Photo caption: NZ Match skippered by Celia Willison has the lead in their match against 2017 WIM Series Champion, Pauline Courtois Photo: Sebastian Mardones, Studio Finchi
The 2018 WIM Series opened in sparkling conditions in Helsinki for the first day of racing at the Helsinki Women’s Match. Thirteen flights were sailed by the thirteen teams in the beautiful sunshine.
A fairly steady southwesterly breeze made it easy for the race committee lead by French International Race Officer, Anne Mallédant, to bang off races at a quick pace throughout the long midsummer day.
Local sailor Marinella Laaksonen and her L2 Match Racing Team finished the first day undefeated with 5 wins and no losses. Laaksonen credited her teammates by saying “everything worked very well on the boat – communication, maneuvers, and speed. We have sailed three big events, two here in Helsinki and one in Gothenburg, already this spring which has helped us work well as a team.”
Another team that caught the attention of the spectators as well as their fellow sailors today was one of the new teams on the WIM Series – NZ Match skippered by Celia Willison finishing the day with 4 wins including a win over 2017 WIM Series Champion, Pauline Courtois. Although this is the team’s first time at a WIM Series event, match racing at the international level is not new to them. “We have sailed international events on the youth and open circuits, but this is our first all-women’s event as a team and we’re having a great time” Willison said when asked about their team’s successful first day in Helsinki.
“With only half of the round robin racing completed, it is way too early to see any clear cup favorites, so there is still much to play for tomorrow to see which teams will move on to the quarter-finals” said Liz Baylis, WIM Series Race Manager, after a successful first day.
The round robin racing continues Wednesday. The top eight teams from the round robin series will advance to the knockout quarter-finals on Thursday. The event will conclude on Friday with the semi-finals and finals.
Results in the 2018 Helsinki Women’s Match, the first event of the 2018 WIM Series, after day 1 of the round-robin (skipper, team name, nationality, wins – losses):
1. Marinella Laaksonen, L2 Match Racing Team, FIN, 5 – 0
2. Trine Palludan, Team Kattnakken, DEN, 5 – 1
3. Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist Match Racing, SWE, 5 – 1
4. Antonia Degerlund, Team Sköna Vibbisar, FIN, 5 – 2
5. Celia Willison, NZ Match, NZL, 4 – 2
6. Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 4 – 3
7. Allie Blecher, Team BAAM!, USA, 3 – 3
8. Sanna Häger, Stockholm Match Racing Team, SWE, 2 – 3
9. Jassi Skogman, Team Skogman, FIN, 2 – 4
9. Margot Vennin, Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 2 – 4
11. Margot Riou, APCC Women Sailing Team, FRA, 2 – 5
12. Sanna Mattsson, Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team, SWE, 0 – 5
13. Hanna Ericksson, Peregrine Racing, SWE, 0 – 6