Stena Match Cup Sweden day 1.
The Swedish success had to wait until the sixth flight on the first day. Anna Kjellberg then succeeded to turn the trend and win two matches in a row. She is a possible semi finalist tomorrow. 'We were a bit nervous at first, but it changed with the win. We are satisfied with two points in this tough competition. Tomorrow our goal is to win all matches to take us further,' said Anna Kjellberg.
Flight 7, the last flight for the day gave the Swedish skipper Anna Kjellberg some hope for the semi finals when her team won against Nicky Souter. It was a tight race but Kjellberg managed to keep the lead from the start to the finish line. The other Swedish skipper Caroline Sylvan lost a race again and Mandy Mulder won without problems. Claire Leroy is still undefeated after a race against Lotte Meldgaard. The race between Lucy Macgregor and Ekaterina Skudina was extremely tight. Skudina received a penalty but still had the lead in the last downwind. Macgregor sailed tactically just behind the other boat and could pass the finish line before the Russians could take their penalty.
Anna Kjellberg earned her first point of the day in her race against Trina Abrahamsen. The Swedish skipper got off to a good start and was in the lead coming up to the first rounding with Abrahamsen close behind. Kjellberg was then punished for being too aggressive in her challenges at the end of the leg. She increased her lead from then on and was finally able to perform her penalty spin and cross the line as the winner. Ekaterina Skudina managed to strike back in her match against Nicky Souter after a bad first leg. Skudina gained on Souter and took the lead on the last upwind. Falling overboard seems to have had a positive effect on Mandy Mulder who won the first race since the incident earlier on in the day. She won her race against Anna Tunnicliffe comfortably.
All three races in the fifth flight were settled from the start. Lucy Macgregor had control over Lotte Meldgaard from the first upwind and kept the distance between the boats through the entire race. Caroline Sylvan lost another race, this time against Nicky Souter. Sylvan was fighting hard but hasn´t won a race yet. A third victory to Souter was settled in the beginning of the race when the Australian team put on distance that increased during the race. Also in the race between Trine Abrahamsen and Ekaterina Skudina, Skudina held a good lead and easily won the race.
The spectators on the shores of Marstrand witnessed a dramatic race in the fourth flight between Mandy Mulder and Ekaterina Skudina. They were sailing right next to each other when the Dutch skipper fell overboard as she was tacking. Skudina gained a big lead and Mulder forfeited the race after being picked up by her crew. The Swedish skippers Anna Kjellberg and Caroline Sylvan are waiting for their first victories. Sylvan fell behind early on in her match against Claire Leroy and was never able to regain contact and she struggled to catch up. Anna Kjellberg got off to a good start against Lucy Macgregor but lost the lead on the first downwind. Anna Kjellberg still has a shot at qualifying for the next round but she can’t afford to lose another point.
During the third flight the wind was unstable at the top mark and made it difficult for the skippers. Despite this, Claire Leroy and Anna Tunnicliffe both won their third race in a row in this flight. Leroy met Anna Kjellberg in a race that the Swedish skipper couldn´t keep up. Kjellberg had to take chances that Leroy took advantage of and she held a real lead. Tunnicliffe raced against the other Swedish skipper Caroline Sylvan and took a strong grip of the race from the beginning. Sylvan received a penalty in the start which increased the lead. Lucy Macgregor who had won her previous races lost against Mandy Mulder. Mulder took the lead early and kept it all the way to the finish line. Nicky Souter impressed in a race against Trine Abrahamsen, doing some great jibes to win.
Exciting duels in the second flight of the day where the rapid wind shifts were difficult to anticipate. Lucy Macgregor beat Trine Abrahamsen in a race which was tight until the last downwind when MacGregor was able to increase the small lead she had gained at the start. Claire Leroy got off to a perfect start against Mandy Mulder. She kept a small lead until the last upwind when the Dutch skipper was able to pass her as they rounded the buoy. Leroy fought back on the downwind and took back the lead. Last year’s winner Ekaterina Skudina beat Swedish skipper, Caroline Sylvan after being in the lead for the whole race.
Stena Match Cup Sweden 2011 blasted off today with an exciting race in the women´s class between the highest and the lowest ranked skippers of the fleet. Lucy MacGregor, ranked number one in the world, got off to a good start while her opponent Caroline Sylvan, ranked 110th, was penalized early on the first leg. The young Swedish skipper could never get close enough to challenge MacGregor who increased her lead on the following legs.
Stena Match Cup Sweden website
Full results not available at time of publication.