Starting with a totally calm and sunny morning, and finishing the day in thunderstorms and heavy rain, the Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan in Vannes, France, put the sailors to the test on the first day of racing.
Four teams stay undefeated, with home sailor Anne-Claire Le Berre and Dutch veteran Klaartje Zuiderbaan sharing the top spot on four victories: 'I think we had a little bit easier to keep the speed in these tricky conditions, because we know the boat type so well,' Le Berre admits with a big smile, not willing at all to reveal their speed secret in the Beneteau 7.5 until racing is over for the week.
For Zuiderbaan it was the first race with the current crew composition, though she’s sailed with all of the team members before, and obviously that was a winning concept. When sailing began for the day, after a few hours postponement due to the lack of wind, Klaartje & Co. immediately started their winning strike by defeating Kiwi Claudia Pierce in the first match. After another three straight victories the Dutch team now have gained ground on most of their opponents in this second stage of the 2014 Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series):
'We’re, of course, happy for the good start in this regatta and for the great feeling on board, and I’m especially pleased with the way in which we solved any problems that came up' Zuiderbaan points out, explaining that she liked the racing conditions very much.
'It was actually more wind than you could see on the water, so it was really nice sailing.'
The world top ranked Scandinavian couple, Camilla Ulrikkeholm (1) and Anna Kjellberg (2), are undefeated too, tied on third place in Vannes with three victories each. Danish Ulrikkeholm was a lot more satisfied with her speed than during her short practise session on Wednesday:
'We improved the speed but also the boat handling, and managed to get out on the course ahead of our opponents after all start sequences. That definitely helped us to stay calm and keep the speed up,' she says.
Although winning all her races of the day, Swedish World Champion and 2014 WIM Series leader Anna Kjellberg, was particularly delighted for the team’s improvement during the day: 'Our last race was close to perfect from start to finish, with great manoeuvres, splendid tactics and a really pleasant feeling in the boat' she smiles, looking forward to continue racing over the weekend.
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= Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 4 – 0
1= Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 4 – 0
3= Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, 3 – 0
3= Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 3 – 0
5. Morgane Fountaine, FRA, 2 – 1
6. Annabel Vose, GBR, 2 – 2
7. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 1 – 2
8. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 1 – 3
9= Lucie Scheiwiller, FRA, 0 – 3
9= Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 0 – 3
9= Rajaa Al Owaisi, OMA, 0 – 3
12. Anastasia Guseva, RUS, 0 – 4