French Match Racing Champion Anne-Claire Le Berre had a great Thursday on the Irish waters of Cork, winning all of her matches to finish the round-robin stage of the 2014 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship with a 10 – 2 record.
Like the French sailor, world number one Camilla Ulrikkeholm (DEN) and compatriot Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen finished with a 10-2 record as they came out first and runner-up when the three-way-tie was broken.
'We had a lot better attention to details and communication in the boat today and together with good manoeuvres and boat speed that obviously paid off,' explained Le Berre on climbing up the scoreboard.
The racing conditions on the second day continued with shifty winds and strong current, but with a lighter wind than on the opening day of the first event of the 2014 Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series).
Ulrikkeholm celebrated the Danish National Day by beating her fellow club member from the Royal Danish Yacht Club, Meldgaard Pedersen, in a thrilling match, fully packed with exciting manoeuvres at extremely close distance between the two combatants.
The crowds at Camden Fort Meagher breathlessly followed the racing, shouting and cheering the fight. 'It’s always nice to beat Lotte, she’s beaten us so many times,' admitted Ulrikkeholm with a big smile, seeming quite satisfied with the rest of her Thursday in Cork. 'With two losses today we still have to shape up and get better. As an example I’d like to be a little bit more aggressive in the starting sequence, I really like to be in charge there.'
On the other hand, Meldgaard Pedersen wasn’t too disappointed on being beaten in the ‘Danish Derby’ by Ulrikkeholm. 'Of course we would have liked to win but we’d rather lose to her now than later in the regatta' she commented with a big smile. On the outcome of the match Pedersen analysed, 'We felt quite good, but our judgement in close situations wasn’t the best today. Maybe we’re a little bit rusty when it comes to timing.'
The eight best skippers (see below) after the round-robin stage advance to the quarterfinals that are set to be sailed on Friday 6 June. However the weather forecast for Friday predicts heavy rain and winds above 30 knots, which could cause some problems for the organisers at Royal Cork Yacht Club to continue racing as planned.
'If we’re racing at all, it’ll probably be more or less under survival conditions,' speculated Ulrikkeholm.
Results after the completed round-robin at the 2014 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship, the first event on the 2014 Women’s International Match Racing Series (skipper name, nationality, wins/losses).
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 Event website