WIM Series in exciting historical context
– the oldest Yacht Club in the world to host first 2014 event
Next week the Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) starts the new season in an exciting historical context. The first event will not only be hosted by the oldest yacht club in the world, the Royal Cork Yacht Club, but the event will also continue a tradition of ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championships dating back to 1999. And on top of that the surroundings, with the newly renovated Camden Fort Meagher, offer a really beautiful and historical setting.
“I’m confident that with all the efforts Event Chairman Ronan Enright and his talented team have put into this event, next week we will see nothing short of an excellent start to the 2014 WIM Series” says WIM Series Manager Liz Baylis.
The WIM Series began in 2013 with its inaugural season, comprising five successful events in France, Denmark, Korea, USA and Sweden. No less than 25 crews from 13 countries raced each other in hundreds of thrilling matches, and the title and the USD 50 000 prize pool were still up for grabs until the last day of the final event, the Lysekil Women’s Match in Sweden. Lucy Macgregor of Great Britain became the first skipper to put her name on the Terry J Kohler Perpetual Trophy, with Swede Anna Kjellberg runner-up.
The second season of the still young, growing and aspiring WIM Series will open next week in a context with far more tradition, routine and history. The Royal Cork Yacht Club hosts the first event in Ireland on June 3 – 8. Private sailing started to become popular in Cork Harbour already in the late 1600s, and by 1720 interest in the sport had progressed so much that the 26 year old William O’Brien and some of his friends established The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork. This club is known today as the Royal Cork Yacht Club, and it is the oldest yacht club in the world.
The ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship is an annual event that
was first held in Genoa, Italy, in 1999, after a successful event was held as part of the 1998 ISAF Sailing World Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The winner in Dubai, American Betsy Alison, had to settle for second place in 1999, with Dorte O Jensen of Denmark scoring her first of three consecutive World titles. In 2006 Dorte O Jensen won again, and is with her four titles the most victorious ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship skipper ever.
The 2013 World Champion Tamara Echegoyen of Spain will not be in Cork to defend her title, but the 2013 silver medallist and current World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm is keen on continuing compatriot Dorte O Jensen’s winning World Championship record. One of her opponents will be Klaartje Zuiderbaan of The Netherlands, who made her ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship debut in the 1999 edition.
Ulrikkeholm, Zuiderbaan and all the other participants will in Cork enjoy sailing just below the beautifully situated and newly renovated Camden Fort Meagher, a fortress with fortifications on the site originally dating from 1550. The sailors will be led through old military tunnels from the public area on top of Camden Fort Meagher, with bar, restaurant and grandstand overlooking the race course, down to the water and the jetties with all the J/80s provided for the event.
Previous winners of the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship (year, skipper, nationality, event place):
(1998, Betsy Alison, USA, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
1999, Dorte O Jensen, DEN, Genoa, Italy
2000, Dorte O Jensen, DEN, Florida, USA
2001, Dorte O Jensen, DEN, Lake Ledro, Italy
2002, Liz Baylis, USA, Calpe, Spain
2003, Malin Millbourn, SWE, Sundsvall, Sweden
2004, Sally Barkow, USA, Annapolis, USA
2005, Sally Barkow, USA, Bermuda
2006, Dorte O Jensen, DEN, Copenhagen, Denmark
2007, Claire Leroy, FRA, St Quay, France
2008, Claire Leroy, FRA, Auckland, New Zealand
2009, Nicky Souter, AUS, Lysekil, Sweden
2010, Lucy Macgregor, GBR, Newport, USA
2011, Anna Tunnicliffe, USA, Perth, Australia
2012, Silja Lehtinen, FIN, Långedrag, Sweden
2013, Tamara Echegoyen, ESP, Busan, Korea
2014, ???, Cork, Ireland
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.
(Photo of Fort Camden Meagher courtesy of Robert Bateman Photography)