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Katie Spithill Wins WIM Series Busan

Published on October 29th, 2016

Busan, South Korea (October 29, 2016) – As one of the most experienced match racing skippers in the world, Australian Katie Spithill has been to every Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race since the inaugural event in 2008, except for the single year she had her daughter. But not until today did she go all the way through to winning with her defeat of previous two-time Busan champion Lucy Macgregor of Great Britain.

“Finally, is all I can say,” remarked Spithill. “We’ve been here for eight years and we’re just so happy to take it home today.” Sailing with Spiithill in the penultimate event of the WIM Series (Women’s International Match Racing Series) was Alessandra Angelini, Jessica Eastwell, Kate Lathouras and Stacey Jackson from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.

The waters just outside Haeundae Beach offered the most challenging of sailing conditions, as the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race came down the wire today with semi finals and final matches. In incredibly shifty, puffy and gusty winds, Spithill won her semi 3 – 1 over round-robin winner Claire Leroy, who may have regret her earlier choice of opponent.

“I think the key in the semis was that we had superior boat speed, especially downwind,” says Spithill.

“We made too many small mistakes, allowing them to come from behind with the gusts to overtake us,” Leroy comments.

In the other semi, Lucy Macgregor faced Swedish 2016 WIM Series Champion Anna Östling, who didn’t really seem to have a chance. The World #1 was quite shamefully defeated 3 –0.

“We sailed very, very well there, and made it quite easy for ourselves,” notes Macgregor. “That was very pleasant.”

“As good as our day was yesterday, it was equally bad today,” admits Östling. “We didn’t get the flow at all, didn’t have the speed and made too many stupid mistakes.”

As Macgregor and Spithill met in the final, the Aussie continued her winning streak, taking the first two matches straight and clear.

“By making too many mistakes in the prestarts, I unfortunately showed I’m a little out of practise,” Macgregor explained. “The races were sort of done from that point.”

Nevertheless, with three match points against her, Macgregor managed to break back, taking the next two matches to force a fifth and decisive final match. From the raised position at the Haeundae Beach lighthouse, the spectators could quite easily follow the gusts as they spread over the racecourse, but for the competitors on the water it was a lot harder to keep track of the puffy and shifty winds.

“It was so shifty out there today, so it felt like it could be anyone’s race each time,” says Macgregor.

The British skipper lost the fifth match by a few boat lengths, letting Katie Spithill and her crew walk away with the victory and 20,000 USD of prize money in this 4th event of the 2016 WIM Series.

“We had the better start and were in control, but it was very hard to match the tacks because of the shifts,” Macgregor reflects. “Overall we’re happy, but obviously it’s disappointing to not get a win in that last match. But Katie and her team sailed really well, to take that last win.”

“We had some great crew work and some really smart decisions, and to be honest there were moments in there when you just had to be focused, because it was so shifty,” shared Spithill. “We tried to stay in focus and just push every opportunity, and that paid. Given the chance we’d love to be back next year and do the whole WIM Series!”

Previous double World Champion and 2007 World Sailor of the Year, Claire Leroy, defeated Östling 2 – 0 to take the petite final and 15 000 USD.

“I think we did a great job this week and sailed very well, but not good enough to win the regatta,” observed Leroy. “It was really fun to be back and see the new generation of women match racing sailors.”

The next and final event on the 2016 WIM Series is the Carlos Aguilar Match Race, in St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, December 1 – 4. Anna Östling and her crew has already secured the overall WIM Series win and the coveted Terry J Kohler Perpetual Trophy, but behind the Swedish winners a wasp’s nest of skippers are in the run for a podium finish.

After Östling, the fight to fill the podium includes Pauline Courtois (FRA), Caroline Sylvan (SWE), Stephanie Roble (USA), Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby (DEN) and Renée Groeneveld (NED), who can all get their share of fame and honour, as well as a portion of the generous 50,000 USD WIM Series prize purse.

Final Results
1. Katie Spithill, Alessandra Angelini, Jessica Eastwell, Kate Lathouras, Stacey Jackson (AUS), 25, 20,000 USD
2. Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush, Mariana Lobato, Elodie Mettraux, Mary Rook (GBR), 22, 15,000 USD.
3. Claire Leroy, Marie Riou, Claire Pruvot, Julie Gerecht, Morgane Gautier (FRA), 20, 12,000 USD
4. Anna Östling, Hanna Klinga, Linnéa Wennergren, Marie Berg, Annika Carlunger (SWE), 18, 10,000 USD
5. Trine Palludan, Lea Richter Vogelius, Josefine Boel Rasmussen, Lærke Ilsø Nørgaard, Joan Vestergaard Hansen (DEN), 16, 9,000 USD
6. Stephanie Roble, Maggie Shea, Aimee Famularo, Elizabeth Shaw, Janel Zarkowsky (USA), 14, 8,000 USD
7. Pauline Courtois, Maelenn Lemaître, Bérénice Delpuech, Sophonie Affagard, Juliette Le Friec (FRA), 12, 7,000 USD
8. Caroline Sylvan, Malin Holmberg, Anna Norlander, Frida Langenius, My Karlsten Sfiris (SWE), 10, 6,000 USD
9. Renée Groeneveld, Annemieke Bes, Lobke Berkhout, Claire Blom, Marcelien de Koning (NED), 8, 5,000 USD
10. Diana Kissane, Jane Butler, Clara Hynes, Tara Flood, Jennifer Andreasson (IRL), 7, 4,000 USD
11. Milly Bennett, Alice Tarnawski, Rosie Lee, Stephanie Doyle, Carrington Brady, Tara Blanc-Ramos (AUS), 6, 2,000 USD
12. Gyeong Jin Lee, Ji A Kim, Min Ju Kim, Da Eun Yang, Da Som Park (KOR), 5, 2,000 USD

Results in the Final:
Katie Spithill, AUS – Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 3 – 2

Results in the Petite Final:
Anna Östling, SWE – Claire Leroy, FRA, 0 – 2

Semi Final Results:
Katie Spithill, AUS – Claire Leroy, FRA, 3 – 1
Anna Östling, SWE – Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 0 – 3

WIM SeriesEvent detailsEntry listFacebook

2016 WIM Series Standings (after four of five events)
1. Anna Östling, SWE, 93
2. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 60
3. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 58
4. Stephanie Roble, USA, 54
5. Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN, 54
6. Renée Groeneveld, NED, 49
7. Katie Spithill, AUS, 25
8. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 22
9. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 22
10. Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, 21
11. Claire Leroy, FRA, 20
12. Lotte Meldgaard, DEN, 18
13. Samantha Norman, NZL, 14
14. Sanna Häger, SWE, 14
15. Diana Kissane, IRL, 14
16. Alexa Bezel, SUI, 12
17. Rikst Dijkstra, NED, 12
18. Nicole Breault, USA, 10
19. Johanna Bergqvist, SWE, 10
20. Antonia Degerlund, FIN, 10
21. Elizabeth Shaw, CAN, 8
22. Susanna Kukkonen FIN, 8
23. Milly Bennett, AUS, 6
24. Gyeong Jin Lee, KOR, 5
25. 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

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