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Groeneveld to choose opponent at WIM Series

Published on June 30th, 2016

Helsinki, Finland (June 30, 2016) – The morning offered a mostly grey sky with occasional showers and in between also a little sun for the sailors competing in the Helsinki Women’s Match, the opening event of the 2016 WIM Series. But the very light wind bothered the race committee and the sailors more, as racing had to be postponed for several hours around midday. Finally the small patches of wind spread out and allowed the last flights of the round-robin to be sailed, but still in very light conditions.

All of the quarterfinals in Helsinki Women’s Match were won 2 – 0. As winner of the round-robin, Renée Groeneveld (NED) can now choose her semi final opponent among Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby (DEN), Pauline Courtois (FRA) and Anna Östling (SWE).

“I’ll discuss that with my crew first,” she states and builds the suspense.

Renée Groeneveld (NED) defeated Pauline Courtois (FRA) to secure the Dutch 10 – 1 score in the round-robin. In the very last flight of the round-robin, Danish World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby went to the same score, by winning her match over sparring partner Anna Östling (SWE).

“I’m always happy to take a win against Anna, but maybe it was more drifting than sailing for some parts of this race,” the Danish skipper comments.

As winner of the round-robin, Groeneveld picked 8th placed local hero Antonia Degerlund as her quarterfinal opponent. They concluded Thursday’s racing at Hernesaari (Ärtholmen) in beautiful conditions with bright sunshine and a steady breeze, but with a very disappointing result for the cheering Finnish crowds: 2 – 0 in Dutch favour.

“I think we took control already in the pre-starts, gaining a 15 seconds lead quite early in both races,” Groeneveld says. “In the second match we also managed to stretch that more.”

After having cleared a penalty, for not keeping clear when both boats had to turn back after a premature start, Östling just barely won the tight and very eventful first match against the other Finnish quarterfinalist, Marinella Laaksonen. Then the Swede went to 2 – 0 after an easier win in the second race.

“Marinella beat us in the round-robin this morning, and we didn’t want that to happen again,” Östling says. “They are a great team, and we had to work hard to win.”

Another eventful quarterfinal was the one between Östling’s compatriot Caroline Sylvan and Courtois, with several luffing situations and penalties in the first match, finally narrowly won by the French team. The second match was not as tight, and the French team secured their semi final slot with another win.

When Ulrikkeholm Klinkby beat Rikst Dijkstra (NED) with a clear 2 – 0 in their quarterfinal, all of the quarters had finished with exactly the same figures. Groeneveld now has the challenging task to choose her semi final opponent from a trio of very skilled match racing skippers from as many countries.

“I’ll discuss that with my crew first,” she smiles, refusing to reveal anything until Friday.

Quarterfinal results in the Helsinki Women’s Match, the opening event of the 2016 WIM Series:
Renée Groeneveld, NED – Antonia Degerlund, FIN, 2 – 0
Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN – Rikst Dijkstra, NED, 2 – 0
Caroline Sylvan, SWE – Pauline Courtois, FRA, 0 – 2
Anna Östling, SWE – Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, 2 – 0

Round-robin results (skipper, nationality, wins – losses):
1. Renée Groeneveld, NED, 10 – 1
2. Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN, 10 – 1
3. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 8 – 3
4. Anna Östling, SWE, 8 – 3
5. Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, 7 – 4
6. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 6 – 5
7. Rikst Dijkstra, NED, 4 – 7
8. Antonia Degerlund, FIN, 4 – 7
9. Susanna Kukkonen FIN, 3 – 8
10. Diana Kissane, IRL, 3 – 8
11. Sanna Häger, SWE, 2 – 9
12. Sanna Mattsson, SWE, 1 – 10

Friday July 1 will see the event wrap up with semi finals and final at Hernesaari (Ärtholmen).

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

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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: Women’s International Match Racing Series

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