Sheboygan to host Women’s Match Racing Worlds
Published on September 20th, 2016
Sheboygan, WI (September 20, 2016) – The Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series). The Women’s Match Racing World Championship. The Buddy Melges Challenge. Three coveted and prestigious events in a perfect match to be held September 21-25 on Lake Michigan.
Reigning WIM Series Champion Stephanie Roble and US Women’s Match Racing Champion Nicole Breault are the local hopes, here to defend the Stars & Stripes: “This is our home event and we love coming here. We all learned how to matchrace here in Sheboygan, and we’re ready to finish first here,” says Roble.
Breault shares the sentiment: “We’re really excited to have this chance to race some of the top female match racers in the world.”
All 27 sailors in nine teams enjoyed the most perfect sailing conditions during today’s practise sessions on Lake Michigan with moderate winds and bright sunshine just outside the Sheboygan Yacht Club and the Sheboygan South Pier. But the forecast for the remainder of the week isn’t that promising, with some showers and maybe thunder expected.
“You can get just about anything out there,” says Maggie Shea, crewing for Roble in Epic Racing. “We’ve had a lot of light air days, so we anticipate some of that. But you can also see fog, or six foot swell and 20 knots of breeze. That’s the beauty of Lake Michigan, it’s totally unpredictable.”
Tomorrow all the crews will go into race mode, beginning the event with a double round-robin, followed by quarterfinals and semis later in the week, and then the final on Sunday. Sheboygan hosts one of only four U.S. Sailing Centers, and is the site for international match racing. Sail Sheboygan and SEAS have been very instrumental in the development of women’s match racing, not just in the USA, but also worldwide.
The competitors will race in the Elliott 6m, in the exact same fleet of boats that were used in the 2012 Olympics.
“My team and I have made an effort to train in the Elliott 6Ms twice to prepare for this week, but the Elliott 6m is still relatively new for us,” admitted Breault. “We’ve learned a lot about how to sail the boat mechanically, but we’ll have to learn the nuances of the boat in a match race.”
About the WIM 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 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 (date, event name, location, boat type):
* June 27-July 1, Helsinki Women’s Match, Helsinki, Finland, J/80.
* August 8-13, Lysekil Women’s Match, Lysekil, Sweden, DS 37.
* September 21-25, 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.
Report by Event Media