Qualifying Begins at 2016 WIM Series Finale

Published on December 1st, 2016

St Thomas, USVI (December 1, 2016) – Renée Groeneveld is leading the Carlos Aguilar Match Race, the 5th and final event of the 2016 WIM Series, after the first day of round-robin. The Dutch skipper controlled the shifty conditions in the Charlotte Amalie harbour, posting five wins and no losses in today’s racing. American Stephanie Roble shares the runner-up position with Josefine Boel Rasmussen of Denmark.

The racing kicked off in slightly different conditions than the sailors with lots of experience at the venue would have expected. The dominant wind direction today, a bit more from the south than the usual easterly breeze, gave the newcomers to the Carlos Aguilar Match Race a better chance to stand up against the event veterans. Still most of the sailors struggled with the conditions, as the breeze changed a lot in both strength and direction.

“We got through the round-robin as anticipated, and it wasn’t very hard to set a proper course. I think it was tougher for the sailors,” says Principal Race Officer Darcy Cook, who solved the matter by laying two top marks, to give the race committee options.

Dutch 2012 Olympian Renée Groeneveld mastered the challenges in the most impressive way, going through the day undefeated with five straight wins.

“We made really good starts, especially in our important matches against Roble and Östling. Generally you just had to be patient out there, look around you and wait for the puffs to come,” the overall leader comments.

American Stephanie Roble won the 2015 WIM Series and had a really exciting match against this season’s early winner, World Champion Anna Östling. As both boats went around the committee boat in the prestart, the Swedish skipper failed to keep clear of Roble in a port tack versus starboard tack situation, earning a penalty for her mistake.

“Anna then got back into the race on the second beat, and we rounded tip to tail at the mark. On the run we did a fake gybe to get her slow, and extended from there,” Roble explains.

For Östling it was definitely game over as the umpires gave her a second penalty for pumping, a few boat lengths before the finishing line, followed by the black disqualification flag for not immediately making the penalty turn.

“The pumping was a stupid and nervous move from my side, but I don’t agree with the umpires on the black flag,” says Östling, looking forward to the remaining races. “We will climb the list, can’t wait for tomorrow!”

With a 4 – 1 score Roble shares the runner-up position in the regatta with Josefine Boel Rasmussen. The latter is normally tactician and mainsail trimmer of the experienced Team Ulrikkeholm of Denmark, but now on very short notice she is substitute skipper for this event.

“I woke up early this morning, super nervous about how to be able to control the boat in the prestarts today. I tried to remember what I’ve seen from my ordinary position, my crew guided me, and it all went way better than we expected,” an obviously very relieved Danish skipper points out.

US Women’s Match Racing Champion Nicole Breault sits on 4th place so far, also on four wins but unfortunately with two losses.

“We adapted to the boats in some exciting initial races, sorting things out. The later races were calmer, as we used our skills in boat handling execution,” she comments.

A graduate of St. Thomas’ Antilles School, All-American sailor at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and 2012 Olympian in the Laser Radial, local sailing star Maymi ‘Mimi’ Roller is for this regatta trimming in an American crew, skippered by Morgan Collins.

“It was a slow start for our team today, but we slowly worked out the kinks and won a race. We’re excited to continue improving,” says Roller,looking forward to a future within match racing, to complete her extensive fleet racing background. “I definitely want to do more. It would be great to have an entire USVI team to compete in not only the Carlos Aguilar Match Race, but also in the WIM Series.”

The round-robin of the Carlos Aguilar Match Race, the 5th and final event of the 2016 WIM Series, continues tomorrow.

Day One Standings
1. Renée Groeneveld, NED, 5 – 0
2. Stephanie Roble, USA, 4 – 1
2. Josefine Boel Rasmussen, DEN, 4 – 1
4. Nicole Breault, USA, 4 – 2
5. Antonia Degerlund, FIN, 3 – 2
5. Anna Östling, SWE, 3 – 2
7. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 3 – 3
7. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 3 – 3
9. Johanna Bergqvist, SWE, 2 – 4
10. Morgan Collins, USA, 1 – 4
11. Sandy Hayes, USA, 1 – 5
12. Linnea Floser, SWE, 0 – 6

WIM SeriesEvent detailsEntry listFacebook

The Carlos Aguilar Match Race is a World Sailing Grade One event. The format will feature a full round robin of all teams, followed by knockout quarterfinals for the top eight, and then knockout semi-finals, petit-finals and finals. The event will be sailed in IC 24, a modification of J/24, on December 1 through 4.

Competing skippers:

Overall Standings in the 2016 WIM Series (after four events out of five):
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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