Poole and Östling victorious at 30th anniversary Match Cup Sweden

Marstrand, Sweden (8 July 2024) USA’s Chris Poole/ Riptide Racing became the first American skipper to win the GKSS Match Cup Sweden this weekend, the founding event of the World Match Racing Tour and this year celebrating its 30th Anniversary. Sweden’s Anna Östling and her Team Wings successfully defended their Nordea Women’s Trophy title defeating Renee Groeneveld and her Dutch Women’s Match Racing Team in a tense final. It is the first year the GKSS Match Cup Sweden event has played host to an official stage of both the World Match Racing Tour and Women’s World Match Racing Tour in the same week.

After racing in Marstrand was postponed on Friday due to high winds, Principal Race Officer Annika Ekman and the GKSS race committee team started promptly on Saturday morning with the first-to-two-point semi-finals for both Open and Women’s divisions.

Popular local Swedish sailor and veteran of the World Match Racing Tour Johnie Berntsson and team were quick to use their local knowledge and defeat Denmark’s Jeppe Borch/ Borch Racing 2-0 in the opening semi-final match, advancing Berntsson to the final.

USA’s Chris Poole and the Riptide Racing Team also defeated their semi-final opponent Eric Monnin/ Capvis Swiss Match Racing 2-0 to secure their slot in the final.

In the first-to-two-points final, Berntsson led Poole off the start in the first race, but the teams came together at the top mark in a luffing duel which Poole was able to come out ahead despite several protests from his opponent which were green flagged by the umpires. Poole was able to control the lead to the finish line.

After a course reset due to a shift in wind direction, Poole and team led the second start, gaining a four-boat length over Berntsson after the first leg which they were again able to hold to the finish to clinch the Match Cup title with a 2-0 score.

“It’s just awesome” commented Poole over the finish line, “Match Cup Sweden is one of the most famous match races in the world and to win it is amazing, but to be the first American to do so is event better – the team sailed phenomenally, and we’re delighted with the result.”

In the Nordea Women’s Trophy event, running concurrently during GKSS MAatch Cup Sweden, defending event champion Sweden’s Anna Östling/ Team Wings met with Renee Groeneveld/ Dutch Match Racing Team in the finals after each team had defeated their respective semi-final opponents Julia Aartsen (NED)/ Team Out of the Box, and Pauline Courtois (FRA)/ Match in Pink.

After Groeneveld secured the first race, the Wings Team were determined to stay in the game and equalised in the second race 1-1.

In the winner-take-all decider over 3 laps of the shorter course, the teams were less than a boat length of each other down the final leg, but it was the Wings Team that were able to gybe first to the finish and just pull away from Groeneveld to cross the line ahead, much to the delight of their committed fans lining the Marstrand rocks.

“I’m so exhausted!” said a jubilant Östling crossing the finish line, “It’s the craziest final we have ever done, three laps with such a gusty breeze and many lead changes. Renee was a very strong opponent, but we never give up as a team and today was our day – we are thrilled and I am so happy for all the team that worked so hard for this result!”

GKSS Match Cup Sweden 2024 final results:

  1. Chris Poole/ Riptide Racing, USA
  2. Johnie Berntsson/ Berntsson Sailing, SWE
  3. Jeppe Borch/ Borch Racing, DEN
  4. Eric Monnin/ Capvis Swiss Matcch Racing, SUI
  5. Nick Egnot-Johnson/ Knots Racing, NZL
  6. Aurélien Pierroz/ Match in Black, FRA
  7. Marius Westerlind, SWE
  8. Theo Westerlind, SWE
  9. .Matti Sepp/ Clean Energy Racing, EST
  10. Rocco Attili/ RBYS Racing, ITA

Nordea Women’s Trophy 2024 final results:

  1. Anna Östling/ Team WINGS, SWE
  2. Renee Groeneveld/ Dutch Match Racing, NED
  3. Pauline Courtois/ Match in Pink, FRA
  4. Julia Aartsen/ Team Out of the Box, NED
  5. Martina Carlsson/ Beyond Racing, SWE
  6. Celia Willison/ EDGE Racing NZ, NZL
  7. Kristine Mauritzen/ Those Seagulls, DEN
  8. Megan Thomson/ 2.o Racing, NZL

For more information, follow www.wmrt.com and womenswmrt.com and via social media at Facebook and Instagram @wordmatchracingtour and @womenswmrt

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JPK 11.80 July 2024