Helsinki: Someone forgot to make a deal with the Nordic wind god, Aeolius, as racing started in Finland for the 2017 Women’s Match Racing World Championship, with the race committee and teams facing challenges.
All day light and shifty winds dominated the first day of the round robin stage in the beautiful waters of Helsinki Harbour.
Local teams seemed to take to the conditions a little better than some of the higher-ranked international teams as the local Pen & Hammer Sailing Team skippered by Mikaela Fors (FIN) took an early win over the current world champions, Team Anna, skippered by Anna Östling (SWE).
“Very difficult conditions here so you have to be super alert all of the time,” noted Fors.
The day started with very light southerly winds that bounced around with forty degree shifts followed by a huge shift to the west before dying out completely for nearly two hours. The patience of the race committee and sailors paid off as a more steady southerly breeze came in the afternoon.
“We were not envious of the group sailing in the morning, but were very happy to get two wins in the afternoon to start off our week. The race committee did a very good job in tricky conditions” commented Lucy Macgregor (GBR).
Although crews may have been frustrated, waiting for the winds to fill in, spectators along the shoreline enjoyed the warm summer day watching racing.
The crowds at the popular Löyly restaurant and saunas were treated to mark rounding within meters of their balcony when the winds shifted to the west. Later in the day, the large crowds in Hernesaaren Ranta were entertained by live commentary from local match race expert Alpo ‘Abe’ Kaakinen.
The forecast for the rest of the Championship may continue to cause challenges, so the world-class sailors will need to focus on the details if they are going to become champions.
Results after round robin day 1 (wins – losses):
1. Mikaela Fors, FIN, 3 – 1
1. Trine Palludan, DEN, 3 – 1
3. Martina Karlemo, FIN, 2 – 0
3. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 2 – 0
5. Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, 2 – 1
5. Johanna Bergqvist, SWE, 2 – 1
7. Renée Groeneveld, NED, 1 – 0
7. Margot Riou, FRA, 1- 1
9. Anna Östling, SWE, 1 – 2
9. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 1 – 2
11. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 0 – 1
12. Sanna Häger, SWE, 0 – 2
12. Antonia Degerlund, FIN, 0 – 2
14. Ekaterina Kochkina, RUS, 0 – 4
Wim Series media