Field near set for WIM Series Lysekil
Published on July 11th, 2018
Twelve crews will be competing in the Lysekil Women’s Match 2018, the second event of the 2018 Women¹s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series), to be held August 6-11 in Lysekil, Sweden. After racing the J/80 in the first event in Finland, the transition will be to the Fareast 28r as teams seek to accrue important points toward the season title.
Six of the confirmed skippers are: Anna Östling (SWE), Pauline Courtois (FRA), Antonia Degerlund (FIN), Johanna Bergqvist (SWE), Octavia Owen (GBR) and Sanna Mattsson (SWE). With less than one month left until the first start of the regatta on August 6, the lineup is almost complete.
The French match racing expert Claire Leroy will be replacing Caroline Sylvan as skipper of New Sweden Match Racing Team. Claire Leroy, 38, has two World Championship titles and was named ISAF Sailor of the Year in 2007. New Sweden Match Racing Team will be entering the regatta in Lysekil for the eighth time.
Team Kattnakken (DEN) won the first event of the series in Helsinki in June. In Lyskeil, Trine Palludan will be replaced with another Dane, Olympic sailor Henriette Koch, as the team’s skipper.
“I look forward to helming my first match race regatta and it is amazing that Lysekil will be my debut,” says Koch. “I’m very happy about the robust and high level sailing the team showed in Helsinki. Their starts were not too great but they read the course well and controlled the strategy and tactics. In Lysekil we hope and expect that we will be able to show some teeth and challenge the other teams with the skills of the crew as well as my 470 and Sailing Champions League experiences. We may also surprise the competitors and entertain the spectators with a bit untraditional way of match racing.”
Alexa Bezel has been a driving force in match racing in her home country Switzerland the last decade. She reached the final when she visited Lysekil the first time in 2012 but hasn’t gotten another try to win the regatta in four tries.
Marinella Laaksonen is one of the many talented Finnish match racing skippers sailing the WIM Series. She is currently ranked fourth in the world and her team had to settle with fourth place in the home event in Helsinki. Margot Vennin and her team are from Normandie and have been racing together for two years. They came close to fighting their way to the final in their first event on the WIM Series and now they will be coming to Lysekil for the first time.
Johanna Bergqvist and Team Bergqvist Match Racing lost the final of the Helsinki Women’s Match. But reaching the final was an important step for the team and this season they have a clear goal.
“We have done good regattas so far this year, we aimed at winning in Helsinki and we almost made it,” says Bergqvist. “But it feels great to be racing on a higher level and to be more competitive, challenging the best teams. We have done a lot of training and the feeling in the team is great. Our goal is clear, we want to win in Lysekil.”
Anna Holmdahl White, Project Manager of Lysekil Women’s Match, thinks that fans have a lot of great duels to look forward to. “In match racing it is always close margins that make the difference between winning and losing as well as what team ends up on the top of the podium.
“The teams keep moving the sailing to new levels and it is very hard to pick favourites. Routine can take you far but there are a number of young teams who will be giving all they have to challenge the more established teams on the WIM Series.”
Due to a late withdrawal from skipper Allie Blecher (USA), there is still one spot left to be confirmed and the twelfth team will be presented the coming weeks. The participants will be competing for a total of 300,000 Swedish kronor ($33,800 USD) in prize money.
Lineup Lysekil Women’s Match: (Ranking, skipper, country, team)
1. Anna Östling, SWE, Team Anna
2. Pauline Courtois, FRA, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team
4. Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, L2 Match Racing Team
7. Johanna Bergqvist, SWE, Team Bergqvist Match Racing
9. Antonia Degerlund, FIN, Team Sköna Vibbisar
14. Alexa Bezel, SUI, ChicaCER Women Match Racing Team
15. Octavia Owen, GBR, Athena Racing
18. Margot Vennin, FRA, Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team
19. Sanna Mattsson, SWE, Swedish Women´s Match Racing Team
37. Claire Leroy, FRA, New Sweden Match Racing Team
(Unranked) Henriette Koch, DEN, Team Kattnakken
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