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Skipper Taylor Canfield and Team Stars+Stripes – Mike Buckley, Victor Diaz de Leon, Mike Menninger and Eric Shampain – won the 70th Bermuda Gold Cup and 2020 Open Match Racing World Championship with a penalty-marred victory over Ian Williams’s Team GAC Pindar writes Sean McNeill

Canfield and crew won three of the four races in winds ranging from 12 to 20 knots on Hamilton Harbour. They showed grit and determination in clawing back from deficits and a killer’s instinct in laying penalties on Williams and crew. They also showed great boatspeed when free and clear on the racecourse.

For Canfield, the victory is his third at the Bermuda Gold Cup (2012, ’18) and second Open Match Racing World Championship (2013).

“It’s unbelievable. I can’t thank my team enough,” said Canfield. “I put us in a lot of tough spots this week and they got us out of almost every one of them. Thanks to Bermuda for getting us here. We’re excited to be out racing again, and to come away with a win is unbelievable. We’re thrilled.”

Canfield and crew accepted the King Edward VII Gold Cup, the sterling silver World Match Tour Championship trophy and the $30,000 winner’s check of the $100,000 prize purse.

Williams and Team GAC Pindar – Christian Kamp, Gerry Mitchell and Richard Sydenham – placed second and won $15,000. Williams, the two-time Gold Cup champion and six-time Open Worlds champion took the loss in stride, but was rueful of the umpire’s calls, whose decisions had an impact on the outcome.

“It’s a lot about styles,” Williams said. “We try to keep the umpires out of the game and (Canfield) likes to bring them into it, and it worked for him today.”

New Zealander Phil Robertson and his China One Ningbo crew – Bradley Farrand, Peter Nicholas, Johanna Thiringer and James Williamson – placed third overall and earned $12,000 after defeating Jeppe Borch’s Borch Racing Team from Denmark in the Petite Final.

At the awards ceremony after racing, dignitaries such as the Governor of Bermuda, John Rankin, Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Commodore David Benevides, the President and CEO of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, Dr. William P. Curry, and the CEO of Bermuda Tourism, Glenn Jones, all spoke of how Bermuda has worked to contain and minimize the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone associated with the regatta was tested multiple times while on the island, and not one person failed the tests.

“We were able to prove to the world that we can host a professional sporting event safely and responsibly without sacrificing the action on the water,” said Jones.

They were on hand to witness the awarding of the Jordy Walker Trophy, recognizing the most improved young match race sailor at the Bermuda Gold Cup, to 23-year-old Borch. Borch’s crew, including August de la Cour, Sebastian Pieters and Nikolai Rasmussen, placed fourth overall and won $11,000 in their first Grade 1 match racing regatta.

The Wedgwood Heritage Trophy, awarded in honour of Lord Piers Wedgwood, is presented to the sailor or support staff who best represents the traditional values and history of sailing. This year the trophy was presented to Tim Patton, who’s barge is a mainstay of the Bermuda Gold Cup. Asked for comment Patton replied, “When I’m done here, I’m taking the rest of the day off.”

From Williams’s perspective, the key point in the regatta was the pre-start of Race 2. Williams and Canfield had worked their way into the spectator boat crowd outside the pin end of the start line. Canfield was hounding Williams and got a penalty on him.

Canfield peeled off for a bit and sailed back towards the line and Williams began to follow. Canfield then decided to go back for another try at a penalty. Williams, on port, attempted to wipe Canfield by sailing below the commentary boat. Canfield, holding starboard, appeared to try and put his bow between the commentary boat and Williams. But his bow seemed to hit Williams's at about the traveller and spun Williams bow into the commentary boat.

The big collision in Race 2 was the critical moment of the World Match Racing ChampionshipsThe big collision in Race 2 was the critical moment of the World Match Racing Championships Photo: Charles Anderson
Damage was done to the bow of both boats as well as the commentary boat. Williams, who’d lost the first race, saw that as the turning point in the series. Not only did he receive a second penalty from the umpires, but he later was assessed a penalty of .75 points, which put him down 2-(-.75) after two races. That meant that he would have to win four consecutive races in order to win the championship.

“The big collision in Race 2 was the critical moment,” said Williams. “Not only was it a race win-loss on the penalty call, but also a lot of points on the collision. It’s essentially a 4-point delta. It was supercritical. We’re not happy with it but you have to suck these things up.”

“The guys onboard were telling me to back off. I saw an opportunity and went for it,” said Canfield. “I hate hitting boats, but felt like there was no way to avoid it. He got another penalty and a three-quarter point penalty. Everyone makes mistakes and this time he made the mistake.”

The King Edward VII Gold Cup, awarded to the winner of the Bermuda Gold Cup, is the oldest trophy in the world for competition involving one-design yachts. First presented in 1907 by King Edward VII at the Tri-Centenary Regatta at Jamestown, Va., honouring the 300th anniversary of the first permanent colony in America, the trophy is the only King’s Cup ever to be offered for competition in the United States which could be won outright.

The Bermuda Gold Cup, an event of the World Match Racing Tour, is presented by Argo Group in benefit of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), an independent US non-profit scientific research and educational organization based in Bermuda. For over 100 years BIOS-based researchers and visiting scientists have worked to explore the ocean and address important local and global environmental issues, including climate change, coral reef resilience, and environmental monitoring. As a Bermuda registered charity, BIOS is committed to providing local students with educational programs that build a foundation for an appreciation of Bermuda’s marine environment, as well as future careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

70th Bermuda Gold Cup/2020 Open Match Racing World Championship Final Standings

1. Taylor Canfield (31, Miami, USA) – Team Stars+Stripes, 13-7, $30,000
Crew: Mike Buckley, Victor Diaz de Leon, Mike Menninger, Eric Shampain
2. Ian Williams (43, Lymington, England) – Team GAC Pindar, 13-6, $15,000
Crew: Christian Kamp, Gerry Mitchell, Richard Sydenham
3. Phil Robertson (33, Auckland, New Zealand) – China One Ningbo, 13-5, $12,000
Crew: Bradley Farrand, Peter Nicholas, Johanna Thiringer, James Williamson
4. Jeppe Borch (23, Copenhagen, Denmark) – Borch Racing Team, 14-11, $11,000
Crew: August de la Cour, Seabastian Pieters, Nikolai Rasmussen
5. Chris Poole (31, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA) – Riptide Racing, 8-4, $8,000
Crew: Sam Barron-Fox, Matthew Cornwell, Chris Draper
6. Eric Monnin (45, Immensee, Switzerland) – Capvis Swiss Match Racing Team, 7-5, $8,000
Crew: Simon Brügger, Hugo Feydit, Mathieu Renault, Ute Wagner
7. Torvar Mirsky (34, Sydney, Australia) – Mirsky Racing Team, 6-4, $8,000
Crew: Nick Blackman, Kinley Fowler, Mal Parker
8. Johnie Berntsson (48, Stenungsund, Sweden) – Berntsson Sailing Team, 10-8, $8,000
Crew: Herman Andersson, Anders Dahlsjö, Eric Malmberg
9. Nicklas Dackhammar (30, Gothenburg, Sweden) – Essiq Racing Team, 8-6
Crew: Nils Bjekås, Björn Lundgren, Jakob Wilson
10. Anna Östling (36, Lerum, Sweden) – Team WINGS, 5-9
Crew: Julia Lines, Annie Wennergren, Linnea Wennergren, Janel Zarkowsky
11. Matthew Whitfield (23, Plymouth, England) – Dragon Racing Team, 4-10
Crew: Quentin Bes-Green, Max Brennan, Carson Crain
12. Lance Fraser (27, Toronto, Canada) – Team RCYC, 5-9
Crew: Andrew McTavish, Rob Scrivenor, Katrina Williams
13. Jelmer van Beek (25, The Hague, Netherlands) – Team Dutch Wave, 4-10
Crew: Robin Jacobs, Jorden van Rooijen, Rutger Vos
14. Mati Sepp (52, Tallinn, Estonia) – Gleam Energy Sailing Team, 4-10
Crew: Ago Rebane, Karl Tagu, Aleksei Zigadlo
15. Kelsey Durham (26, Smiths, Bermuda) – Triangle Racing Team, 0-7
Crew: Alex Ellis, Charlie Lalumiere, Edward Lebens
16. Pauline Courtois (31, Brest, France) – Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, 0-7
Crew: Cédric Chateau, Thierry Douillard, Sophie Faguet, Maelenn Lemaitre

Published in Racing
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Global sailing's focus of attention this week is on Bermuda, where the 70th Annual Bermuda Gold Cup and 2020 Open Match Racing World Championship is underway with GBR's Ian Williams the defending title-holder against fifteen other top drivers, Williams having won the 2019 final from Sweden's Johnie Berntsson.

Those who followed the 2019 Gold Cup may not recall it as having quite the same razzmatazz as the current event. But that's because, thanks to the international pandemic shutdown, Bermuda's position of natural isolation as a sunny little mid-ocean archipelago has enabled it to achieve an acceptable level of quarantine. Thus as the other national events in the World Match Racing Series were forced to cancel, the canny Bermudans worked carefully to having everything in place to make their end-of-October event the only show in town.

Thus they've taken aboard generous sponsorship from the Bermudan Tourism authorities, which would otherwise be having a very thin year, and for good measure they've beefed out the title to make it the 2020 Open Match Racing World Championship while they're at it, for who's to argue?

The National YC's flagship in San Diego. Johnny Smullen's classically-restored International One Design Altair slipping effortlessly along in Californian watersThe National YC's flagship in San Diego. Johnny Smullen's classically-restored International One Design Altair slipping effortlessly along in Californian waters

Yet although for such an event you might expected very special boats – maybe even the pace-setting Mark Mills-designed ILC Melges 37 – they're sticking with the tried and trusted GRP versions of the 33ft 1936-designed International One Design, which was originally commissioned by American sailing legend Cornelius Shields from Norwegian designer and builder Bjarne Aas of Fredrikstad south of Oslo.

Johnny Smullen

Between them, they created a classic which caught on in many places including Bermuda, and it was very much the premier One Design keelboat fleet there when the Gold Cup for match-racing was inaugurated in 1950. Over the years, they may have introduced a GRP version, but basically, the top match-racing stars are still sailing a boat which manoeuvres slowly but certainly, and is well-behaved in every way while providing a miniature version of America's Cup racing when it was sailed in 12 Metres, which many would reckon were the golden years of that particular stellar-fest.

As we write, the Gold Cup 2020 is going full blast on Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda, with the numbers gradually being whittled down towards the weekend's final. But meanwhile, it's timely to recall a real if extended link to the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, ancestral club of Johnny Smullen, master shipwright and the man-to-go-to around boats in San Diego in California.

When America's Cup legend Dennis Conner was at the most active stage of his classic boat passion, Johnny Smullen was his personal shipwright and boat-restorer. But Johnny meanwhile had his own enthusiasms, and one of them was for the classic wooden-built International One Design. He secured one of them, Altair, and restored her to better-than-new condition, such that she is now one of the ornaments of San Diego Harbour, sailed and raced with a reverence and respect which is a whole world away from the rough and tumble of the Gold Cup in Bermuda.

Johnny Smullen at the helm of his IOD Altair.A boat which looks good from any angle – a very contented Johnny Smullen at the helm of his IOD Altair

Cork Harbour linkage

And if you would seek a Cork Harbour link to the current Bermuda contest, cast your mind back to the International 8 Metre If, brought originally to Cork Harbour by Aylmer Hall, and then owned for many years - after Hall had bought the 12 Metre Flica – by Tom Crosbie. If was not only a classic Bjarn Aas design and build in the IOD style, but her role as Altair's big sister was further reinforced by her topsides being painted the same discerning shade of blue.

Tom Crosbie's International 8 Metre IfLet's hear it for Cork Harbour. Tom Crosbie's International 8 Metre If, making smooth progress off the Cobh waterfront in the early 1960s, is very much Altair's big sister. Photo: Pascal Roce

Published in National YC

The National Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour is set to run the first of their 'Covid Friendly' match racing events this weekend. Eight Under 25 teams will battle it out in the club's fleet of four Elliott Six-Metre sportsboats.

As the first event of its kind, the aim is to increase the interest and involvement of youth sailors in match racing.

The NYC Match Racing scene kicked off last October after the club purchased the sportsboats.

The racing format will consist of two sessions, morning and afternoon with finals in the evening. Each session will have four teams of three sailors each that are counted as their own pod.

Match Racing in the Elliott Six-Metres off Dun LaoghaireMatch Racing in the Elliott Six-Metres off Dun Laoghaire

The top two teams from each session will progress to the finals. Teams will race in four boats to avoid changeovers and maintain social distancing.

The boats will also be sanitised before each session. It is great to see such activity happening in the club throughout COVID-19, and every precaution is being taken to ensure the event remains compliant.

The event follows on from the NYC150 Regatta last week that attracted a record turnout on Dublin Bay this season.

Published in National YC

Howth Yacht Club's Diana Kissane, Jane Butler, Clara Hynes, Tara Flood and Jennifer Andreasson were tenth overall at the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race at the weekend. As Afloat.ie reported previously it means the sole Irish competitors in the Womens International Series now lie 15th from 25 after four events out of five sailed. 

As one of the most experienced match racing skippers in the world, Australian Katie Spithill has been to every Busan Cup Women's International Match Race since the inaugural event in 2008, except for the single year she had her daughter. But not until Saturday the 29th of October 2016 did she go all the way through to winning in Korea; over previous two-time

In Korea, the waters just outside the beautiful Haeundae Beach of Korean city Busan offered the most challenging of sailing conditions, as the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race came down the wire with semi finals and final Saturday. In incredibly shifty, puffy and gusty winds, Spithill won her semi 3 - 1 over round-robin winner Claire Leroy.

Previous double World Champion and 2007 World Sailor of the Year, Claire Leroy, defeated Ostling 2 – 0 to take the petite final

Results in the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race, the 4th and penultimate event of the 2016 WIM Series are below:

1. Katie Spithill, Alessandra Angelini, Jessica Eastwell, Kate Lathouras and Stacey Jackson, AUS, 25 points
2. Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush, Mariana Lobato, Elodie Mettraux and Mary Rook, GBR, 22
3. Claire Leroy, Marie Riou, Claire Pruvot, Julie Gerecht and Morgane Gautier, FRA, 20
4. Anna Ostling, Hanna Klinga, Linnea Wennergren, Marie Berg and Annika Carlunger, SWE, 18
5. Trine Palludan, Lea Richter Vogelius, Josefine Boel Rasmussen, Laerke Ilso Norgaard and Joan Vestergaard Hansen, DEN, 16
6. Stephanie Roble, Maggie Shea, Aimee Famularo, Elizabeth Shaw and Janel Zarkowsky, USA, 14
7. Pauline Courtois, Maelenn Lemaitre, Berenice Delpuech, Sophonie Affagard and Juliette Le Friec, FRA, 12
8. Caroline Sylvan, Malin Holmberg, Anna Norlander, Frida Langenius and My Karlsten Sfiris, SWE, 10
9. Renee Groeneveld, Annemieke Bes, Lobke Berkhout, Claire Blom and Marcelien de Koning, NED, 8
10. Diana Kissane, Jane Butler, Clara Hynes, Tara Flood and Jennifer Andreasson, IRL, 7
11. Milly Bennett, Alice Tarnawski, Rosie Lee, Stephanie Doyle, Carrington Brady and Tara Blanc-Ramos, AUS, 6
12. Gyeong Jin Lee, Ji A Kim, Min Ju Kim, Da Eun Yang and Da Som Park, KOR, 5

Results in the final:
Katie Spithill, AUS - Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 3 - 2

Results in the petite final:
Anna Ostling, SWE - Claire Leroy, FRA, 0 - 2

Semi final results:
Katie Spithill, AUS - Claire Leroy, FRA, 3 - 1
Anna Ostling, SWE - Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 0 - 3

Standings in the 2016 WIM Series after four events out of five (skipper, country, WIM Series points):
1. Anna Ostling, SWE, 93
2. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 60
3. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 58
4. Stephanie Roble, USA, 54
5. Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN, 54
6. Renee Groeneveld, NED, 49
7. Katie Spithill, AUS, 25
8. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 22
9. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 22
10. Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, 21
11. Claire Leroy, FRA, 20
12. Lotte Meldgaard, DEN, 18
13. Samantha Norman, NZL, 14
14. Sanna Hager, SWE, 14
15. Diana Kissane, IRL, 14
16. Alexa Bezel, SUI, 12
17. Rikst Dijkstra, NED, 12
18. Nicole Breault, USA, 10
19. Johanna Bergqvist, SWE, 10
20. Antonia Degerlund, FIN, 10
21. Elizabeth Shaw, CAN, 8
22. Susanna Kukkonen FIN, 8
23. Milly Bennett, AUS, 6
24. Gyeong Jin Lee, KOR, 5
25. Sanna Mattsson, SWE, 5

Published in Match Racing

#MatchRacing - Howth Yacht Club's Diana Kissane and crew finished 10th in the first round of the Women's International Match Racing Series in Helsinki on Friday (1 July).

Kissane and crew Lizzy McDowell (Malahide YC), Isabella Morehead (Cork), Ellen Cahill (Mayo) won three of their 11 round-robin contests but it wasn't enough to take them through to the quarter-final knockout stage at the NJK Sailing Center, where the Swedish boat skippered by Anna Östling beat France's Pauline Courtois and crew in two straight races in the final.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the same venue in the Finnish capital is set to host the Women's Match Racing World Championship in 2017.

Published in Match Racing

World Sailing has announced that the NJK Sailing Center, Finland has been selected to host the 2017 Women's Match Racing World Championship.

Renowned for its Match Racing pedigree, the NJK Sailing Center in Helsinki will host the 2017 Women's Match Racing World Championship boasting a sailing arena located close to the city centre providing excellent viewing opportunities for spectators.

Together with The Finnish Sailing and Boating Federation and the Finnish Olympic Committee, NJK runs a training centre for elite sailors and has previously hosted the inaugural Youth Match Racing World Championship in 2014. It is also set to hold the first round of the 2016 Women's International Match Racing Series in June.

Head of Events at World Sailing, Alastair Fox said, "In 2014, NJK was chosen to host the first ever Youth Match Racing World Championship and it was a very successful and well run event. World Sailing is confident the NJK Sailing Center can repeat the same success with the Women's Match Racing World Championship and the close race areas to the capital city will draw in spectators to watch and support the crews."

Chair of the Match Racing Committee, Liz Baylis, said, "The Evaluation Panel had the difficult task of choosing between three excellent bids and Helsinki came out on top. With Finland's rich culture in match racing, including a medal performance in the 2012 Olympics, we expect nothing short of an exceptional regatta with great community support and excellent sailing.”

The 2017 Women's Match Racing World Championship will take place in Finland in a year in which the country celebrates its 100th anniversary of independence.

Applications for the host venue opened in July 2015 with the Evaluation Panel reviewing all received applications. The World Sailing's Board of Directors then endorsed the recommendation made by the Panel.

The selection of the NJK Sailing Center is subject to a successful site visit and satisfactory contractual arrangements.

Dates will be confirmed and released for the regatta in the near future.

Published in Match Racing
Tagged under

#MatchRacing - Kinsale skipper Philip Bendon and team made an impression on the first day of the 19th Match Race Germany in Langenargen yesterday (Thursday 12 May).

Ireland's top ranked match racers Bendon Race Team are currently ranked joint third in the two-day round robin after picking up three wins, as did Nelson Mettraux's Geneva Match Race Team, Dejan Presen's Lumba team, Przemek Tarnacki's Energy Yacht Racing team and Pierre Rhimbault's Matchtogether.

The day was dominated by the favourites Jablonski Racing, the German/Polish entry skippered by Karol Jablonski, and Poland's Lukasz Wosinski-led Delphina Sailing Team, both on four wins out of five heading into the second of five days' racing.

Only the top eight of 12 teams will qualify for the weekend's quarter finals on Lake Constance.

Published in Match Racing

After the success of last year's match racing nationals in Howth Yacht Club last December, organisers say the 2015 event is set to be an exciting event for both competitors and spectators. With the event being hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the championship due to take place within Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the west and east piers will provide viewing of the close, fast paced racing.

Organisers are currently inviting helms and their teams to email in for an invitation request by the 9th of this month. The top 10 skippers will then be invited to enter.

The NOR has been published and can be downloaded below.

 

Published in Match Racing

Ireland's Diana Kissane is competing at the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race in Southern Korea. It was a tough round robin for the Howth Yacht Club sailor who won two of her 11 races that concluded the series for her today. 

The Howth match racer has been on the international circuit racing this season and has already competed at the ISAF Women’s Match Racing Worlds in Middelfart, Denmark in July. Kissane's crew includes Aoife English, Bella Morehead, Jenny Andreasson and Lizzy McDowell.

With three more wins in Friday’s racing in the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, Anne-Claire Le Berre of France went to 10 – 1 and winning the round-robin stage. The fight for the 2015 WIM Series title will now heat up, as World #1, but Series’ runner-up, Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby chose American leader Maggie Shea in the quarters:
“We want to be able to do the job ourselves. Beating Maggie is the only way we can take the WIM Series” the Dane states.
“We had a good race against Camilla in the round-robin, and we’re happy to see her again” Shea replies.

Friday morning saw a short postponement at the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, the fourth and final event of the 2015 WIM Series, as Regatta Director Alfredo Ricci moved the course from just off of Haeundae Beach to an area closer to the Gwangan Bridge. After just a few minutes with the AP flag flying from the committee boat, the starting sequence commenced in 5 – 7 knots of shifty and puffy breeze, which built to 8 – 12 knots at midday. The shoreline skyscrapers also affected the already unsteady wind:
“It wasn’t that difficult today, as we could clearly see the puffs come rolling down the course, read the wind quite easily and adapt to it” Le Berre comments.

The French World #4 won all three of her Friday matches, finishing the day by defeating compatriot Pauline Courtois, who badly needed a win in that last race to qualify for the quarterfinals:
“We must sail our own race and can’t take into account if the opponent is French or not. We want to win the round-robin, to be able to choose ourselves whom to meet in the quarters” Le Berre explains.

Previously undefeated Katie Spithill saw her first two setbacks today, against Ulrikkeholm Klinkby and Dutch Renée Groeneveld, to finish round-robin runner-up on a 9 – 2 score. But the Aussie wasn’t too upset about her lost matches:
“We made a few mistakes, but it’s better to do them now than later on in the regatta. Pretty much we lost those matches already on the starting line, so we’ll need better prestarts” Spithill analyses.
“It’s a new scorecard now. We’re looking forward to the weekend, and we’re excited to get racing tomorrow” she fills in.

Maggie Shea, substituting for regular Epic Racing skipper, World #2 and WIM Series leader Stephanie Roble, had a tough Friday on the Korean waters, adding two losses to her round-robin score, totalling 7 – 4:
“It wasn’t our best day of racing, but we learned a lot. Actually I’m thankful for the close racing and for the situations that occurred, it’ll help us improve for the weekend” the American skipper says.

Especially grateful for the US mistakes is local hope Sung-Eon Choi, who took her first bullet in her home event by defeating Shea & Co:
“We did a very good start and led all the way around the course, to finish about three boat lengths ahead of the Americans. It was a great feeling!” Choi laughs.

Quarterfinals and semis are planned for Saturday, leaving the final races for Sunday. Three skippers can still win the 2015 WIM Series; Roble/Shea, Ulrikkeholm Klinkby and Swede Anna Östling.

Results in the round-robin of the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, the fourth and final event of the 2015 WIM Series (skipper, nationality, wins – losses):

1. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 10 – 1
2. Katie Spithill, AUS, 9 – 2
3. Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN, 8 – 3
4. Maggie Shea (substituting for Stephanie Roble), USA, 7 – 4
5. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 7 – 4
6. Anna Östling, SWE, 6 – 5
7. Renée Groeneveld, NED, 4,5 – 5
8. Denise Lim, SIN, 4 – 7
9. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 4 – 7
10. Milly Bennett, AUS, 3 – 8
11. Diana Kissane, IRL, 2 – 9
12. Sung Eun Choi, KOR, 1 – 10

Published in Match Racing

#matchracing – Howth's Yacht Club's Diana Kissane faces strong opposition in Denmark at the Women's Match Racing World Championship and yesterday strong gusts and a long day conspired to really test the sole Irish entry who sustained six losses, the same as Finnish and Dutch entries

Local hope Lotte Meldgaard and French Anne-Claire Le Berre are the only undefeated skippers after the opening day of the 2015 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship, the first event on the 2015 Women's International Match Racing Series (WIM Series), in Middelfart, Denmark. Both scored 8 - 0 on a long and very action-packed Wednesday:

"Even with one reef in the main and a smaller jib replacing the genoa, the Match 28's we're racing here are quite overpowered. We lost control a couple of times, but excellent crew work got us back on track again" Meldgaard comments.

The opening day offered truly challenging conditions for the competitors as well as for the race management. Gusts approaching 30 knots swept down the course, leaving broaching boats, freely flying kites and wet and exhausted sailors behind.

The racing in Middelfart continues with the round-robin Thursday and Friday, while the weekend will see the exciting knock-out rounds to crown the World Champions.

Standings after one day of round-robin in the 2015 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship in Middelfart, Denmark, the first event on the 2015 WIM Series (skipper, country, wins - losses):

1. Lotte Meldgaard, DEN, 8 - 0
1. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 8 - 0
3. Anna Östling, SWE, 7 - 1
4. Camilla Ulrikeholm, DEN, 5 - 1
4. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 5 - 1
6. Stephanie Roble, USA, 4 - 2
6. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 4 - 2
8. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 5 - 3
8. Katie Spithill, AUS, 5 - 3
10. Milly Bennett, AUS, 3 - 5
11. Louise Christensen, DEN, 2 - 6
12. Johanna Larsson, SWE, 0 - 6
12. Nina Ramm-Schmidt, FIN, 0 - 6
12. Rikst Dijkstra, NED, 0 - 6
12. Diana Kissane, IRL, 0 - 6
16. Sanna Hager, SWE, 0 - 8

Published in Match Racing
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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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