Courtois retains lead at WIM Series finale
Published on December 13th, 2017
Tourville-la-Rivière, France (December 13, 2017) – The conditions turned blustery for the second day of racing at the International Bedanne’s Cup – the final event of the 2017 Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series). But change of conditions did not deter local skipper Pauline Courtois as she maintained control to remain in the lead.
After a day of beautiful sunshine yesterday, the weather today brought rain, large windshifts and big puffs that kept the teams on their toes throughout the day. “It was very shifty and puffy, but we were happy to keep sailing fast and stay in the best pressure whenever we could,” said Courtois.
The highlight match of the day was a battle between Courtois and Anne-Claire Le Berre who took the early advantage in the pre-start when Courtois made an error and received a penalty for not keeping clear while gybing away in a dial down. Le Berre led off the start, but Courtois took the lead on the puffy first upwind leg.
The race was like an accordion as the boats came close together as the trailing boat had a new puff, but Courtois stretched out her lead when she sailed into a nice puff on the final run. In the end, Courtois’ team executed a near perfect penalty turn and finished just ahead of their rivals to maintain the advantage in the overall results.
The format for this event is different than the previous WIM Series events. Beginning with a double round robin stage giving all of the teams the opportunity to sail a lot and rewarding the winner of this stage by advancing directly to the semi-finals.
While the top team rests ashore, the next six teams sail a knock-out round to see who will join them in the semi-finals. The lower places (5th through 9th) will be decided in a “Queen of the Castle” format. The 10,000 Euros in prize money will be distributed to the top eight teams in the final results.
Four flights remain in the double round robin for tomorrow, and while the conditions are predicted to deteriorate overnight, the organizers are hopeful they can keep on schedule.
Day Two Results
1- Pauline Courtois, FRA, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, 12-1
2- Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, French Women’s Match Racing Sailing Team, 11-3
3- Margot Vennin, FRA, Team CVSAE, 10-3
4- Allie Blecher, USA, Team BAAM, 9-5
5- Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, L2 Match Racing Team, 7-6
6- Margot Riou, FRA, APCC Women’s Sailing Team, 5-8
7- Sanna Mattsson, SWE, Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team, 3-10
8- Linnéa Floser, SWE, Peregrine Racing, 2-11
9- Ekaterina Kochkina, RUS, ProKateam Sailing Team, 1-13
Nine teams from five countries is planned for December 12-16.
Skippers in the International Bedanne’s Cup, the final event of the 2017 WIM Series, in Tourville-la-Rivière, France, France (name, nationality, team name, world ranking as of November 15):
Pauline Courtois, FRA, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, 5
28 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 finished 7th on the 2016 WIM Series and this year finished runner-up in Lysekil and recently won the French Women’s Match Racing Championship.
Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, L2 Match Racing Team, 6
25 years old mathematics student Marinella Laaksonen is not only the highest ranked female Finnish skipper on the World Sailing ranking, but she also has two straight National Championships in Women’s Match Racing. Before getting into match racing, Marinella sailed dinghy classes like Europe dinghy, Zoom 8 and 49er FX. She finished 5th in the World Championship on her home waters of Helsinki earlier this summer and made the quarterfinals in Lysekil.
Linnea Floser, SWE, Peregrine Racing, 13
Living in the Swedish capital Stockholm, and representing the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSS), 24 years old Linnéa Floser made her debut on the WIM Series at the 2016 Carlos Aguilar Match Race event in St Thomas. She has raced several dinghy classes and is working as a personal trainer at SATS Lidingö and as a skipper at the At Sea Events match racing centre. Floser’s match racing career started in 2015, with fast climbing to her current ranking position. Linnéa Floser is a certified personal trainer, and has studied science and meteorology at the Stockholm University, and now works as the Chief Operations Officer at At Sea Events.
Sanna Mattsson, SWE, Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team, 20
This 25 years old Swede’s whole life seems to be about sailing. Sanna Mattsson graduated from the Sailing High School in Lerum, Sweden, five years ago. She is hired by the Swedish Sailing Association to coach RS Feva sailors, and she’s also training new coaches for the West Coast Sailing Association. With a background in several dinghy classes, in the spring of 2016 Sanna formed a brand new match racing team and made her WIM Series debut in Helsinki. After competing successfully this year in Sweden, the team returns to the WIM Series for 2017 finale in France.
Ekaterina Kochkina, RUS, ProKateam Sailing Team, 28
Ekaterina Kochkina may be young, but she has accomplished a lot since starting as a youth 14 years ago in the Optimist and working her way up through dinghies to match racing in keelboats. She was bitten by the match racing bug in 2012 and now completely devotes herself to match racing when not working as a sailing instructor at the Moscow Sailing Academy. Her list of top finishes include silver medals at the last 3 open Russian National Match Racing Championships with her eye on the gold this year. Kochkina made her WIM Series debut in 2017 in Helsinki for the Women’s Match Racing World Championship and she returns to compete in France with her ProKateam Sailing Team.
Margot Vennin, FRA, Team CVSAE, 43
As one of the youngest skippers on the WIM Series, Margot Vennin, 21, makes her skipper debut on the WIM Series at the 2017 International Bedanne’s Cup. When not racing Margo is an engineering student from Paris. She only began match racing in September of 2016 following a successful international career in dinghies with a top ten finish at the 420 World Championship and winning the French Inshore Youth Championship as crew. Margot and her team from the local club, CVSAE, hope to be competitive at the Bedanne’s Cup and carry that into further success on the WIM Series in 2018.
Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, French Women’s Match Racing Sailing Team, 51
35 years old Anne-Claire Le Berre from Brest on the Atlantic coast of France returns to the match racing circuit after second child and a job change. She has match raced since 2005 and achieved the world number 1 ranking in early 2016. She has done three Olympic campaign – 4 years each in the 470, Yngling, and match racing. Anne-Claire Le Berre is a naval architect currently working in Lorient as an engineer for the Imoca 60 offshore team Initiatives-coeur with skipper Sam Davies preparing for the Vendée Globe 2020. When she has time, her primary sailing is match racing with a silver medal at the Worlds in 2016 and winning the Busan Cup in 2015.
Margot Riou, FRA, APCC Women’s Sailing Team, 56
Margot Riou has put together a young team of students who share the same passion for sailing with the same motivation for competition and formed the APCC Women’s Sailing Team (Equipage Féminin – APCC). The team from Pornichet is making a mark on the J/80 fleet racing circuit in France as well as the match racing circuit. Riou and her team come to the Bedanne’s Cup with a recent a silver medal performance at the 2017 French Women’s Match Racing Championship.
Allie Blecher, USA, Team BAAM, unranked
Allie Blecher makes her debut on the WIM Series at the 2017 International Bedanne’s Cup. Although she is currently unranked in the world match racing ranking, you can’t take her lightly. She is a four-time US Collegiate All-American from the formidable College of Charleston Sailing Team where she earned Quantum Women’s Sailor of the Year honors – the highest honor you can receive. Since graduating, she has progressed from competing in Laser Radial dinghies to 49erFX skiffs and more recently keelboats – J/70s and Melges 32s and started match racing. While not sailing she works as a Procurement Analyst in the aerospace industry in Southern California.
Background: The Women’s International Match Racing Series is in its fifth season, providing in 2017 a four-event professional sailing circuit organized by the Women’s International Match Racing Association for the world’s leading women match racing sailors.
2017 Women’s International Match Racing Series
June 16-21 – Women’s Match Racing World Championship – Helsinki, Finland
August 7-12 – Lysekil Women’s Match – Lysekil, Sweden
November 13-18 – Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race – Busan, South Korea
Nov 30-Dec 3 – Carlos Aguilar Match Race – St Thomas, US Virgin Islands – Cancelled
December 12-16 2017 International Bedanne’s Cup – Tourville-la-Rivière, France
WIM Series Standings (After 3 events)
1. Renée Groeneveld, Dutch Match Racing Team, NED, 61
2. Trine Palludan, Team Kattnakken, DEN, 60
3. Anna Östling, Team Anna, SWE, 58
4. Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 52
5. Lucy Macgregor, Team Mac, GBR, 50
6. Caroline Sylvan, New Sweden Match Racing Team, SWE, 42
7. Marinella Laaksonen, L2 Match Racing Team, FIN, 38
8. Alexa Bezel, Swiss Women Match Racing Team, SUI, 21
9. Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist Match Racing, SWE, 20
10. Mikaela Fors, Pen & Hammer Sailing Team, FIN, 14
11. Linnéa Floser, Peregrine Racing, SWE, 14
12. Antonia Degerlund, Team Sköna Vibbisar, FIN, 11
13. Sarah Parker, Team Parker, AUS, 10
14. Clare Costanzo, Team Costanzo, AUS, 8
15. Octavia Owen, Athena Racing, GBR, 7
16. Margot Riou, APCC Women’s Sailing Team , FRA, 7
17. Martina Karlemo, Team Karlemo, FIN, 6
18. Eunjin Kim, Team Ladies, KOR, 5
19. Sanna Häger, Stockholm Match Racing Team, SWE, 4
20. Ekaterina Kochkina, Team SailWay, RUS, 3
Source: WIM Series