 Women’s Match Racing World Champion and currently ranked third in World Sailing’s Women’s Match Racing Rankings.

Teams participating in the past three WIM Series seasons are likely to attend, including those from Denmark, France, Australia and the USA. Past WIM Series competitors from countries such as the Netherlands, Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Brazil, Singapore, Ireland and Great Britain may also fly into St. Thomas to sail.

“The WIM Series, as an international series, strives to spread its events around the globe,” explained says Liz Baylis, WIM Series manager. “The CAMR provides us with our first event in the Caribbean and opens new doors. The rich history and incredible reputation of the CAMR makes the event a great fit for us. The U.S. Virgin Islands are an incredible place to sail and will provide an amazing backdrop for the final event of the 2016 WIM Series. The sailors, especially those from Northern Europe, love the idea of spending some time competing in warm water and sunshine in December! And I wouldn’t be surprised if a few choose to extend their stay and take advantage of the tourism opportunities after the regatta.”

The CAMR is a World Sailing (WS) provisional Grade One event. The format will feature a full round robin of all teams followed by knockout quarterfinals for the top 8, then knockout semi-finals, petit-finals and finals. The event will be sailed in IC 24, a modification of J/24.

The Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA) and St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) are the organizing authorities for the CAMR, namesake for the late Carlos Aguilar, who was an avid sailor and match racer. Sponsors for the regatta include the US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, Yacht Haven Grande, Bellows International and K3.

2016 WIM Series events
* June 27-July 1, Helsinki Women’s Match, Helsinki, Finland, J/80
* August 8-13, Lysekil Women’s Match, Lysekil, Sweden, DS 37
* September 20-25, Women’s Match Racing World Championship & Buddy Melges Challenge, Sheboygan, USA, Elliott 6m
* October 25-29, Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, Busan, South Korea, K30
* December 1-4, Carlos Aguilar Match Race, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, IC 24

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Background: 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. An overall prize purse of 50,000 USD will be distributed by the WIM Series, in addition to the prize money at each of the events included in the 2016 WIM Series.

Source: WIM Series

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