When the Lysekil Women’s Match commenced Tuesday, world number one Camilla Ulrikkeholm continued her winning streak from the previous WIM Series event in France. Five wins on as many sailed matches so far in the round-robin, takes her straight to the top of the scoreboard: 'We’ve come out from the starts pretty well, and then been able to make our own choices on the course. That makes it a lot easier to control your opponent,' she says.
Ulrikkeholm is aiming for her fourth consecutive title in Lysekil Women’s Match, the third stage of the 2014 WIM Series and an event she has developed a special relation to: 'Yes, we feel really at home here, with the venue, with the waters and with the boats. The DS 37s are physically and technically demanding, and we definitely like that!' Ulrikkeholm comments.
Stephanie Roble is also undefeated, after an eventful day in the beautiful Swedish West Coast archipelago. She beat the Swedish World Champion Anna Kjellberg, and with one victory less than Ulrikkeholm, the American now shadows the Danish skipper on second place with her 4 – 0 score: 'We’re happy how things went today, considered we’re a partly new team for this regatta. We had a lot of good takeaways today and no big boat handling issues. In these boats it’s a huge team effort,' she explains.
The big talk of the day was the match between Roble and Kiwi Claudia Pierce, in which the latter misjudged the distance to the American boat when dialling up in the pre-start, and T-boned Roble with great force. When two boats of four tons each crash together, you can be sure to both hear and feel it... Fortunately no one was badly injured: 'Well, I’ll probably have a bit swollen leg tomorrow, but nothing more than that,' Roble says.
'I got a brain fade for the first time of six years of match racing, and I’m just happy no one got hurt,' a considerably shaken Kiwi commented after the crash.
The local heroes, Anna Kjellberg and Linda Rahm of the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club, shares fourth place in Lysekil Women’s Match with their 3 – 2 score: 'The adrenalin in the pre starts is what I’ve been missing most,' says Rahm, who won the Lysekil event in 2007 and 2008 when she also held the runner-up position on the world ranking.
'My crew has done a marvellous job, so I’ve been able to race on maximum and with small margins,' she fills in, visibly happy to be back on the match racing circuit on her home waters. Standings after the first day of round-robin (skipper name/nationality/wins – losses):
1. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, 5 – 0
2. Stephanie Roble, USA, 4 – 0
3. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 2 – 1
4. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 3 – 2
4. Linda Rahm, SWE, 3 – 2
6. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 2 – 3
7. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 1 – 4
7. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 1 – 4
9. Claudia Pierce, NZL, -1 – 5 WIM Series website