It’s been feast or famine at the Normandie Match Cup in Le Havre.
Day three more than made up for no sailing on day two as the sailors, race committee, umpires and spectators spent a very full day on the water in excellent conditions. But they barely made it back to the dock as the sun dipped below the horizon after completing an astonishing forty-five races to complete the double round robin!
The sea breeze arrived at 11:00 and racing began in a pleasant 8 knots of wind under cloudy skies. Throughout the day the wind increased to a steady 15 knots and made the job relatively easy for the race committee.
Pauline Courtois (FRA) and her Le Havre based Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team showed their experience with the boats and the local conditions as they won every match they sailed. “Yes, we are very happy with how we are sailing as a team. The matches are very close with good racing. We look forward to tomorrow, but first we must get some food and some sleep,” she laughed.
Two-time World Champion Anna Östling (SWE) and her team WINGS found their wings today and won all of their matches except the two against Courtois’ team. “We are very happy with our day. We focused on coming off the start line ahead and continuing to learn the boat. We did big improvement in the 2nd round robin and look forward to the last day, we will step it up!”
Margot Vennin’s Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team also took advantage of their local knowledge and moved smoothly into the semi-finals as well.
The fight for the last semi-final spot came down to the final matches of the evening. “We weren’t quite sure if we were in or not, so we just kept fighting the best we could,” confessed confessed Anna Savisaari, bow on Finnish L2 Match Racing Team who survived losing their last match of the day to take the remaining semi-final place.
Tonight the tired sailors and race officials will get to enjoy the hospitality of the Societe des Regates du Havre (SRH) with the Normandy Cup regatta dinner ahead of the final day of racing tomorrow.
The Normandie Match Cup – the first event of the 2019 Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) season – is raced in the Beneteau First Class 7.5 boats. The event will end with the semi-finals, petite finals and finals on Monday June 10th.
Standings in the 2019 Normandie Match Cup at the end of Stage One (skipper, team name, nationality, points):
1. Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 14
2. Anna Östling, WINGS, SWE, 10
3. Margot Vennin, Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 8
4. Marinella Laaksonen, L2 Match Racing Team, FIN, 6
5. Marie Björling Duell, Team Marie, SWE, 5
6. Lea Richter Vogelius, Team Kattnakken, DEN, 5
7. Margot Riou, APCC Women Sailing Team, FRA, 5
7. Chloé Le Bars, No Name Sailing Team, FRA, 2