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Barfoot & Thompson Women's Match Racing World Championship starts Thursday

by Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron 9 Nov 2022 02:37 PST 9-13 November 2022
Barfoot & Thompson Women's Match Racing World Championship © Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron

The Waitemata Harbour stage is set for its second consecutive week of world-class sailing with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron hosting the Barfoot & Thompson Women's Match Racing World Championships (WMRWC) from the 9th to the 13th of November 2022.

The World Championships follow an extremely competitive New Zealand Women's Match Racing Championship (NZWMRC) regatta last weekend. With the addition of eight more international teams for this weekend's World Championships, there will be another elite display of match racing in the City of Sails.

"We look forward to joining our members and local sailing community to support these accomplished women in our sport. It is great to have our teams competing overseas and winning on the world stage, but even better when they can come back to New Zealand and perform in front of family, friends, and home supporters," says RNZYS Vice Commodore Gillian William.

"Hosting this calibre of regatta at the RNZYS gives our teams the opportunity to compete at world-class events at home and be exposed to world-class crews, which is an invaluable experience for the future of New Zealand's high-performance sailing."

Fighting for the world title are several top-ranked women's match racing teams who have been dominating the circuit for the last few years. Ranked number one in the world by World Sailing, Pauline Courtois (FRA) and her Match in Pink will be favourites alongside second-ranked Anna Östling's (SWE) Wings and third-ranked Nicole Breault's (USA) Vela Racing.

Courtois won the New Zealand Women's Match Racing Championship this last weekend, no doubt using the regatta as a warm-up for this week's World Championship. As the defending Women's Match Racing World Champions, they will put their best foot forward to attempt to take home two titles in two weeks.

This is the last event of this year's Women's World Match Racing Tour (WWMRT), which provides a global match racing circuit for women. The calibre of sailors who compete in the WWMRT events, including this World Championship, foreshadows the level of racing we will see over the next few days. Almost all of the teams looking to leave the weekend as World Champions have their own respective titles.

Most recently, The Royal Prince Albert Yacht Club's Easy Tiger Racing, helmed by Juliet Costanzo, won the Australian Women's Match Racing title two weekends ago. The USA teams regularly find themselves in the finals against each other locally. This year Allie Blecher, who is crewing for Janel Zarkowsky this weekend, won the USA Women's Match Racing Championship against Zarkowsky. Breault holds several USA Women's Match Racing Championship titles of her own. Sweden's Östling has taken home the Women's World Match Racing title in the past and continues to be a top contender for this year's championship.

Along with the abundance of talent coming in from overseas, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has three teams competing for the title on their home waters. Celia Willison's Edge Racing, Megan Thomson's 2.0 Racing, and winning the final wildcard qualifier from NZWMRC, Samantha Norman's Sailing Mums.

The regatta will be held in the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's fleet of Elliott 7s, a one-design boat similar to the Elliott 6s used in the 2012 Women's Match Racing Olympics. This fleet, alongside RNZYS' Youth Training and Performance Programmes, is responsible for creating some of the best match racers in both the open and women divisions.

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is proud to bring world-class match racing to the Waitemata and is looking forward to hosting the best women sailors in the world. The Barfoot & Thompson Women's Match Racing World Championships will be an enthralling regatta with plenty of storylines playing out on the water, and our Kiwi teams would love your hometown support throughout the next two weeks.

Follow the WMRWC with daily photos, videos, press conferences and a live stream of the finals on Sunday on the RNZYS Facebook and Instagram, or at www.matchracingresults.com.

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