Women’s Match Racing Plan for 2018
Published on April 3rd, 2018
The 2018 Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) enters its sixth consecutive season with events planned in Finland, Sweden, Russia, and the US Virgin Islands. As the world’s first and only women’s professional sailing series, up to 30 of the top women’s match racing teams will battle for the coveted series trophy.
Since it’s launch in 2012, the WIM Series has delivered 23 events worldwide, attracting over 400 female sailors from 25 countries including Olympic sailors, National and World Champions. Each year, one of the Series events also plays host to the Women’s Match Racing World Championship.
The 2018 plan has four events from June to December with a penultimate fifth event expected to be added to the schedule in September. The Series is keen to also add a US event.
“We are thrilled with how the WIM Series has grown in such a short time,” commented Series Director Anna Holmdahl White. “In the last few years, there has been a significant rise in women’s participation in sport, and sailing is just one example of where both men and women also compete on a level playing field. We have the highest number of teams registered for this year’s WIM Series.”
British skipper Lucy MacGregor (GBR) and her team won both WIM Series events that they entered last year, one being the World Championship in Helsinki.
“Retaining the World Championship title is our main goal of this year,” said MacGregor. “In addition to sailing the Worlds we will be competing in the Argo Group Bermuda Gold Cup this year which we are really looking forward to. We will have some of the same team as last year but also a couple of changes. Different boats often requires a slightly different dynamic in the team.”
Anna Östling and her Team Anna have been ranked as the number one female match racing team in the world since August 2016, and they are looking forward to entering the new season.
“A big goal for us is the regatta in Lysekil, it’s our home event and of course it means a lot to us,” shared Östling, a two-time World Match Racing Champion. “We are focused in our own performance and being as good a team as we can be, and we also want to help encourage other younger teams to make the sport as good as it can be. The WIM Series is a great platform for match racing and it helps more sailors get into the sport.”
The WIM Series is looking at adding events to the 2018 calendar. And, as the only international professional sailing series for women, the Series aims to inspire both female and male sailors all over the world. In addition to competing at different venues on the WIM Series, teams will also be tested with sailing different boats at each event, one of the unique elements of the match racing series.
The yachts, usually 20-30ft in length and designed for 5 crew, are supplied by each event. “It’s the ultimate test of skill for any match racing team,” continues Anna Holmdahl White. “They have to adapt to different sailing conditions and also different boats at each event. It’s not easy, but it’s what makes a true Champion.”
2018 WIM Series Schedule
June 25-29: Helsinki Women’s Match – Helsinki, Finland (J/80)
August 6-11: Lysekil Women’s Match – Lysekil, Sweden (Fareast 28r)
August 14-18: Women’s Match Racing World Championship – Ekaterinburg, Russia (Ricochet 747)
November 29-Decenber 2: Carlos Aguilar Match Race – St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (IC 24)
Source: WIM Series