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Displaying items by tag: Match Racing

#wmr – World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm of Denmark defeat Sweden's Caroline Sylvan 3 – 0 in their semi-final of the 2014 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship in front of large spectator crowds in Cork harbour this afternoon.

In the other semi-final of the first event on the 2014 Women's International Match Racing Series, the Swedish crew helmed by world #2 Anna Kjellberg went through to the final after beating Stephanie Roble of the USA. It took some thrilling matches until the matter was solved with the Swede winning 3-2: "We managed to keep our good flow from the quarter finals, and I think we sailed five really good races against Roble," analysed Kjellberg.

Kjellberg won the first match and Roble the next two. The exciting fourth match showed the crowds at the Camden Fort Meagher grandstand a whole bunch of the tricks that skilled match racing sailors at this top level keep up their sleeves. Finally it was the Swedish crew who best handled the shifty winds, complex tide and choppy waves, controlling their boat and the American opponent all the way through to the finish.

When entering from port for the fifth match, Kjellberg lost focus for a few seconds and did not keep clear of Roble, who approached on starboard tack, and was immediately penalised by the umpires. "It's so obvious that on this level you can't afford the slightest mistake. I shouted to my girl's that we'd have to do the match of our lives," Kjellberg explained.

The Swedes managed to get over the starting line even with Roble and a frenetic tacking duel up the first beat began. After rounding the top mark the Americans didn't fill their kite fast enough, allowing Kjellberg to stretch away by few boat lengths. On the second upwind the Swedes had extended their lead enough to quite comfortably take their penalty turn, and when Roble repeated her spinnaker problems on the last downwind, the Swedish victory was sealed.

"I saw Stephanie coming with great pressure from behind, but I never thought she was threatening us," Kjellberg said.

Roble commented, "It was close racing and I'm proud of the way we sailed today. It's a team effort around the course and we all worked very hard. Anna made less mistakes and that paid off, so I'm wishing her the best for tomorrow."

With two Swedish teams in opposite semi-finals, the odds for seeing them in the final of the 2014 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship were quite good. But as the other semi-final was sailed between Ulrikkeholm and Sylvan, the Dane showed that it's no coincidence she's on top of the ISAF Women's Match Race Rankings as she defeated her Swedish opponent in three straight matches.

"We got a penalty in the second prestart, after a stupid mistake from the skipper, but still managed to get ahead and win that one. And the other two matches I think we controlled very well, staying in the right position," Ulrikkeholm said.

On the defeat Sylvan said, "They covered us completely and didn't allow us any game room at all. We raced the best we could and learned a few new tricks, but they were obviously the best today."

The final is scheduled for 11.30am tomorrow (08 June).

All results provisional

Results in the semi-finals of the 2014 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship, the first event on the 2014 Women's International Match Racing Series. The winning skippers advance to the final:

Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, defeated Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 3 – 0

Anna Kjellberg, SWE, defeated Stephanie Roble, USA, 3 – 2

The results in the sail-offs for place 5 – 8:
5. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA
6. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED
7. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN
8. Claudia Pierce, NZL

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#wmr – 17 races were successfully sailed to complete the quarter final stage of the 2014 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship in Cork Harbour today. Strong winds gusting almost 30 knots and heavy rain delayed proceedings for a number of hours. Shortly after noon the breeze dropped to a manageable 18 knots the eight teams made their way out to the calm waters below Camden Fort Meagher to begin Day 3 of the regatta.

Paired randomly, the first four teams to win three races apiece would be the ones to advance. An intense five hour battle ensued, fraught with drama, as the sailors went head-to-head for the coveted semi-final places.

First to qualify was overnight leader and World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm from Denmark. She and her three-woman crew expertly claimed three consecutive wins against Klaartje Zuiderbaan knocking the Dutch team out. World #2 Anna Kjellberg then reigned supreme in her fight against the French Anne-Claire Le Berre.

Having already lost two teams, Ireland's remaining hope hung on the Kiwi team skippered by Claudia Pierce but crewed by three Irish girls. Despite Mayo's Ellen Cahill losing her footing and going for a swim, the ladies put up a fierce battle against their American rivals. Tied on two wins each, it all hinged on their final match race but it was Stephanie Roble that came out on top moving Team USA forward to the next round.

An equipment issue caused a frustrating delay in the last quarter final was between Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen and Caroline Sylvan. With three races completed the two Scandinavians teams had no option but to wait patiently on the water because of a problem with one of the spinnakers. Once two other boats became available the crews transferred in and the final race of the day got underway. The final score of 3-1 meant Sylvan will join her fellow Swede in the penultimate day of the championship tomorrow.

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#wmr – Another day of picture perfect conditions greeted the sailors in Crosshaven for Day 2 of the 2014 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship. Although the wind was a little light to begin with in the morning, the sun glistened off the pristine waters of Cork Harbour and the south-easterly picked up to a steady 10-12 knots in the afternoon leading to some thrilling racing for the sailors.

For eight straight hours the top international teams went head-to-head while spectators watched from the natural perch provided by Camden Fort Meagher. A staggering 42 races were sailed for what was the second day of the Round-Robin stage in the regatta. Only the top eight teams were going to progress forward to tomorrow's quarter finals so the slightest error aboard the fleet of J80 keelboats could have had dramatic consequences.

Overnight leader and World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm had a further five wins today increasing her total number of victories so far to 10. However, in an exciting turn of events fellow Dane Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen and France's Anne-Claire Le Berre also finished the Round-Robin having only conceded two loses a piece. This meant that the umpires had to analyse each race result and competitor rankings in order to settle the three-way-tie-break. Ultimately it was Ulrikkeholm who retained her spot at the top of the leader board followed by Meldgaard Pedersen in second and Le Berre in third.

Two teams were sailing under the Irish flag but neither Laura Dillon nor Mary O'Loughlin won enough races to make tomorrow's cut. Although, sailing with World #15 skipper Claudia Pierce from New Zealand and finishing 4th are three talented Irish sailors; Diana Kissane from Dublin, Isabella Morehead from Cork and Ellen Cahill from Mayo. National pride will now weight on their young shoulders.

The format for the quarter finals will see teams face off against each other in a randomly selected knock out series. The first team in each pairing to reach three wins will go through to the semi-finals. Racing is scheduled for tomorrow (06 June) but due to the forecast of heavy rain and strong winds racing may be postponed until Saturday. Event organisers had also planned a 'Sail in the City' festival in Cork for tomorrow but due to the anticipated adverse weather the decision was made on Wednesday to cancel the event.

The first eight skippers advance to the quarter-finals:

1. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, 10 – 2
2. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 10 – 2
3. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 10 – 2
4. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 9 – 3
5. Stephanie Roble, USA, 9 – 3
6. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 7 – 5
7. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 6 – 6
8. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 5 – 7
9. Annabel Vose, GBR, 4 – 8
10. Mary O'Loughlin, IRL, 3 – 9
11. Laura Dillon, IRL, 2 – 10
12. Lucie Scheiwiller, FRA, 2 – 10
13. Anne-Christianne Kentgens, NED, 1 – 11

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#corkharbour – Today the waters of Cork harbour saw the commencement of the first leg of the series to decide the 2014 ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds Championship writes Claire Bateman

The initial stages of the competition started today with a Round Robin series where each skipper is scheduled to sail against each other skipper once and from there the top eight skippers will move on to the quarter finals from whence they will move on to semi finals, petit finals and the final. Racing will take place on this basis until Sunday, June 8th. By this stage one hundred and thirty one on one races will have been sailed.

A perfect June sailing morning with some 14 to 18 knots of North Westerly breeze going more towards the west as the day progressed, greeted the competitors on their arrival at the Royal Cork Yacht Club . With International Race Officer Peter Crowley in charge racing got under way on time. As forecast, some squally showers were experienced and provided some thrills and spills for both competitors and spectators.

Among the 13 international teams representing eight nations are two Irish entries skippered by Laura Dillon from Howth Yacht Club and Mary O'Loughlin from Royal St George Yacht Club in Dublin. The first race was between Dillon's Team Ireland 1 and Team Sweden 2 skippered by Caroline Sylvia. The first day nerves settled quickly and Dillon's team matched Team Sweden 2 on their every move. Team Ireland 1 crew Maria Coleman (ex-Irish Olympian) commented "The day was challenging for everyone, ensuring you gained the maximum of your upwind boat speed however this let us down a little today, but we know we have the pre- starts nailed". Unfortunately a mighty broach by Dillon cost the Irish team the race and it took some time to rectify.

Team New Zealand skippered by Claudia Pierce and crewed by her newly recruited Irish team mates had a sparkling day. "We had a great pre start against Anne Claire Le Berre's Team France pushing her out and making her do penalty turns at the start. This let us get away and sail clean for the race".

However, it was the two Danish teams that dominated the day. World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm and World #4 Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen ensured straight wins for all of their respective races. They were followed closely by Stephanie Roble of the USA with only one loss of the day

Forecast for tomorrow (Thurs) is for 10 to 14 knots from the south east.

Event organisers had planned a 'Sail in the City' festival for this Friday (06 June) but due to the forecast of heavy rain and strong winds the decision has been made to cancel the event.

All results provisional


Published in Match Racing

#matchracing – Two womens team are to go forward from three entries at last weekend's Irish trials for the the ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club in June.  After a short notice event in Howth last weekend Mary O'Loughlin (and her team of Karena Knaggs, Lynn Reilly and Niamh McDonald) Laura Dillon (and her team of Maria Coleman, Carol O'Kelly and Breffni Jones) are to go forward for the invitation only event. As hosts Ireland is fortunate to benefit from two wild card invitations after one foreign team set for Cork pulled out of the event.

The J80 racing was tight and wind conditions were windy, approximately 15-20 knots from a westerly direction. Racing started with full rig and spinnakers, but, with the wind increasing  races 2 and 3 were raced without spinnakers.

The ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds which will be hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club, from 3-8 June 2014.

Published in Match Racing

#matchracing – Ireland has been granted two wild card places at the 2014 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championships to be held at Royal Cork Yacht Club from the 3rd - 8th of June 2014.

In order to select teams following earlier selection issues, a Selection Committee composed of Cxema Pico, Brian Mathews and Gordon Davies has been appointed. The committee was requested by the ISA to decide on the process to select the skippers (and teams) that will deliver the best result for Ireland at this event, and to be as fair as possible to all of applicant skippers.

Initially four skippers had expressed an interest, although only three have confirmed that they are available for selection. It was agreed, by both selectors and competitors, that the most appropriate way to choose between the sailors would be out on the water. The selection trials will be sailed in Howth this Sunday the 13th of April, using the same J80s that will be used for the World Championships.

The three candidates are :

Laura Dillon was the only female winner of the Senior Helmsmans Championship in 1996, Bronze Medallist at the 1996 ISAF Youth Worlds and, having competed in match racing she was at one time in the top 20 ranked female match racers, and is current Irish Women's Match Racing Champion (last sailed in 2010). Her crew includes double Olympian Maria Coleman.

Diane Kissane is a 470 sailor and current captain of the Trinity College sailing team Diane was 2008 Irish Laser 4.7 champion and won the 2009 Junior Helmsmans. Her crew all have recent team racing experience, including member so of this year's IUSA championship winning team, and have all represented Ireland at the Student World Yachting.

Mary O'Loughlin was the 1997 Mirror Ladies World Champion. She was a keen match racer here and abroad when the Irish circuit was developing in the mid 2000's. She has also extensive experience sailing an Etchells. Her crew is an interesting mix of keelboat sailors and dinghy/team racers.

Based on the results of next Sunday's competition the Selection Committee will recommend two skippers to the for selection.

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#matchracing – Laura Dillon sailing with Olympic helmswoman Maria Coleman were the winners of the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) hosted Invitational Match Racing event in aid of the Nathan Kirwan Trust in the heart of the Cork city on the River Lee.

Six teams competed including University College Cork, University Limerick, Cork Institute of Technology and Baltimore and Howth Ladies all battling it. The event was raced in 1720 Sportsboats with a crew of 5 per boat.

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#isaf – Following this morning's news in the Irish Times that the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) has reversed a decision to fill the host nation's wild card place for the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship on Cork Harbour in June, Match Racing Ireland has urged organisers to consider the Irish skipper that missed the deadline for an invitation should one become available.

Controversy blew up after the nominations process allowed just eight days and that January 29th deadline expired with just one nomination received, the Irish Times reports.

The four-day event will be held in the J80s at Royal Cork Yacht Club, from June 3rd to 8th. 16 teams of a helm and three crew will be invited to enter as Afloat reported earlier this month.

After protests on the matter, the board of the ISA met on Monday and set aside the process. A sub-committee has been formed to re-open a nomination process and hold trials if necessary.

A statement from Ric Morris of Match Racing Ireland received this morning states:

"Nomination for international representation is the soul responsibility of the ISA. The NOR for the event also makes it clear that the wild card invitations for the event will be decided on by a combination of the ISA and ISAF.

The ISA is under no obligation to but often asks Match Racing Ireland to propose a team and they made contact on the 21st January regarding the ISAF Womens Match Racing World Championships and ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championships.

We agreed to put out a public request for teams to come forward and settled on a date that would allow the OA to issue an invitation to the womens team at the same time as the other competitors. A request, including the deadline, was posted on the ISA website and the Match Racing Ireland Facebook page and Afloat kindly carried the same notice for us.

Two teams had been tracking the events in question and came forward almost immediately with fully formed teams. For the Youth Worlds, Match Racing Ireland has proposed Phil Bandon and we understand that the ISA intends to put him forward for the event.

For the Womens Worlds a team of Royal Cork sailors who have been successfully competing in team racing came forward and where proposed by Match Racing Ireland. The ISA confirmed back to the team that they would inform ISAF and the OA of the proposal.

2 days after the deadline a well known and respected skipper came forward and expressed an interest in doing the event. In fairness to the team that had complied with the original request and given that the skipper them selves acknowledged that they did not have a team in place and had missed the deadline Match Racing Ireland did not feel that it was in a position to change its proposal. How ever, given the experience helm in question, it was suggested that, although they where under no obligation to do so, the proposed team considered combining forces.

If any of the invitations issue by the OA are declined they have the discretion to issue an invite as they see fit. Match Racing Ireland has made it clear to the ISA, ISAF and OA that they would be very keen for the skipper that missed the deadline to get an invitation should one become available.

We've had no further involvement in this matter"

Published in Match Racing

The ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds Circuit arrives in Cork Harbour from June 3rd to 8th, 2014 and will be hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club writes Claire Bateman.

What a prospect both exciting and daunting lies ahead for Royal Cork Yacht Club, organisers of the prestigious Women's Match Racing Worlds June 3rd to 8th, 2014. Not that the club is any stranger to such events having hosted the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final in September 2006 with huge success and also the European leg of the ISAF Match racing circuit in the nineties. The event is part of the tour for the Women's International match Racing Association ( 

Match Racing is one of the more intensely exciting forms of racing and the pace never slows. Race Officers tasked with the running of racing for the sixteen teams in this event are Peter Crowley (IRO) assisted by Alan Crosbie (IRO) who incidentally also officiated at the 2006 Nations Cup Grand Final. The event is being run in the Sailfleet J80's. It will certainly be nice to see these boats back in Cork.

Numerous detailed site inspections and high level consultations took place before Cork was chosen ahead of all other venues such as such as Long Beach California to host the competition. Both Cork County Council and the Port of Cork have agreed to be joint title sponsors of the world rated event.

The planned sailing in the waters of Cork Harbour, close to shore and under Camden Fort Meagher, offers unrivalled viewing to the competitors' families, friends, supporters and general public, who can also avail of the magnificent facilities at the refurbished historic fort to enjoy close up viewing of the competition.

The ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds is an annual event that was first held in Genoa in 1999. Sailors are invited to attend based on their world ranking. Invitations will be issued by ISAF and the organising authority in February based on world rankings at that time. The 2013 Match Racing Worlds took place in Busan, Korea where 2012 Spanish Olympic Gold Medalist Tamara Echegoyen took the 2013 world match racing title.

Of course the event will also have a lighter side and an excellent entertainment plane is in place. On Friday, June 6th, a unique event is planned for the city. It is planned to hold a "Sailing in the City" day on the river in front of Kennedy Quay. An event will be held on the city quays followed by an early evening entertainment programme. This will provide the people of Cork with a wonderful opportunity to see and meet Olympic standard sailors close up and bring unparalleled top notch racing into the heart of the city. There is a match race planned for the sailors (watch out for fun on the river) and also an exhibition race where local schoolchildren could have the opportunity of sailing with these unrivalled top quality sportswomen.

The Women's Match Racing Worlds is a world sailing event of the highest calibre and is an opportunity for everybody to come to Crosshaven and enjoy the carnival atmosphere of the village for the event and experience a feast of intense sailing viewing from the world ranking surrounds of the magnificent Camden Fort Meagher.

Published in Match Racing

#matchrace – ISAF have released details of two international Grade 'W' match racing events for which Match Racing Ireland are seeking teams. They are the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship and the ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship.

Event details:
The ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship
Venue: Royal Cork YC, Ireland
Dates June 3-8, 2014

ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship
Venue: Nylandska Jaktklubben, Finland
Dates: July 23-27, 2014

Representatives of interested teams should contact Ric Morris ([email protected]) with team details as set out in the NoRs before January 29 in order to give our selected teams the best opportunity of success in these competitions.

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