Final four set at WIM Series Helsinki

Published on June 28th, 2018

Helsinki, Finland (June 28, 2018) – The third day of the Helsinki Women’s Match began with the final spots in the quarter final still up for grabs and ended with the field reduced to four teams from four countries moving on to the semi finals in the first event of the 2018 Women’s International Match Racing Series.

Often times the round robin is criticized for the last few flights being meaningless, but that was not the case in today as the last spot in the quarter-finals came down to the last match of the round robin.

If local Jassi Skogman’s team wins their match over Hanna Ericksson (SWE) they move on, and if not, they would be tied with Sanna Häger (SWE) and lose the tie-breaker based on their head to head match from the first day. But Skogman received a penalty and was not able to complete it before Ericksson finished.

“We were cheering on Hanna Ericksson’s team when they sailed against Skogman, so we were really happy when they finished first in the race,” smiled an elated Hägar at the end of the round robin.

The winner of the round robin, Marinella Laaksonen (FIN), had the honor of selecting her quarter final opponent and chose the last one in, the Swedish team of Sanna Häger. And then they waited until the other quarter final matches were completed before they had their turn.

Laaksonen’s team continued their hot streak with three straight wins over her Swedish competitor. “It was quite nice racing with some heavy winds again and everything felt good in the boat,” said Laaksonen after returning to the dock.

Laaksonen and Bergqvist will both be sailing in their first semi finals in a WIM Series event and are both excited about the opportunity. “Hopefully everything goes well and you will see us in the finals tomorrow,” Laaksonen said.

Bergqvist was equally enthusiastic: “We are so excited. It is going to be so much fun. We have been training really hard this season to be able to be there.”

Trine Palludan and her experienced Team Kattnaken from Denmark are also through to the semi finals with three straight wins over the local Team Sköna Vibissar skippered by Antonia Degerlund.

The battle of the day was a Franco-American affair between Pauline Courtois’ Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team and Team BAAM! led by Allie Blecher. The five match fight saw lead changes, penalties, luffing matches, tacking duels and close finishes – all of the hallmarks of great match racing!

The Americans put the French up against the ropes by winning the first two matches. But Courtois’ team showed their championship grit and fought back to win three straight ‘must-win’ races and squeeze into the semi finals with a 3 – 2 victory.

“It was difficult. We did some small mistakes in the two first matches,” admitted Courtois. “But we continued to focus on the technique and the strong wind and I think that made the difference. We need to continue that job tomorrow.”

In the morning, Laaksonen will again get to choose her opponent and has not let us in on her decision yet. The event will conclude tomorrow with the semi-finals and finals followed by the closing ceremonies at the NJK Clubhouse on Blekholmen Island.

The Helsinki Women’s Match is being held June 26 to 29 in the J/80 Class.

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2018 Helsinki Women’s Match Results (after day three):
Quarter-Final Results:
Marinella Laaksonen, FIN – Sanna Häger, SWE, 3 – 0
Trine Palludan, DEN – Celia Willison, NZL, 3 – 0
Johanna Bergqvist, SWE – Antonia Degerlund, FIN, 3 – 0
Pauline Courtois, FRA – Allie Blecher, USA, 3 – 2

Round Robin Results (skipper, team name, nationality, wins – losses):
1. Marinella Laaksonen, L2 Match Racing Team, FIN, 11 – 1
2. Trine Palludan, Team Kattnakken, DEN, 10 – 2
3. Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist Match Racing, SWE, 9 – 3
4. Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 8 – 4
5. Allie Blecher, Team BAAM!, USA, 8 – 4
6. Antonia Degerlund, Team Sköna Vibbisar, FIN, 7 – 5
7. Celia Willison, NZ Match, NZL, 6 – 6
8. Sanna Häger, Stockholm Match Racing Team, SWE, 5 – 7
9. Jassi Skogman, Team Skogman, FIN, 5 – 7
10. Margot Vennin, Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 4 – 8
11. Margot Riou, APCC Women Sailing Team, FRA, 3 – 9
12. Hanna Ericksson, Peregrine Racing, SWE, 2 – 10
13. Sanna Mattsson, Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team, SWE, 0 – 12

Teams Competing in the 2018 Helsinki Women’s Match:

Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team
Pauline Courtois, Maëlenn Lemaître, Louise Acker, Nathalie Corson , Sophie​ Faguet – France
Current World Sailing Ranking: 2

L2 Match Racing Team
Marinella Laaksonen, Daniela Rönnberg, Camilla Cedercreutz, Henna Holopainen, Eva-Lotta Hokkonen – Finland
Current World Sailing Ranking: 4

Team Kattnakken
Trine Palludan, Lea Richter Vogelius, Josefine Boel Rasmussen, Vivi Lund Møller, Joan Vestergård Hansen – Denmark
Current World Sailing Ranking: 5

Team Bergqvist Match Racing
Johanna Bergqvist, Isabelle Bergqvist, Johanna Thiringer, Ellinor Hansson, Fanny Edgren – Sweden
Current World Sailing Ranking: 7

Team Sköna Vibbisar
Antonia Degerlund, Carla Westersund, Janina Hallberg, Disa Långström, Lisa Gerkman – Finland
Current World Sailing Ranking: 9

Stockholm Match Racing Team
Sanna Häger, Karin Bäckström, Beata Törneman, Klara Häger, Karin Flinkenberg – Sweden
Current World Sailing Ranking: 11

Team Skogman
Jassi Skogman, Julia Jaatela, Tua Jaatela, Katariina Aarnio, Roosa Wederhorn – Finland
Current World Sailing Ranking: 16

Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team
Margot Vennin, Marie Zugolaro, Clotilde Ponçon, Jeanne Lebouvier, Sophonie Affagard – France
Current World Sailing Ranking: 18

Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team
Sanna Mattsson, Niki Blässar, Sarah Rosell, Therese Berg, Louise Lindkvist – Sweden
Current World Sailing Ranking: 19

APCC Women Sailing Team
Margot Riou, Clémentine Hilaire, Marion Ledoux, Pétronille Lauzeral, Tiphaine Ragueneau – France
Current World Sailing Ranking: 20

Team BAAM!
Allie Blecher, Beka Schiff, Katja Sertl, Abby Featherstone, Meg Six – USA
Current World Sailing Ranking: 41

NZ Match
Celia Willison, Charlotte Porter, Paige Cook, Erica Dawson, Alison Kent – New Zealand
Current World Sailing Ranking: 44

Peregrine Racing
Hanna Ericksson, Susu Kukkonen, Sara Edholm, Charlotte Eklund, Raisa Räisänen – Sweden
Current World Sailing Ranking: unranked

The Women’s International Match Racing Association (WIMRA) was formed in 1996 and is an international association of women sailors whose mission is to expand and strengthen global match racing and promote opportunities for competitive women’s sailing at every level.

WIMRA created the first and only professional sailing series for women in 2013 – the Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series). The WIM Series delivers a global circuit of competition to test the world’s best sailors in a format of round robin and knock-out matches.

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)
October 30-November 3: Swiss International Women’s Match – Ascona, Switzerland (J/70)
November 29-Decenber 2: Carlos Aguilar Match Race – St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (IC 24)

Source: WIM Series

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