uly 4, 2023 – Middelfart, Denmark: First day of racing at the 2023 Women’s Match Racing World Championship – powered by Bunker One – got off to a flying start in a solid breeze.
So did current world champion Pauline Courtois (FRA), with two wins against Octavia Owen (GBR) and Louise Oleson (DEN) before the race committee decided to send the fleet back to shore as the wind picked up with gusts close to 40 knots.
Danish home court favorite Lea Richter Vogelius and her crew also got their best game on and won their first two races against Julia Aarsten (NED) and number two on the match racing ranking list, Anna Östling (SWE). However, their race number three ended up in a bit of a mess.
Lea Richter Vogelius and Celia Wilson (NZL) had an intense fight, but on the second upwind, confusion occurred as two top marks were present, and the two skippers picked a different mark.
- As we finished, none of us got a beep from the race committee, so we both hoisted the red protest flag and met in the jury room back on shore, explains Lea Richter Vogelius, claiming they were not notified about a change of course at the leeward mark.
- We ended up spending a couple of hours in the jury room, and surprisingly the jury decided that we have to resail the race and hopefully, we’ll have time to do it; we have a busy schedule ahead of us after they canceled most of the day due to high winds, says Celia Wilson.
Dutch skipper Julia Aarsten and her crew, who had a spectacular crash during practice on Monday, got off to a good start with a win in their first race against one of the favorites for the title, Anna Östling (SWE).
- Our nosedive followed by a Chinese gybe yesterday was a bit scary, but we managed to shake it off before our first race, and after a good start against Anna, we covered their boat and took the win. The race against Lea was close, and unfortunately, we lost that one – but overall, a good start of the regatta, says Julia Aarsten.
The race committee has opted to start racing early, very early Wednesday morning, with the first race scheduled for 8 a.m. The hope is to finish as many flights as possible before a low pressure arrives around noon with winds in the 40 knots range accompanied by thunder and heavy showers.
Standings after day one at the 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.
- 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 website: https://gosail.dk/womens-match-racing-world-championship-2023/