Line-up for Women’s Match Racing World Championship
Published on May 29th, 2019
The line-up for the 2019 Women’s Match Racing World Championship is confirmed and includes a list of top ranked teams and former World Championship medallists. The World title will be competed for in conjunction with Lysekil Women’s Match to be held August 6-10 in Lysekil, Sweden.
Lysekil Women’s Match has, since it started in 2004, evolved into the leading international match racing event for women on the circuit.
Among the teams that are entering the event, ten have been invited according to their position on the official world ranking. For skipper Anna Östling, World Champion in 2014 and 2016, the event in Lysekil on her home arena will be a career highlight.
“To prepare for a World Championship in Sweden is very inspiring, it’s going to be the most fun event ever for us,” says Östling who is sailing with Annie Wennergren, Linnéa Wennergren, Marie Berg, and Annika Carlunger. “The line-up is really strong but our goal is clear, we want to win our third gold, and a lot of things have to work perfectly in the team for that to happen. We are doing a lot of training to get comfortable in the Fareast 28 and with gennaker sailing.”
British skipper Lucy Macgregor (GBR) has won the last two World Championship titles in 2017 and 2018 and also won the gold back in 2010. She will enter Lysekil Women’s Match with Annie Lush, Kate Macgregor, Mary Rook, and Bethan Carden.
“I am lucky to have a fantastic crew with me this year for the World Championship, I have two of the same crew as I won with last year, Annie and Kate and the three of us also won the 2010 World Championship with Mary,” notes Macgregor. “In addition I have recently returned from the Argo Gold Cup in Bermuda where we finished fourth with Bethan as part of the team, it’s these girls that give us an advantage.”
Macgregor also won the inaugural Women’s International Match Racing Series in 2013, which had the final event in Lysekil.
”It has been far too long since I raced in Lysekil,” added Macgregor. “In my first few years of Match Racing it was always one of our main events of the year, fun boats, great racing and a fantastic atmosphere. I am looking forward to experiencing the same this year.”
Pauline Courtois is the current number one on the World Ranking and the French skipper won Lysekil Women’s Match as well as the WIM Racing Series in 2018.
”Our goal is of course to win again,” states Courtois. “It’s an advantage to have sailed on the arena before but each regatta is different so we will just try to do our best and have fun on the water. The line-up is awesome. We are very excited to sail against the best women’s match racers especially this year with a lot of former world number ones and world medallists.”
Courtois’ team includes Maëlenn Lemaitre, Louise Acker, Nathalie Corson, and Sophie Faguet.
Trine Palludan (DEN) took bronze in last year’s World Championship in a petit finale against Alexa Bezel (SUI). Marinella Laaksonen (FIN) and French skipper Margot Vennin are currently ranked fifth and seventh in the world. Nicole Breault (USA) will enter the regatta after a number of strong results in American events, including a second place finish at the recent World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final held out of the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, USA.
Renee Groeneveld from the Netherlands has both silver and a bronze from previous World Championships. Of the Swedish teams, Johanna Bergqvist, 22, has the youngest crew in the line-up and they are currently ranked fourth in the world.
In May, a qualifying event was raced in Gothenburg where the winning team as well as the best Swedish team was awarded a ticket to Lysekil Women’s Match. Claire Leroy, a double World Champion won the final and Marie Björling and her team ended up third and the best Swedish team in the regatta. Marie Björling raced in Lysekil in 2009 and won silver when the event was also the official World Championship.
Skipper line-up for the Women’s Match Racing World Championship 2019:
(Skipper, ranking, nationality)
Pauline Courtois, 1, (FRA)
Trine Palludan, 2, (DEN)
Anna Östling, 3, (SWE)
Johanna Bergqvist, 4, (SWE)
Marinella Laaksonen, 5, (FIN)
Nicole Breault, 6, (USA)
Margot Vennin, 7, (FRA)
Alexa Bezel, 8, (SUI)
Lucy Macgregor, 10, (GBR) – Defending World Champion
Renée Groeneveld, 13, (NED)
Claire Leroy, 15, (FRA)
Marie Björling, 36, (SWE)
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.
In 2018, 149 sailors representing 28 teams from 10 countries have competed in WIM Series events, with 10 new skippers and 44 new sailors competing in the sixth season.
2019 WIM Series Schedule:*
June 6-9 – Normandie Match Cup 2019 – Le Havre, France
August 6-10 – Women’s Match Racing World Championship (Lysekil Women’s Match) – Lysekil, Sweden
* More events TBA
Source: Lysekil Women’s Match