Sweden’s Team WINGS wins Santa Maria Cup

Annapolis, USA (4 May 2023) – Sweden’s Team WINGS won the all-women Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Santa Maria Cup today in Annapolis, the second stage of the 2023 Women’s World Match Racing Tour. Skippered by Anna Östling with Annika Carlunger, Anna Holmdahl White and Linnéa Wennergren, the Swedes defeated New Zealand’s Celia Willison and Edge Women’s Match team 3-0 in the finals and in a turnaround from last week’s event in San Francisco.

The route to the podium was no easy task for the Swedish team today. They started the day trailing New Zealand’s Megan Thomson/ 2.0 Racing 0-2 in their semi-final pairing and needing three straight wins against Thomson to secure a spot to the final.

After winning the first two races of the day in shifty conditions which have challenged the teams all week, Östling and crew were able to work the shifts close to the shore and complete their come-back over Thomson 3-2. First challenge of the day complete, now to the final.

Celia Willison (NZL)/ EDGE Womens Match Photo: Walter Cooper
Celia Willison (NZL)/ EDGE Womens Match Photo: Walter Cooper

In the second semi-pairing, Celia Willison (NZL) and Nicole Breault (USA) started the day levelled 1-1. Also having to deal with multiple wind holes and shifts, it was anyone’s game to find clear air on the course. But it was Willison and crew that managed to find their pace and win two straight races against Breault to win their semis match 3-1.

Into the finals and the WINGS were on a mission. With some of her crew having won the event before, and on her first visit to Annapolis, Anna Östling was determined to join the club. With the breeze light, it was a day for the tacticians to call the shifts and puffs – call it right and you could gain three boat lengths, call it wrong and it was game over.

Anna Östling and Linnéa Wennegren (SWE/ Team WINGS Photo: Walter Cooper
Anna Östling and Linnéa Wennegren (SWE/ Team WINGS Photo: Walter Cooper
Megan Thomson (NZL)/ 2.0 Racing Photo: Walter Cooper
Megan Thomson (NZL)/ 2.0 Racing Photo: Walter Cooper
Photo: Walter Cooper
Photo: Walter Cooper

Despite multiple lead changes keeping the spectators on shore guessing on who had the lead, the WINGS team were first to score. Feeling confident from their earlier semis match, they were able to win the next two races and clinch the Santa Maria Cup final 3-0 over Willison. Mission accomplished for Östling.

“We are so thrilled to win here in Annapolis” said a jubilant Östling. “We knew we had a lot of work to do today but we knew we could do it as a team. That was some very close and extremely difficult racing against Celia in the final but we are so pleased to have come through to win the event – fantastic!”

The Women’s World Match Racing Tour now heads to Normandy in France for the Normandie Match Cup in Le Havre, 25-29 May and then to Skovshoved in Denmark for the KDY Women’s Match Race, 21-24 September.

Final Standings:

Final Standings

Follow full results at https://www.santamariacup.org/results
For information on the Santa Maria Cup https://www.santamariacup.org
For information on WMRT, visit https://womenswmrt.com/

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