WIM Series skippers ready for Cork event
– 13 crews from 8 countries to race for world championship title
Bright sunshine and excellent wind conditions today welcomed the 52 sailors participating in the 2014 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship to Cork, Ireland. The Royal Cork Yacht Club had their eight J/80s ready for the crews to get a few hours practise each, before the real thing starts Wednesday with the round-robin stage of the event. By Sunday we’ll not only know which of the top ranked sailors has captured the World Championship title, but also who gained points on this first event out of five on the 2014 Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series): “To kick off this year’s WIM Series with the World Championship in this great location is fantastic”, says Liz Baylis WIM Series Manager.
Please read more about the 2014 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship skippers (name/nationality/ISAF world ranking) below:
Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, 1
Having three consecutive victories in the Lysekil Women’s Match in Sweden, 32 years old Camilla and her crew are the unquestionable queens of that event. Since 2003 this smiling Danish sailor has concentrated on match racing, but her career started in different dinghies. In 2013 she finished runner-up in the World Championships in Busan, Korea, and reached third place in the WIM Series. Camilla is an architect who loves liquorice but not swimming, and she’s just regained the world ranking #1 spot.
Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 2
She started as a match racing sailor on foredeck, but in former America’s Cup challenger Magnus Holmberg’s Sailing Factory, now 30 years old Anna Kjellberg of the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club found her interest in helming rise. After her Olympic debut in London, she finished runner-up in the 2013 inaugural WIM Series season. This spring Anna became a mother for the first time, but not even that can keep her away from the match racing scene that she loves so much. We will see Anna on most of the events.
Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 4
With 20 years of match racing in approximately 40 different boats, some silver and bronze medals in World Championships, as well as gold in the Europeans, Lotte is one of the most experienced sailors on the WIM Series. The four years in advance of the London 2012 Olympics, she focused on that campaign, leading to a 10th place in the tough Olympic fleet. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen is working as a Coastal and Ocean Engineer, doing most of her sailing practise and training at the Royal Danish Yacht Club.
Stephanie Roble, USA, 5
24 years old Stephanie Roble started sailing dinghies and scows out of Lake Beulah YC, where she was a successful junior sailor. Later she picked up match racing and fell in love with the fast paced game. Together with fellow team member Maggie Shea she campaigned for women’s Olympic match racing, and qualified as one of the top four for the final stage of the US trials. In the fall of 2012, Stephanie and Maggie became the first women to win both the US Women’s and the US Open Match Racing Championships.
Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 8
As “everybody else” in Sweden, 25 years old Caroline Sylvan began her sailing career in the Optimist and Europe dinghies, participating in Nordic and European as well as World Championships. After twice becoming national champion in Laser Radial, she began match racing in 2010 and immediately won the Youth National Championships. In 2012 Caroline took the bronze medal in the European Match Racing Championships, and in 2013 she finished sixth in the inaugural WIM Series season.
Claudia Pierce, NZL, 15
Claudia Pierce is 21 years old and in her fifth year of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Youth Training Programme. She was trimmer in the runner up crew for the national Match Racing selection for the 2012 Olympics, and then made the move to helming. Claudia has also done snowboarding and hockey. Last season she raced all but one event on the Women’s International Match Racing Series, finishing on 7th place overall. In the 2014 New Zealand Women Match Racing Championship she finished 2nd.
Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 17
31 years old Anne-Claire Le Berre from Brest on the Atlantic coast of France came back to the match racing circuit last year after a maternity leave, immediately becoming National Champion on her home waters. Since 2005 she has been into match racing, ranked number 5 in the world as best, and before that she did an Olympic campaign in the Yngling. Anne-Claire is not only a skilled sailor, with victories in several grade 1 match racing events over the last years, but also a naval architect at FinotConq.
Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 43
Dutch veteran match racer Klaartje Zuiderbaan, 41, is an engineer who became the European Champion in 2000. In 2006 she was ranked second in the world, and two years later she scored her last victory, winning the Grade 1 match racing event in Trentino, Italy. After coaching the Dutch Sonar to a gold medal in the Paralympics in London, she came back to match racing and finished 10th in the WIM Series inaugural season. Klaartje also sailed the Volvo Ocean Race on Amer Sports Too in 2001-02.
Annabel Vose, GBR, 50
With just a year’s practise in match racing, 19-year old Annabel Vose wants to learn as much as possible from the world’s best, and hopefully give them a run for their money… She is an experienced dinghy sailor and 420 World and European Champion, now on an Olympic Campaign in the 470 and studying Engineering at the University of her hometown Southampton. Annabel has also raced many different keelboats, becoming Quarter Ton Cup Champion in 2011 and in 2013. Older skippers better beware!
Lucie Scheiwiller, FRA, 54
25-years old Lucie Scheiwiller holds an engineering degree in agronomy, which has given her the opportunity to an internship at Prince de Bretagne, supporting the production of vegetables along the coast of Brittany. A successful career in the 420 has been followed in the past couple of years by match racing, with the J/80 as her favourite boat and Club de Voile de St Aubin les Elbeufs as her home club. Her goal for this season is to hit the top 30 on the ISAF World Ranking, where she in April is on spot 53.
Anne-Christianne Kentgens, NED, 67
Hopefully Anne-Christianne will not have to practise her Medicine Studies while racing on the WIM Series, where she will enter as a wild card in the World Championship in Cork. As a club member of Maas en Roer, 19-year old Anne-Christianne has been with the Dutch national team in Optimist, 420 and Yngling, now taking over the match racing helm from Fettje Osinga in the successful Team She Sails. The crew love sailing together and are aiming to climb the world ranking by competing as much as possible!
Laura Dillon, IRL, unranked
Laura Dillon was the first and still only female winner of the ISA Senior Helmsman’s Championship in 1996, finishing third at the same year’s ISAF Youth Worlds. In 2010 she became the Irish Women Match Racing Champion. When not working as a Strategy & Business Consultant in her own company, she is happy to spend time behind the wheel of S&S 41 “Winsome”, aiming for a Class 5 victory in Cowes Week. 35-years old Laura is very familiar with the J80, a class frequently used for match racing.
Mary O’Loughlin, IRL, unranked
To enjoy every minute on the water is the goal of Mary O’Loughlin, a 33-years old Dublin solicitor of the Royal St George Yacht Club, who has been match racing for nearly a decade. In addition to a World Championship title in the Mirror class, Mary also has a couple of National Championships in dinghy classes, and she has twice been recognized with special sportsmanship awards. Her experience spans over a variety of different sailing classes, with a recently purchased RS400 as her latest private investment.
ISAF Event Microsite
WIM Series Website
The 2014 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship is presented by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Port of Cork, the Cork County Council and the Irish Examiner media partner. 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, UAE. Skippers are invited to attend the Championship based on their ISAF World Match Racing Ranking position. Denmark’s Dorte Jensen is the most successful sailor having amassed four World Championship titles.
Find out more on the history of the event here
High-resolution rights free images from the 2014 edition are available to download on the ISAF Flickr here:
Daily VNRs will be available to download for the duration of the regatta. Please contact Event Press Officer Philomena Maguire Hahnel below for picture/video requests.
About WIM Series
The 2014 WIM Series is hosted by WIMRA for the world’s leading women match racing sailors, and contested in five venues: Cork, Ireland; Vannes, France; Lysekil, Sweden; Sheboygan, USA; and Busan, Korea. 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. Sebago is clothing partner. Official suppliers are Sailnet, 1080 Media, MILK, Sailing Education Association of Sheboygan, Adstream and Match Racing Results Service.
A number of hi-res images are available for download on www.wimseries.com/media
Event Press Officer
Philomena Maguire Hahnel
Tel: +353 842 515 804
ISAF Communications Department
Tel: + 44 2380 635 111
WIM Series Press Officer
Tel: + 46 70 604 25 04