Another calm and sunny morning at the Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan in Vannes, France, was followed by a day of intense and action-packed match racing, enjoyed by the crowds on the beach.
Swedish World Champion Anna Kjellberg grabbed the lead with a 7 – 1 score, after beating French runner-up Anne-Claire Le Berre (8 – 2) in their battle:
'We’ve just lost one match so far, and that gives us great confidence approaching the weekend,' Kjellberg smiles, just before going for a cooling and refreshing swim.
'It was a difficult day with a lot of shifts in both direction and strength of the wind. Our results weren’t as good as the first day, but good enough,' Le Berre comments.
The match between the two top sailors of this second stage of the 2014 Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) was a really eventful one. Due to strong current that pushed both over the starting line, they had to hoist their asymmetric spinnakers to get down to the start. Kjellberg made that call a little bit earlier than Le Berre, then leading all the way to the top mark and stretching even further on the downwind.
But when the Swedes didn’t manage to get their kite down in time, and had to begin the second upwind with a fully hoisted kite considerably slowing them down, the French took the opportunity and passed. However, Kjellberg & Co. didn’t give in, found more pressure on the last downwind and passed Le Berre just before the finishing line:
'It was a dramatic match full of stress, but we decided to hang in there and do everything we could to come back. And this race showed us that you should never give up,' Kjellberg laughs.
'Anna is the World Champion and we had a close race, so I’m not too concerned,' Le Berre says, shrugging.
Young and talented British skipper Annabel Vose and her team came to Vannes after their recent victory in the World University Championship in Italy. With a 4 – 1 score today, including the defeat of the World Champion Kjellberg, Vose now finds herself in a three-way tie for third place:
'We had a close start against Anna and rounded the top mark together, but then we speeded away on the downwind and extended further throughout the race. The crew work was fabulous!' Vose comments with a smile all over her face.
Danish world 1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm and home sailor Morgane Fountaine are the other two parties tied on third place. Yesterday’s shared leader, Klaartje Zuiderbaan, lost four matches but managed to beat Ulrikkeholm with just a meter in the last match for her only victory of the day. The bad Friday results makes the Dutch fall back to sixth place on 5 – 4.
Standings in the round-robin of the Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan, the second stage of the 2014 WIM Series (name/nationality/wins – losses):
1. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 7 – 1
2. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 8 – 2
3. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, 6 – 3
3. Annabel Vose, GBR, 6 – 3
3. Morgane Fountaine, FRA, 6 – 3
6. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 5 – 4
7. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 4 – 4
8. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 4 – 5
8. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 4 – 5
10. Lucie Scheiwiller, FRA, 2 – 6
11. Anastasia Guseva, RUS, 0 – 8
12. Rajaa Al Owaisi, OMA, 0 – 9