Pauline Courtois wins her third title in a row

July 6, 2023 – Middelfart, Denmark: Superlight winds made it difficult to finish the 2023 Women’s Match Racing World Championship finals. French skipper and now triple world champion made winning look easy.

She won the world championship in Cherbourg two years ago. She won the world championship in Auckland last year. And today, French skipper Pauline Courtois, Maëlenn Lemaître , Louise Acker, Thea Khelif, and Clara Bayol won the 2023 Women’s Match Racing World Championship.

Today’s racing scene was very different from the previous windy days as the racing ended in almost dead calm conditions.

  • We are really happy about the win. It has been some challenging days, and today we saw a lot of shifts and very light winds. It has been a team effort to win, and my team has done an amazing job this week, so I am thrilled, says Pauline Courtois moments before she took the top spot at the podium and was handed the world championship trophy for the third time.

Semi-finals began Thursday with two races, and Courtois continued her winning streak with two wins against Danish skipper Lea Richter Vogelius in a strong breeze.

But, today, the principal race officer had difficulty getting some fair races going, as the breeze was fluky and shifty. Danish skipper Vogelius took advantage of the lighter conditions and won against the defending champion by keeping her boat going fast and hiding from the strong current running across the course.

This was the first loss for Courtois since Normandy Cup in May. She claimed victory in the next semi-final race against the Dane and took a 3-1 win and thereby qualified for the finals against Swedish skipper Anna Östling. Östling sailed with a knee brace but had recovered enough from her crash and knee injury yesterday to take a 3-1 win against Celia Willison (NZL).

With the two top-ranking teams on the world ranking list getting ready to face off in the final and Lea Richter Vogelius facing Celia Willison in the petit final, the wind disappeared, and the races were postponed on and off for almost two hours, before the wind came back. The races were started with only minutes to spare before the 4 o’clock shut-off time.

First, Vogelilus managed to level up her pre-start game in the petit finale, give Willison two penalties for a couple of windward/leeward situations, and make the Kiwi start early. So, the race was over before it had begun, as the Danes took off with a huge lead and won the bronze medal by several minutes.

In the final, Courtois was faster off the starting line after an intense pre-start. But after a split start, she never looked back and won the final by a big margin.

Final results:

2023 Women’s Match Racing World Championship

The 2023 Women’s Match Racing World Championships is being held in Middelfart, Denmark, from 4th–7th July. Eleven teams from around the world will be competing in Blu26 class keelboats.

Competitors:

Pauline Courtois, Maëlenn Lemaître , Louise Acker, Thea Khelif, Clara Bayol – FRA, World Ranking #1
Anna Ӧstling, Anna Holmdahl, Linnéa Wennergren, Annika Carlunger, Jenny Axhede – SWE, World Ranking #2
Celia Willison, Ruby Scholten, Charlotte Porter, Serena Woodall, Alison Kent – NZL, World Ranking #4
Megan Thomson, Josi Andres, Anna Merchant, Chelsea Rees, Juliet Costanzo – NZL, World Ranking #5
Sophie Otter, Hebe Hemming, Hatty Ward, Jemima Lawson, Alice Bradford – GBR, World Ranking #6
Lea Richter Vogelius, Joan Wester Hansen, Louise Ulrikkeholm Bredvig, Sille Christensen, Josefine Boel Rasmussen – DEN, World Ranking #7
Kenza Coutard, Lola Billy, Enza Geslin-Grimaud, Victoire Lerat, Sophonie Affagard – FRA, World Ranking #15
Octavia Owen, Abbie Sanders, Kate MacAdorey, Jodie Martin, Yasmine Sfaxi – GBR, World Ranking #20
Louise Kristine Olesen, Nora Berg, Mille Brandt Jensen, Line Mørkebjerg, Sara Keir Wright – DEN, World Ranking #21
Kristine Marie Mauritzen , Helena Gustavs Formgren, Pernilla Lindnér , Christina Andersen , Emilie Nordby Lauritzen – DEN, World Ranking #22
Julia Aartsen, Eva Asbeek Brusse, Nerine Usman, Ismene Usman, Svea Karsenbarg – NED, World Ranking #27

Event information:
Event website: https://gosail.dk/womens-match-racing-world-championship-2023/

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