Spithill takes on Palludan in semis at Busan Cup


After an intense Wednesday in light winds and bright sunshine on the waters of the Korean Haeundae Beach, the round-robin of the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race was completed. Lucy Macgregor of Great Britain and Danish Trine Palludan have now taken a firm grip of their respective semi final, with Swedish World Champion Anna Kjellberg and Katie Spithill of Australia both one match down:

“Whilst we lost our first match of the semi final we’re still confident going into tomorrow's racing. Tomorrow is a new day and we’re excited and ready to race” says Katie Spithill, who won the round-robin with a superior 9 – 2 score.

The Korean waters of Haeundae showed another side of itself during Wednesday’s racing, when bright sunshine and just a light breeze followed on the initial days, clearly affected with heavy rain and strong winds from the nearby Super Typhoon Vongfong. The lack of time due to previously having lost one day of racing to Vongfong, caused the regatta organizers to cancel the quarterfinal stage and immediately move on to the semis.

The round-robin was really tight to the end, with skippers Macgregor, Palludan and Kjellberg in a three-way-tie on eight wins and three losses each. Spithill was the only one to score nine wins and just two losses, for a triumph in the round-robin stage: “We were very surprised to see that we came out on the top of the round robin, we hadn't been keeping track of everyone's scores” the Australian comments.

As the round-robin winner Spithill got to pick her semi final opponent, and chose Trine Palludan. But that was a choice the Australian Match Racing Champion maybe regrets, since the first match of their semi final ended in Danish favour: “We studied all the previous races from the shore and knew we wanted the starboard side of the course. We got out there ahead of Katie, stretched our lead through the race and finished almost a minute ahead of her” a confident Palludan explains, stating: “Tomorrow we want to prove that Team Ulrikkeholm is the best in the world.”

In the other semi final Lucy Macgregor won the start against Kjellberg, and then managed to stay ahead of the Swedish team throughout the match: “We’re really pleased with our day. First we did what we had to do and finished second in the round-robin. And now we have a very good position going into tomorrow” the British skipper says.

For Kjellberg it was a long and tough day, first concluding the round-robin and then recharging for the semi:“It just went on and on with race after race, with a really good feeling in the team. Despite losing the last match we’re confident about tomorrow. I’ll go to sleep with a smile tonight” the Swede says.

For the outcome of the 2014 WIM Series, today’s results in Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race mean that Anne-Claire Le Berre secured third place and a 10 000 USD prize check, just one point ahead of American Stephanie Roble on fourth: “I’m not so pleased with our fifth place here in Busan, but more happy that we managed to keep the third place on the WIM Series for this year. I think my team has done a really great job” Le Berre comments.

Anna Kjellberg can still win the 2014 WIM Series, but she has to win the Busan regatta while Trine Palludan finishes fourth. All other results mean that the Danish World # 1 Team Ulrikkeholm, with skippers Camilla Ulrikkeholm and Trine Palludan, will be the winners of the 2014 WIM Series, claiming the Terry J Kohler Perpetual Trophy and a prize check of 25 000 USD.

Standings in the semis of the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, the fifth and final event of the 2014 WIM Series:
Trine Palludan, DEN – Katie Spithill, AUS 1 – 0
Lucy Macgregor, GBR – Anna Kjellberg, SWE 1 – 0

Results in the round-robin of the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race (skipper, country, wins – losses):
1. Katie Spithill, AUS, 9 – 2
2. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, 8 – 3
3. Trine Palludan, DEN, 8 – 3
4. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 8 – 3

5. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 7 – 4
6. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 6 – 5
7. Stephanie Roble, USA, 6 – 5
8. Denise Lim, SIN, 5 – 6
9. Susannah Pyatt, NZL, 4 – 7
10. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 3 – 8
11. Urara Fujii, JPN, 2 – 9
12. Sung Eun Choi, KOR, 0 – 11

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