The Danish Open Ladies Cup concluded with an all-Danish final between home sailors Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen and Camilla Ulrikkeholm, a final that required five stunningly tight and truly explosive matches to decide this year's champion: Meldgaard Pedersen!
World ranking number one and recent World Championship silver medallist Camilla Ulrikkeholm wasn’t very convincing early on in the regatta, but recovered a lot in the second round robin, and then managed to get to the semi-finals with a margin of just one point. Once there, she defeated Lucy Macgregor of Great Britain 3 - 1 for a place in the final. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen on the other hand looked strong from the beginning, winning the round robin with a 14 - 2 record and then 3 - 1 against this event's big surprise, Dutch rookie skipper Merel Wetteveen, in their semi-final.
But in the final matches it was Ulrikkeholm who made the most impressive kick off, first beating fellow club member of the Royal Danish Yacht Club, Meldgaard Pedersen, in two straight matches: 'We got away really well ahead in the starts and hence had the possibility to play our own game in the upwind shifts, which was extremely important in today's gusty conditions,' Ulrikkeholm says. 'We felt a little stressed and couldn't find the right rhythm, and so we didn't do the starts we wanted either,' Meldgaard Pedersen comments.
Nevertheless she and her crew managed to get things better together in the concluding final matches, winning one match first, and then the next one as well, to level the score to 2 - 2. The spectators cheered their home heroes while they passed the weather mark almost within grasping distance from ashore, looking forward to an even greater fight in the fifth and final match. And the two Danes surely gave their home crowd everything they could possibly have asked for, putting up a furious fight with tacking and gybing duels, fake tacks, luffing attacks and most of the other tricks match racers on this top level can perform.
Ulrikkeholm gave her compatriot a good fight, but at the end Meldgaard Pedersen was the strongest and could cross the finish line just ahead, winning the Danish Open Ladies Cup 2013: 'Maybe our better starts in the last three matches was the key, because then we could pick and choose ourselves from the gusts coming down the course' a tired but very happy Meldgaard Pedersen analysed after winning. 'As soon as you're not able to choose the way yourself you get punished, and the other boat can stretch out' Ulrikkeholm agrees, disappointed to see the same ending of the finals as when she sailed the World Championships in Busan a couple of weeks ago. 'It's always a little extra frustrating to lose when you have been leading 2 – 0,' she admits.
The petit final was won by Lucy Macgregor in two straight matches against Merel Wetteveen, but it probably looked easier from ashore than it really was: 'It's never really easy, and the second race was very shifty and uncertain all the way to the finish line' Macgregor comments. 'We're disappointed to lose the semi-final on an umpire call that in our opinion should have gone the other way, but now we're happy for our third place overall' she continues. Macgregor's performance puts her on top after three events of the Women's International Match Racing Series, sharing the lead on 44 points with Ulrikkeholm. The next event is the New York Women's Invitational, sailed in Oakcliff July 11 - 14.
Total results in the Danish Open 2013 Ladies Cup, the third event on the inaugural 2013 Women's International Match Racing Series
(skipper/crew/nationality/prize money/WIMRS points):
1. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, Henriette Koch, Tina Gramkov, Nina Grunow, DEN, USD 4 200, 25 2. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, Trine Abrahamsen, Louise Ulrikkeholm, Joan Vestergard Hansen, DEN, USD 2 000, 22 3. Lucy Macgregor, Sophie Pearson, Annabel Vose, Maria Stanley, GBR, USD 1 650, 19 4. Merel Witteveen, Shannen Marck, Froukje Feenstra, Frieda van Belle, NED, USD 1 250, 15 5. Stephanie Roble, Jenn Chamberlin, Maggie Shea, Kayla McComb, USA, USD 1 150, 13 6. Anna Kjellberg, Malin Källstrom/Johanna Larsson, Karin Almquist, Åsa Carlsson, SWE, USD 1 000, 11 7. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, Petronella de Jong, Helle Orum, Anne-Christianne Kentgens, NED, USD 750, 9 8. Anna Kjellgren, Maria Öhrn, Ann Dahlesten, Theres Wolgast, SWE, USD 500, 7 9. Anne Marit Hansen, Inger Pedersen, Pia Glaserud, Nina Dirix, NOR, - , 4
Final results: Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN - Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN 3 - 2
Petit final results: Lucy Macgregor, GBR - Merel Witteveen, NED 2 – 0
Semi-final results: Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN - Merel Witteveen, NED 3 - 1 Lucy Macgregor, GBR - Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN 1 – 3
Match for fifth place: Stephanie Roble, USA - Anna Kjellberg, SWE 1 – 0
1. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 14 - 2 2. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 14 - 2 3. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, 9 - 7 4. Merel Witteveen, NED, 8 - 8 5. Stephanie Roble, USA, 8 - 8 6. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 8 - 8 7. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 7 - 9 8. Anna Kjellgren, SWE, 4 - 12 9. Anne Marit Hansen, NOR, 0 – 16
Standings in the 2013 Women's International Match Racing Series after three events, in France, Korea and Denmark:
1. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, 44 1. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 44 3. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 36 4. Stephanie Roble, USA, 33 5. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 25 5. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 25 5. Tamara Echegoyen, ESP, 25 8. Julie Bossard, FRA, 22 9. Katie Spithill, AUS, 19 10. Alexa Bezel, SUI, 17 10. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 17 12. Merel Witteveen, NED, 15 12. Ekaterina Skudina, RUS, 15 14. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 14 15. Susannah Pyatt, NZL, 9 16. Milly Bennett, AUS, 8 17. Anna Kjellgren, SWE, 7 18. Anne Marit Hansen, NOR, 4 18. Sung-Eun Choi, KOR, 4 18. Morgane Dréau, FRA, 4
by Joakim Hermansson
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5:08 PM Sun 23 Jun 2013GMT
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