New Zealand team wins Casa Vela Cup
Published on April 28th, 2023
San Francisco, CA (April 28, 2023) – Celia Willison and the Edge Women’s Match Team from New Zealand secured a hard-fought victory today at the inaugural all-women Casa Vela Cup hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club (April 25-28), the opening stage of the 2023 Women’s World Match Racing Tour. Willison and team defeated Sweden’s Anna Östling and the Wings Team 3-1 in the final.
The Edge Women’s Match Team of Celia Willison, Alison Kent, Charlotte Porter and Serena Woodall had a tough route to the final after first having to defeat close friends and fellow Kiwis Megan Thomson/2.0 Racing Team in the semi-finals.
Starting the day at 1-1 in their semis match, Thomson came out strong to take a 2-1 advantage over Willison, but Thomson’s point deduction from yesterday opened the door for Willison to claw back two straight wins and find their way to the final.
In the other semi-final, the surprise of the day was the Swedish come-from-behind victory against local favourite Nicole Breault/ Vela Racing putting Breault and team out of contention for the Casa Vela Cup title as the Swedes secured a 3-2 win.
In the Final, the Swedish team was quick out of the blocks and led the first race wire-to-wire to a 1-0 start. Looking confident in race 2, Willison found better pressure to force Östling into a downwind broach just before the finish, evening the score at 1-1.
In Race 3, both teams hugged the shoreline for relief from the current, with a fierce tacking battle and penalties aplenty. But it was Willison and crew that held their calm and won the day clinching a 3-1 victory over the Swedish team.
“We had great fun today,” added Willison, “huge shout out to Megan Thomson for giving us a hard time in the semis, and to Anna and team in the final, that was exhausting but it was awesome, great match racing and what a win!”
The 2023 Women’s World Match Racing Tour is a 4-event circuit underway in the USA before concluding in Europe. The entrants are set for the first two events in San Francisco and Annapolis, with Anna Östling (SWE) leading an international contingent that will face off against a USA contingent that includes Allie Blecher, Nicole Breault, and Janel Zarkowsky.
Tour details – Facebook – Leaderboard – Results
2023 Women’s World Match Racing Tour
April 24-28 – Casa Vela Cup (J/22) – San Francisco, USA
April 30-May 4 – Santa Maria Cup (J/22) – Annapolis, USA
May 26-29 – Normandy Match Cup (First 7.5) – Le Havre, FRA
September 21-24 – KDY Women’s Match Race (DS37) – Copenhagen, DEN