Pauline Courtois repeats as WIM Series champion
Published on December 2nd, 2018
St Thomas, USVI (December 2, 2018) – Maintaining control, rather than having to regain control, is a strategy that earned France’s Pauline Courtois and her Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team of Maëlenn Lemaître, Louise Acker and Sophie Faguet first place at the 2018 Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) Finale, hosted at the Carlos Aguilar Match Race (CAMR).
This spirit of determination was evident during the first two days of the November 29 to December 2 event when Courtois’ team went nearly undefeated in the round robin right through the last race in the finals when Courtois led the start to triumph 3-1 over Sweden’s Anna Östling.
“We won all of our first matches in the round robin except two,” say Courtois, whose losses were to round robin winner, Sweden’s Johanna Bergqvist and France’s Margot Riou. “Both of those were very close matches with just a small mistake. After that, we were determined to put everything we had into the knock-out rounds to win.”
True to plan, Courtois and her team sailed through the quarter final matches against the USA’s Janel Zarkowsky winning 3-0. Then, they bested the Netherlands Renée Groeneveldin the semi-finals also with a solid 3-0 victory. This successful streak stopped in the first-to-three-win finals when Östling earned the first match point.
“I knew before the finals that it was important to stay focused, and if we lost one of the matches, to concentrate on those still upcoming. Conditions were challenging too. Winds were very strong and shifty. These two things made it very difficult on the water,” says Courtois, who came back to win the next three matches in a row, the last two by pre-start penalties opponent Östling was unable to clear by the finish line.
“We achieved this with good starts and good boat handling. I have an amazing team. We have sailed together for two years. It is important to have a good team because without them I couldn’t be a good skipper.”
Courtois also credits the team’s sparring partners back home in France. This is skipper Maxime Mesnil and his Match in Black by Normandy Elite team who this past summer won the French Open of Match Racing.
In addition to Courtois’ championing the WIM Series Finale at the CAMR, her Match in Pink by Normandy Elite team also won this year’s five-race WIM Series. This makes Courtois’ the only team to best two back-to-back WIM Series titles, in 2017 and now 2018.
Meanwhile, while Östling was disappointed in not winning the WIM Series Finale at the CAMR, she sees the well-placed finish as an excellent platform for the future. This year, Östling and her Team Anna crew of Anna Holmdahl White, Linnéa Wennergren and Annika Carlunger only competed in two WIM Series events following the birth of Ostling’s youngest child in March.
“Courtois really nailed the starts and the shifts. Even though we wanted more, we are still happy. After all, we had a long break earlier this year and I look at this event as a good start for next season,” says Östling.
Twelve teams of the some of the best women’s match racing in the world, representing France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA, participated in the 2018 WIM Series Finale at the CAMR.
Over US $10,000 was awarded in cash prizes to the teams.
Race officials included the USA’s Darcy Cook as Principal Race Officer, Finland’s Chief Umpire Mats Bjorklund, and umpires Sweden’s Tina Ortendahl, the USA’s Kathy Lindgren, Christine Accettella and Charlie Arms; and the USVI’s Ruth Miller and Pat Bailey.
“It’s great to be back to host this event after going through the hurricanes last year,” says the USVI’s Verian Aguilar, co-director and co-founder with Bill Canfield. “It’s so special too that so many teams wanted to come back. We had an excellent level of competition, great conditions and most importantly lots of fun.”
Final Standings – 2018 Carlos Aguilar Match Race:
1. Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA – $2,500
2. Anna Östling, Team Anna, SWE – $2,000
3. Renée Groeneveld, Dutch Match Racing Team, NED – $1,500
4. Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist Match Racing, SWE – $1,200
5. Margot Riou, APCC Women Sailing Team , FRA – $1,000
6. Margot Vennin, Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team, FRA – $900
7. Octavia Owen, Athena Racing, GBR – $800
8. Janel Zarkowsky, As One, USA – $700
9. Linnea Floser, Peregrine Racing, SWE – $500
10. Morgan Collins, Caribbean Wind Racing, USA – $400
11. Sanna Mattsson, Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team, SWE – $300
12. Helena Nielsen, Team Nielsen, SWE – $200
Results in the final:
Pauline Courtois, FRA – Anna Östling, SWE 3 – 1
Results in the petit final:
Johanna Bergqvist, SWE – Renée Groeneveld, NED 0 – 2
Results in the semi-finals:
Pauline Courtois, FRA – Renée Groeneveld, NED 3 – 0
Johanna Bergqvist, SWE – Anna Östling, SWE 1 – 3
Results in the quarter-finals:
Renée Groeneveld, NED – Margot Riou, FRA 3 – 0
Anna Östling, SWE – Margot Vennin, FRA 3 – 0
Pauline Courtois, FRA – Janel Zarkowsky, USA 3 – 0
Johanna Bergqvist, SWE – Octavia Owen, GBR 3 – 0
Consolation Round Robin:
9. Linnea Floser, Peregrine Racing, SWE, 3-0
10. Morgan Collins, Caribbean Wind Racing, USA, 2-1
11. Sanna Mattsson, Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team, SWE, 1-2
12. Helena Nielsen, Team Nielsen, SWE, 0-3
Standings after Stage One Round Robin:
1. Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist Match Racing, SWE, 10-1
2. Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 9-2
3. Anna Östling, Team Anna, SWE, 8-3
4. Renée Groeneveld, Dutch Match Racing Team, NED, 8-3
5. Margot Riou, APCC Women Sailing Team , FRA, 7-4
6. Margot Vennin, Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 6-5
7. Octavia Owen, Athena Racing, GBR, 5-6
8. Janel Zarkowsky, As One, USA, 4-7
9. Linnea Floser, Peregrine Racing, SWE, 3-8
10. Morgan Collins, Caribbean Wind Racing, USA, 3-8
11. Helena Nielsen, Team Nielsen, SWE, 2-9
12. Sanna Mattsson, Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team, SWE, 1-10
Racing was scheduled on November 29-December 2.
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 Final Standings:
1. Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, Pauline Courtois – FRA, 92
2. Team Kattnakken, Trine Palludan / Henriette Koch – DEN, 85
3. Team Bergqvist Match Racing, Johanna Bergqvist – SWE, 58
4. L2 Match Racing Team, Marinella Laaksonen – FIN, 56
5. Swiss Women Match Racing Team, Alexa Bezel – SUI, 46
6. Team Anna, Anna Östling – SWE, 42
7. Mermaid Sailing Team / New Sweden Match Racing Team, Claire Leroy – FRA, 41
8. Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team, Margot Vennin – FRA, 40
9. APCC Women Sailing Team, Margot Riou – FRA, 37
10. Team Mac, Lucy Macgregor – GBR, 25
11. ProKaTeam Sailing Team, Ekaterina Kochkina – RUS, 24
12. Team Sköna Vibbisar, Antonia Degerlund – FIN, 24
13. Athena Racing, Octavia Owen – GBR, 23
14. ChicaCER, Laurane Mettraux – SUI, 22
15. Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team, Sanna Mattsson – SWE, 22
16. Peregrine Racing, Linnea Floser / Hanna Ericksson – SWE, 21
17. Dutch Match Racing Team, Renée Groeneveld – NED, 20
18. Team BAAM!, Allie Blecher – USA, 16
19. Stockholm Match Racing Team, Sanna Häger – SWE, 15
20. Women On Water, Henriette Koch – DEN, 14
21. BERGAUF Sailing Team, Milena Laverycheva – RUS, 12
22. NZ Match, Celia Willison – NZL, 12
23. As One, Janel Zarkowsky – USA, 10
24. BornToSail, Alexandra Martynova – RUS, 10
25. Team Skogman, Jassi Skogman – FIN, 8
26. Caribbean Wind Racing, Morgan Collins – USA, 7
27. Team Nielsen, Helena Nielsen – SWE, 5
Source: WIM Series