Gothenburg, Sweden will host the ISAF Women’s Match Racing Worlds from 26-30 June 2012 in what will be the last big test for the Women’s Olympic teams ahead of London 2012.
Sixteen of the world’s top 25 teams will take to the waters in Gothenburg with the 12 teams selected to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing amongst those who have been named.
Four further crews with 11 Women’s Match Racing Worlds appearances amongst them will also take to the water providing competition for the Olympic and World Championship hopefuls, as well as looking to stir up the competition themselves.
As if World Championship glory wasn’t enough the 16 teams will also fight for a share of the 400,000SEK prize money on offer.
2011 World Champion Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) will be one of the favourites in Sweden having held the top spot in the Women’s Match Racing Rankings since 7 September 2011. The American comprehensively defeated Lucy Macgregor (GBR) 4-0 in the final in Perth, Australia and has since gone on to notch up three regatta victories and a third place finish in five regattas sailed in this year.
Tunnicliffe, 2011 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, came through a tough London 2012 qualification regatta where she defeated compatriot Sally Barkow in the final. Barkow, ranked World #5, will be in Sweden aiming to gain some form of redemption as well as attempting to regain the title she won in Annapolis, USA in 2004 and Hamilton, Bermuda in 2005.
Macgregor won gold at US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR, the second of seven ISAF Sailing World Cup Regattas, in January 2012 but has since had a lull in form. At three regattas since then Macgregor has finished outside of the podium and will have her eye on a top three finish in Sweden to reaffirm her status as one of the favourites for Olympic gold.
Australia’s Olivia Price is set to be the youngest match racing competitor at London 2012 but nonetheless she is finding form at the right time. Price defeated Claire Leroy (FRA) in the final at Skandia Sail for Gold, the penultimate ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta, showing that she will be one to watch not only in Gothenburg but also at London 2012.
Leroy, 2007 and 2008 Women’s Match Racing Champion, has finished second on three occasions throughout 2012 and will no doubt want to stop the trend in Gothenburg.
Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) and Silja Lehtinen (FIN) will also be two of the Olympic hopefuls aiming to put in a good performance ahead of the games.
Anna Claire Le Berre (FRA), Camilla Ulrikkeholm (DEN), Julie Bossard (FRA) and Silke Hahlbrock (GER) are the skippers who will be missing out on London 2012.
Racing begins on Tuesday 26 June with the 16 teams split into two groups. The top four from each group will advance to the Gold group where they will fight for one of the top four spots to progress to the semi-final and then final.
Competing Skippers By ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Ranking
1. Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
2. Lucy Macgregor (GBR)
3. Claire Leroy (FRA)
4. Ekaterina Skudina (RUS)
5. Sally Barkow (USA)
6. Olivia Price (AUS)
8. Tamara Echegoyen (ESP)
9. Silja Lehtinen (FIN)
10. Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA)
13. Camilla Ulrikkeholm (DEN)
14. Mandy Mulder (NED)
15. Julie Bossard (FRA)
19. Rita Goncalves (POR)
20. Silke Hahlbrock (GER)
22. Renee Groeneveld (POR)
25. Anna Kjellberg (SWE)
ISAF Women’s Match Racing Worlds Microsite: www.sailing.org/womensmatchworlds.php
Event Website: /www.gkss.se/wmrwc
A Fantastic First Day
Tuesday June 26 was a fabulous start for the Worlds!
-Fantastic sailing with tight, tough matches right from the start. Wonderful weather; sun and the wind we wanted, northerly – northwesterly that increased during the day, said the principal race officer Annika Ekman.
The matches in group A went without hitches. Anna Tunnicliffe (USA),Ekaterina Skudina (RUS), Sally Barkow (USA) and Olivia Price (AUS) actually won all their matches; leaving Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA), Mandy Mulder (NED), Julie Bossard (FRA) and Anna Kjellberg (SWE) with only losses.
Group B had more varied results. After three flights only Claire Leroy (FRA) and Silja Lehtinen (FIN) had won all their matches. Lucy Macgregor (GBR) and Renée Groeneveld (NED) won two each. Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) and Rita Gonçalves (POR) each got one win and Silke Hahlbrook (GER) lost all three matches.
June 27, 2012
Tough, Tight and Terrific Matches
The remaining 3 flights in Group A were sailed in super conditions.
A steady wind of around 14 knots that changed back and forth from westerly to northwesterly, made the volunteers in the buoy boats work hard changing the windward mark time and again. All the matches were tight and exciting but the most nailbiting one was the last between Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) deciding which crew would win Group A with 7 matches out of 7. Anna Tunnicliffe came out on top, so the four crews qualified for the Round Robin Gold on Friday in Group A are: Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) 7, Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) 6, Olivia Price (AUS) 5 and Sally Barkow (USA) 4. The other four crews sail the Round Robin Silver for places 9 to 16 tomorrow.
June 29, 2012
Silver Round Robin Results Decided
Julie Bossard (FRA) came out on top in the silver group at the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden as results 9th to 16th were decided.
It was another sunny day in Gothenburg that started off with a light wind, 6 knots W-SW, that increased slightly to 8-9 knots.
The matches were tight despite the light winds and at the lunch break, after four flights, the wins were evenly distributed. After lunch and boat change there was a slightly stronger wind but before the last and decisive flight the course was changed about 20° southwards with a decreasing wind.
Julie Bossard (FRA) went on to win the Round Robin Silver with six wins, only losing one match against the other Frenchwoman Anne-Claire Le Berre, who came second with five wins.
"The first day we lost four matches, and knowing that we wouldn't qualify we lost heart and didn't sail well day two either. Today the light winds suited us better and we are really happy with our performance," said Julie Bossard.
9. Julie Bossard (FRA)
10. Anne Claire Le Berre (FRA)
11. Mandy Mulder (NED)
12. Tamara Echegoyen (ESP)
13. Rita Goncalves (POR)
14. Anna Kjellberg (SWE)
15. Camilla Ulrikkeholm (DEN)
16. Silke Hahlbrock (GER)
June 30, 2012
Challenging Conditions Test Women's Match Racers
A strong, gusty southeasterly wind ranging from 18 - 22 knots tested the Gold Group sailors on the penultimate day of the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.
All the flights were wonderfully tight with lots of tacking and gybing duels.
After lunch the wind increased to 24 knots with gusts around 30. With a southeasterly, coming from land, the sea stayed pretty flat, which made for some absolutely breath taking downwind legs where the Elliots showed fantastic speed.
As the wind increased further the final three matches were postponed but after an hour delay the semi finalists were decided. Silja Lehtinen (FIN) advanced on top followed by Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) and Sally Barkow (USA) with ClaireLeroy (FRA) taking the final spot.
Results 5-8 were decided with Olivia Price (AUS) in fifth followed by Lucy Macgregor (GBR), Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) and Renee Groeneveld (NED).