Light Air Dominates the Day in Busan
–Palludan advances and awaits her opponent
The weather has really been the dominant story this week at the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, the third event of the 2017 WIM Series. The fourth day was no different as the race committee and sailors battled with their patience in the light air.
With a forecast predicting light winds early before shutting off later, the race committee got an early start with the goal of completing the quarter-finals and semi-finals. Alas, the wind gods got the better of the mortals and racing ended before the whole semi-final program was completed today.
Trine Palludan and her Danish Team Kattnakken teammates continued their winning ways by defeating the young Australian team skippered by Sarah Parker to remain undefeated and earn the right to choose her semi-final opponent. When asked about her choice, Palludan commented: “It was a very difficult pick – all three of the teams are very good. We picked Team Anna (Anna Östling – SWE) because we thought we would rather face her today in the light wind as we are quite fast in the light. The key to winning in the heavy air is good teamwork and Team Anna has very good teamwork since they have sailed together as a team so much, so we would rather face her in the light.”
In the semi-finals the focus was on speed as Team Kattnakken’s tactician Josefine Boel Rasmussen said “We really focused on our trimming and going fast in the light winds. Adjusting all of the time.” That tactic seemed to work as the Danes defeated the Swedes 2-0 to advance to the finals and remain undefeated through 14 races.
The second semi-final match saw the Anglo-French rivalry between Lucy Macgregor’s Team Mac and Pauline Courtois’ Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team battle it out. The two teams were very evenly matched throughout with the boats never getting more than a few boat lengths apart. Macgregor described winning the first race: “We had a really good first match against Pauline. It is always fun sailing again her team. We led off the line and managed to stay in front, but it was really stressful as she kept it close.”
But Courtois fought back: “The girls did a very good gybe and we passed Lucy and then we stayed in a little more wind. The finish was very close and we won.” This evened up the score 1-1 with one more match to decide who would face Team Kattnakken.
Unfortunately the wind won the third match in the Macgregor-Courtois semi-final and the match was abandoned on the first leg when the breeze evaporated and the boats stopped moving. The race committee waited patiently until the sun started to go down before calling it a day. The race committee plans to complete the semi-final tomorrow before sailing the petit-finals and finals. “We did the best we could today. For tomorrow we have two different forecasts, but both of them show lots of wind – one has maybe 14-18 knots and the other shows 18-20 with gusts over 25 knots. As usual we will do everything we can to have a memorable conclusion to the 10th edition of the Busan Cup” said a hopeful Alfredo Ricci, Regatta Director.
The Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race in Busan, South Korea, concludes Saturday with the final races, prize giving and closing ceremonies. The race village, open to the public with large video screens, is based in the historic Suyeong Bay Yacht Center which hosted the Olympic Sailing Competition in 1988.
2017 Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race
Semi-Final Results (in progress)
Trine Palludan, DEN defeats Anna Östling, SWE 2-0
Lucy Macgregor, GBR and Pauline Courtois, FRA tied 1-1
Anna Östling, SWE defeats Renée Groeneveld, NED 3-0
Lucy Macgregor, GBR defeats Caroline Sylvan, SWE 3-0
Pauline Courtois, FRA defeats Marinella Laaksonen, FIN 3-0
Trine Palludan, DEN defeats Sarah Parker, AUS 3-0