Spithill in the semi finals at Busan Cup Women's International Match Race

Le Berre, Groeneveld and Spithill celebrated Halloween by making it through to the semi finals of the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, with World #1 Ulrikkeholm Klinkby defeating WIM Series leader Shea of Epic Racing 3 – 1 for the last semi slot:

“Maggie pushed us a lot in the prestarts, but we found the right shifts and had very good boat handling. Now we’re going for victory, in Busan and in the WIM Series” the Danish skipper states.

“We had really close races and most of them could have gone either way. We did the best we could, but now it’s not in our hands anymore” says Shea, congratulating the Danes.

Shifty and puffy winds have characterized the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, the fourth and final event of the 2015 WIM Series, during the week. Saturday’s quarterfinals were certainly not an exception to that, with an even lighter and more unreliable breeze than the previous days. The somewhat spooky Halloween conditions put both the race committee and the sailors to the test, as the quarterfinals stretched out from early morning until late afternoon:

“It was stressful quarterfinal racing because we didn’t have much wind, and it was very tricky with a lot of shifts and puffs. Anything can happen in that kind of wind” World #4 skipper Anne-Claire Le Berre sighs.

The French team defeated Singaporean Denise Lim 3 – 0 in the quarters, finishing in very, very light wind at the end of the day:

“We didn’t make very good starts, so we had to work well with the tactics to compensate for that”, says Le Berre, who at the debriefing afterwards chose Dutch rising star Renée Groeneveld as her opponent for Sunday’s semi final.

Groeneveld beat World #3 Anna Östling 3 – 1 in their quarterfinal, effectively terminating the Swede’s chances to reach the 2015 WIM Series podium:

“In the match we lost we got a big rope stuck under our keel and rudder, but apart from that misfortune I think we made good starts and played the shifts well” Groeneveld comments.

“We haven’t sailed a lot together before, but now we’re really into the racing, with great boat handling and manoeuvres. The girls did really well today” the Dutch skipper praises.

Australian Katie Spithill took the first two bullets in her quarterfinal against Caroline Sylvan, but then the Swede broke back with a victory in the third race:

“I got the timing wrong when I pushed Caroline over the starting line too early, and then followed her over the line when I didn’t actually have to. It was a brainfade and a silly mistake, but no more mistakes from now on!” Spithill makes clear.

The Aussies, who are now happy to be in the semis in their first regatta since this summer’s World Championship in Middelfart, Denmark, won the fourth quarterfinal match:

“Today was good training in light wind, and we’re ready to fight tomorrow” the skipper says.

The fight for the coveted WIM Series title and the Terry J Kohler Perpetual Trophy will now continue without the Series’ leaders of Epic Racing. However, the American team can still get the title, if Ulrikkeholm Klinkby doesn’t reach the final. Anne-Claire Le Berre can as best finish runner-up in the WIM Series, but only if she wins the Busan event and the Danes finish fourth here in Korea.

Quarterfinal results in the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, the fourth and final event of the 2015 WIM Series:

Renée Groeneveld, NED – Anna Östling, SWE, 3 – 1

Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN – Maggie Shea (substituting for Stephanie Roble), USA, 3 – 1

Katie Spithill, AUS – Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 3 – 1

Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA – Denise Lim, SIN, 3 – 0

Semi final pairings:

Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA – Renée Groeneveld, NED

Katie Spithill, AUS – Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN

– Regatta Media

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