Finale underway for WIM Series
Published on November 29th, 2018
St Thomas, USVI (November 29, 2018) – Racing began today for 12 of the world’s best women match racers in the 2018 Carlos Aguilar Match Race (CAMR), the fifth and final event of the 2018 Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series). On a day with full sun but some huge wind swings, three teams remain undefeated: Pauline Courtois (5-0), Anna Ostling (3-0), and Renée Groeneveld (3-0).
Full recap from Day 1:
The sea-filled volcanic crater that is today the Charlotte Amalie harbour is picture postcard famous for its lush green mountains rising to over 1500-feet high. It is this topography that created a continual curve ball of wind shifts that challenged every one of the 12 international teams competing on the first day of racing.
Combined with light 5 to 10 knots of breeze, it was a day where even the smallest mistake or break could mean the difference between winning and losing. By day’s end, with 8 flights in the first full round robin completed, three teams emerged undefeated.
“It was a good day for us. A really good first day. It was warm, sunny and we’re in the lead,” says French skipper Pauline Courtois, who sailed in the 2016 CAMR, won the 2017 WIM Series and is leading this year’s Series going into the Virgin Islands event. “The wind was really crazy, with big shifts, but my crew did an amazing job to keep us in the lead all day.”
Courtois, whose Match In Pink by Normandy Elite Team of Maëlenn Lemaître, Louise Acker and Sophie Faguet, says familiarity with the boat is something she gained during the 2016 event and it served her well today in earning five wins.
“It’s a small, light boat that is good for match racing,” says Courtois, of the IC24 used by the CAMR.
An IC24 is a modification of a J24 innovated by two members of the St. Thomas Yacht Club.
The two other undefeated teams for the day are Sweden’s Team Anna, with skipper Anna Ostling, and the Dutch Match Racing Team helmed by Renee Groeneveld. Groeneveld won the 2016 WIM Series Finals at the CAMR.
The USA’s Morgan Collins also sailed in this event in 2016. She found past experience aboard an IC24 and sailing in the Charlotte Amalie harbor a benefit.
“I like the boat. It’s quick to respond. I also like to sail in offshore breeze in shifty conditions and that’s what we had in the harbor. Knowing the racing area, especially the start and tricky area near the sea wall, is an advantage. Basically, our goal was to get the boat moving well as a team and build our speed,” says Collins, who is the assistant sailing coach at Old Dominion University (ODU), in Norfolk, Virginia.
One of Collins crew, Bridget Groble, is a current student and member of the ODU sailing team. Groble is using the WIM Series Finale at the CAMR to gain valuable experience for collegiate level match racing. Cara Vavolotis and Shannon Wilkins are the two other crew members on Collins’ Caribbean Wind Racing team. The team finished the day with one win and four losses.
Yet another 2016 WIM Series Finale at the CAMR veterans is Sweden’s Linnea Floser, who this year is competing with her Peregrine team of Hanna Ericksson, Sarah Ragle and Ann Johnson.
“The winds were definitely shiftier than we are use too and we had several close matches. The goal was not to make any big mistakes and capitalize on the small details to go faster. We won our last match of the day and I think what helped was a learning curve, trying crew in different positions and getting more speed upwind. With those lessons learned, we’ll be a more dangerous team to beat tomorrow,” says Floser, who started match racing career in 2015 and literally warmed up for this event by spending a few days earlier snorkeling on the neighboring island of St. John.
The format will feature a full round robin of all teams followed by knockout quarterfinals for the top 8, then knockout semi-finals, petit-finals and finals. Racing continues tomorrow at 9 a.m. local time.
Racing is planned for November 29-December 2.
Standings after 8 Flights in the First Full Round Robin
1. Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 5-0
2. Anna Östling, Team Anna, SWE, 3-0
2. Renée Groeneveld, Dutch Match Racing Team, NED, 3-0
4. Margot Vennin, Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 4-1
5. Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist Match Racing, SWE, 2-1
6. Octavia Owen, Athena Racing, GBR, 3-2
7. Margot Riou, APCC Women Sailing Team , FRA, 1-2
8. Linnea Floser, Peregrine Racing, SWE, 1-4
8. Helena Nielsen, Team Nielsen, SWE, 1-4
8. Morgan Collins, Caribbean Wind Racing, USA, 1-4
11. Sanna Mattsson, Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team, SWE, 0-3
11. Janel Zarkowsky, Team As One, USA, 0-3
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)
2018 WIM Series Results (after 4 of 5 events):
1. Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, Pauline Courtois – FRA, 87
2. Team Kattnakken, Trine Palludan / Henriette Koch – DEN, 85
3. L2 Match Racing Team, Marinella Laaksonen – FIN, 56
4. Swiss Women Match Racing Team, Alexa Bezel – SUI, 46
5. Mermaid Sailing Team / New Sweden Match Racing Team, Claire Leroy – FRA, 41
6. Team Bergqvist Match Racing, Johanna Bergqvist – SWE, 40
7. Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team, Margot Vennin – FRA, 33
8. Team Mac, Lucy Macgregor – GBR, 25
9. ProKaTeam Sailing Team, Ekaterina Kochkina – RUS, 24
10. Team Sköna Vibbisar, Antonia Degerlund – FIN, 24
11. ChicaCER, Laurane Mettraux – SUI, 22
12. APCC Women Sailing Team, Margot Riou – FRA, 21
13. Team Anna, Anna Östling – SWE, 20
14. Team BAAM!, Allie Blecher – USA, 16
15. Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team, Sanna Mattsson – SWE, 16
16. Stockholm Match Racing Team, Sanna Häger – SWE, 15
17. Women On Water, Henriette Koch – DEN, 14
18. Peregrine Racing, Linnea Floser / Hanna Ericksson – SWE, 13
19. BERGAUF Sailing Team, Milena Laverycheva – RUS, 12
20. NZ Match, Celia Willison – NZL, 12
21. Athena Racing, Octavia Owen – GBR, 11
22. BornToSail, Alexandra Martynova – RUS, 10
23. Team Skogman, Jassi Skogman – FIN, 8
24. Dutch Match Racing Team, Renée Groeneveld – NED, 0
24. Team Nielsen, Helena Nielsen – SWE, 0
24. As One, Janel Zarkowsky – USA, 0
24. Caribbean Wind Racing, Morgan Collins – USA, 0
Source: WIM Series