Veterans return for Busan Cup
Published on October 24th, 2016
Busan, South Korea (October 24, 2016) – The waters off of Haeundae Beach will host the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, with racing on October 25 to 29 for twelve teams from nine countries vying for valuable Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) points as well as for a share of the 100 000 USD prize pool.
As the penultimate event of the WIM Series, the 9th edition of the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race will begin with the round-robin, to be raced on the same waters as was successfully used for the 1988 Olympic regatta.
“Since its inception in 2008, the Busan Cup has become a jewel on the international calendar for women’s match racing,” says WIM Series Manager Liz Baylis. “Each year it showcases Busan’s ability to host world-class sailing events, and shines a spotlight on the tremendous excitement of championship level women’s match racing.”
The high level competition of the WIM Series – the only professional sailing series for women – attracts the world’s best women sailors. At every event Olympians, National Champions, World Champions and Volvo Ocean Race veterans fiercely compete alongside rising young stars for gold and glory.
“We fully expect this year’s competition to come down to the wire, as the teams battle it out on the beautiful waters off the iconic Haeundae Beach,” Baylis comments.
This 4th event on the 2016 WIM Series attracts not only the crews regularly competing on the Series, but also some young and rising stars and a few outstandingly experienced veterans. Among the latter are the only previous double winners of Busan; French Claire Leroy who triumphed in 2010 and 2012, and British Lucy Macgregor who took the title in 2009 and 2014.
“It is great to see the veteran teams back competing on the WIM Series,” Baylis remarks. “Although they haven’t been regulars on the WIM Series in recent years, they bring incredible talent to Busan and although they may claim to be a bit rusty, I wouldn’t bet against them! Their resumes tell the story – they are tough competitors; Olympians, National Champions, World Champions, and past Busan champions. They know how to get it done!”
The weather forecast for the week looks like it’ll be a mixed bag of conditions, with a low-pressure giving a quite unstable weather situation. Regatta Director Alfredo Ricci is expecting some rain to start with tomorrow morning, before the sky clears after noon, and winds around 10 to 12 knots.
Skippers in the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, the 4th event of the 2016 WIM Series, in Busan, Korea (name, nationality, world ranking):
Anna Östling, SWE, 1
She started match racing on foredeck, but 32 years old Anna Östling of the Royal Gothenburg YC soon began to helm. After her Olympic debut in Weymouth 2012, she finished 2nd in the 2013 inaugural WIM Series. In 2014 Anna became a mother for the first time, and just a few weeks later she took the World Championship title. She finished runner-up in the 2014 WIM Series, and has taken a firm grip on the 2016 WIM Series by winning the first three events, among them the World Championship. Anna is ranked World #1.
Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 4
As “everybody else” in Sweden, 27 years old Caroline Sylvan began her sailing career in the Optimist and Europe dinghies, participating in Nordic and European as well as World Championships. After twice becoming national champion in Laser Radial, she began match racing in 2010 and immediately won the Youth National Championships. In 2012 Caroline reached the podium in the European Championships, and last year she took her second consecutive 4th place in Lysekil and finished 5th on the WIM Series.
Pauline Courtois, FRA, 5
27 years old sport teacher Pauline Courtois from Brest started sailing at seven and racing at nine. She has been in match racing on different positions since 2011. In 2013 she finished runner-up when calling the tactics for Julie Bossard in the WIM Series event in Saint-Quay-Portrieux, and took a bronze medal in the French championships. Pauline made her skipper debut on the WIM Series in 2014, and opened the 2016 WIM Series season as runner-up in Helsinki in June, followed by 6th place in Lysekil in August.
Stephanie Roble, USA, 6
The 26 years old Stephanie Roble started sailing dinghies and scows out of Lake Beulah YC. Later she picked up match racing, and together with Maggie Shea she became in 2012 the first woman to win both the US Women’s and the Open Match Racing Championships. In 2014 Stephanie Roble won the Etchells Worlds and the US Women’s Match Racing Championships. 2014 and 2015 she finished third in the World Championships, and last year she and her Epic Racing Team took the WIM Series title.
Renée Groeneveld, NED, 7
In the 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth, now 29 years old Renée from Haarlemsche Jachtclub close to Amsterdam, reached the quarter finals. After a break from match racing since then, the Dutch skipper made her debut on WIM Series last year, posting 4th places in Sheboygan and Busan. At the 2016 opening event in Helsinki she reached the podium, following up with the same score at the World Championship in Sheboygan. When not sailing, Renée looks after customer service and planning at Vopak.
Katie Spithill, AUS, 11
Raised in a real sailing family in Pittwater near Sydney in Australia, in a home only to be reached by boat, it’s no wonder that 34 years old Katie Spithill has a number of National Championship titles in various classes. Sometimes she goes F 18-sailing with her husband, or in her foiling Moth, but her most fun sailing experience was with brother James in the back of an AC 45. Katie has won several ISAF Grade 1-events, and has a number of runner-up scores in Busan. Earlier in 2016 she ran a marathon to keep fit.
Milly Bennett, AUS, 20
22 years old student Milly Bennett has been sailing out of the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Sydney since she was eight. She excelled in dinghy sailing attending an Optimist World Championship aged 13, then placed 9th in the 2011 Laser 4.7 Worlds and 4th in the Laser Radial Youth Worlds the following year. In 2012 Milly took on a new challenge in her yacht club’s Youth Development program in match racing. After two years as runner-up, she’s now the defending Australian Champion. Busan is her first 2016 WIM Series event.
Trine Palludan, DEN, 26, (substituting Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby)
As a main trimmer and tactician in Team Ulrikkeholm, 37 years old Trine Palludan from famous sailing metropolis Hellerup has got three World Championship silver medals. In the absence of Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, Trine will again be helming the Danish team for the Busan event, as she did in 2014. But steering the boat is not a new task for Trine, who in 2004 became both World and European Champion as an Yngling skipper. When not sailing Trine works as a chiropractor in Frederiksberg.
Diana Kissane, IRL, 29
Former All Ireland Ladies Champion Diana Kissane entered the WIM Series 2014 in a Kiwi crew, gaining a lot of experience from four events. In 2015 she was keen to return to the WIM Series, leading an emerald isle crew of her own to finish 13th. As a Bachelor of Law and trainee solicitor at Arthur Cox in Dublin, the 24 years old skipper still finds some time here and there to go match racing, and her second 2016 WIM Series appearance will be in Busan. Her goal is progress, reaching quarters and climbing the world ranking.
Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 48
The 29 years old British Olympian led her Match Race Girls to victory in the inaugural 2013 WIM Series, but in 2014 her only match racing event was in Busan, where she won. In 2010 Lucy took the World Match Racing Championships in Newport. She has also raced a range of keelboats from 24 to 45 ft as helm, tactician and crew at events such as Cowes Week and IRC National Championships, winning the 2016 Quarter Ton Cup. In the last year she’s mostly been racing in the Nacra 17 and Etchells classes.
Claire Leroy, FRA
In 2007 Claire was voted ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, and for long periods the 36 years old French match racing skipper held the world ranking top position. She can also look back on numerous victories in the most prestigious match racing events in the world, including double world championship titles and three bronze medals. Not having sailed match racing for a while, she’s happy to be back on WIM Series for the 2016 Busan event, aiming to have fun. Don’t count this highly skilled veteran out…
Gyeong Jin Lee, KOR
The 23 years old university student Gyeong Jin Lee of the Busan Sailing Federation lives together with her two brothers, mum and dad in Busan. The Laser Radial is her favourite boat, which she’s been sailing for a while. Gyeong Jin Lee has been into match racing as mainsheet trimmer since 2014, but the Busan event 2016 will be her first competition as helmsman. Her modest goal is to win at least one match against the world class teams competing in the regatta.
Standings in the 2016 WIM Series after three events out of five (skipper, country, WIM Series points):
1. Anna Östling, SWE, 75
2. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 48
3. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 48
4. Stephanie Roble, USA, 40
5. Renée Groeneveld, NED, 40
6. Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN, 38
7. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 22
8. Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, 21
9. Lotte Meldgaard, DEN, 18
10. Samantha Norman, NZL, 14
11. Sanna Häger, SWE, 14
12. Alexa Bezel, SUI, 12
13. Rikst Dijkstra, NED, 12
14. Nicole Breault, USA, 10
15. Johanna Bergqvist, SWE, 10
16. Antonia Degerlund, FIN, 10
17. Elizabeth Shaw, CAN, 8
18. Susanna Kukkonen FIN, 8
19. Diana Kissane, IRL, 7
20. Sanna Mattsson, SWE, 5
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.
Source: WIM Series