Le Berre leading, undefeated, in Sheboygan
– local hope Stephanie Roble on 4th place after day 1
Morning fog delayed the start of the Buddy Melges Challenge for a while, but as the racing went on in Sheboygan, USA, Anne-Claire Le Berre of France showed her great light condition skills. After day 1 of the event she stays alone at the top, undefeated after flawless racing:
“I think we had better speed than the other teams” Le Berre comments.
Local hope Stephanie Roble sits on fourth with a 3 wins – 2 losses record, and is not too unhappy about that:
“There’s lots of racing left, so no worries” she says.
The Buddy Melges Challenge, the fourth and penultimate stage of the 2014 WIM Series, offered light winds from the south all Wednesday. The wind was as high as six knots and as low as zero, with just a hundred metres of visibility in a thick morning fog that forced the race management to postpone racing for a couple of hours. Right after noon the first flight went off, with Anne-Claire Le Berre immediately beginning her winning strike:
“Today we had a speed advantage that made us sail very well. It’s a lot easier to be clever on the water with decent speed. And getting away well in the starts let us chose the favourable side of the course” the French skipper explains her successful day on Lake Michigan, admitting that the race against local hero Stephanie Roble was a close one.
“We were over the starting line too early in that race, but had great speed and boat handling to make a close comeback” the American comments, calling the day “testing”.
“Yes, it was a tricky day. Lots of wind shifts and breaks due to lack of wind put our patience to test.”
Caroline Sylvan of Sweden on third place is even 3 – 2 with Roble, but compatriot Anna Kjellberg had a tough day fighting fever and chills. The Swedish reigning World Champion finished the day on fifth place after three losses and just two wins. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen of Denmark sits on runner-up position, having lost only a close match against Stephanie Roble:
“We lead the race all the way to the final gybe on the last run, where I think Stephanie had a bit better control over her boat handling” Meldgaard Pedersen analyses.
“The light conditions gave us time enough to think about our tactics and get the manoeuvres right today” she continues, praising the Elliott 6Ms raced in Sheboygan.
“It’s fantastic, like meeting an old friend! Before today I hadn’t sailed the Elliotts since our last resail match at the Olympics in London” Lotte laughs.
The fog rolled in after the fourth flight again, but with the course moved a little closer to shore the fog cleared again after half an hour. Then the wind shifted right and filled back in to five knots. Two more flights were sailed before coming ashore for the debrief and Opening Reception:
“Light unpredictable winds made the day challenging” PRO Rich Reichelsdorfer concludes.
The Buddy Melges Challenge is planned to be sailed as a triple round-robin, followed by a repechage round on Saturday and then semi-finals and final on Sunday. Eight skippers were signed to participate, but Canadian Chantal Hearst dropped out late due to crew illness.
Standings in the round-robin of the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge (skipper name, nationality, wins/losses):
1. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 5 – 0
2. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 4 – 1
3. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 3 – 2
4. Stephanie Roble, USA, 3 – 2
5. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 2 – 3
6. Juliana Senfft, BRA, 1 – 4
7. Madeline Gill, USA, 0 – 6
The 2014 Women’s International Match Racing Series is a professional sailing circuit, hosted by the Women’s International Match Racing Association for the world’s leading women match racing sailors. In match racing the crews meet two by two in exciting duels that can easily be followed and understood by the spectators.
An overall prize purse of 50 000 USD will be distributed by the WIM Series at the final event in Busan, Korea, in addition to the prize money at each of the five events included in the WIM Series (date, event name, location, boat type, prize money):
* June 3-8, ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship, Cork, Ireland, J/80, 17 000 USD.
* July 24-27, Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan, Vannes, France, Beneteau 7.5, 14 000 USD.
* August 4-9, Lysekil Women’s Match, Lysekil, Sweden, DS 37, 50 000 USD.
* September 23-28, Buddy Melges Challenge, Sheboygan, USA, Elliott 6, 10 000 USD.
* October 11-16, Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, Busan, Korea, K 30, 100 000 USD.
The WIM Series is hosted by WIMRA. Sebago is clothing partner. Official suppliers are Sailnet, 1080 Media, MILK, Sailing Education Association of Sheboygan, Adstream and Match Racing Results Service.
Images: A number of hi-res images are available for download on www.wimseries.com/media/
More information about the Women’s International Match Racing Series:
WIM Series Press Officer Joakim Hermansson, email@example.com, +46 70 604 25 04
WIM Series Manager Liz Baylis, Liz@wimseries.com, +1 415 691 6202
The Buddy Melges Challenge has been an ISAF Grade One match racing event in Sheboygan for a number of years. The event is named after the famous Olympian, America’s Cup sailor, boat builder, and Wisconsinite Buddy Melges, whose contributions to the sport have been long standing. The trophy for the event resides in the Sheboygan Yacht Club and is a replica of the America’s Cup.
More information about the Buddy Melges Challenge:
Press Officer Matt Wierzbach, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 920 918 9204