WIM Series in Sweden for the 2nd event
– Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby to defend her Lysekil title
With no less than five consecutive wins in Lysekil Women’s Match, World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN, is definitely the name to look out for this week. But Swede Anna Östling is aiming to win her home event for the first time. And last year’s Lysekil finalist and WIM Series champion Stephanie Roble, USA, also aspires on the top of the podium:
“Definitely. We’ve sailed these boats a lot and I’m very confident in my team. My crew is my secret weapon, and we’ll pick up right where we left” says Roble.
The name Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby is somewhat synonymous with Lysekil Women’s Match. The Danish skipper sailed in Lysekil for the first time in 2006, finishing 6th, followed by modest results also the coming years; 11th, 7th and 6th. But since 2011 she’s owned the top spot, earning as much as 60 000 USD of prize money. Her team’s skills in the DS 37 boats raced in Lysekil, is a key success factor:
“We’ve been practising and racing in these boats at the Royal Danish Yacht Club for a dozen years now, and that’s of course an advantage against crews with less experience of these rather challenging boat” she admits.
Local hope Anna Östling is also very familiar with the DS 37s, from the match racing centre at her home club, the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club. A month ago she won the first WIM Series event in Helsinki, Finland, and she’s now prepared to repeat that triumph on her home waters:
“Normally we don’t set results goals, we rather talk about cooperation, team work and energy. But of course we want to win here in Lysekil this year. It’s about time” she comments, adding that the fierce competition will demand a lot of strength and concentration throughout the week.
World Champion Lotte Meldgaard is another skipper who will do her outmost to give her compatriot Ulrikkeholm Klinkby a run for her money. Meldgaard has come to Lysekil with a new crew compilation, including more experienced members as well as keen rookies. Perhaps they are among the crews that could have needed the practise session scheduled for Monday, but that opportunity blew away with gale force winds, pushing the race management to keep the sailors ashore for the whole day.
The wind forecast doesn’t look very promising for Tuesday either, but there may be a chance to fit a short practise session and/or a few matches late Tuesday afternoon:
“We’re carefully following the weather predictions, ready to quickly adapt to any changes” WIM Series Manager Liz Baylis comments, praising the local event organisation:
“Lysekil Women’s Match sets the bar for a great match racing event – both on and off the water. The event is a benchmark for what we aspire all of the WIM Series events to achieve. The arena for the sailing is fantastic and the festival atmosphere for spectators is hard to beat. Aside from watching the world class match racing and cheering on their heroes, fans of all ages can have a great time visiting the vendors, enjoying the concerts, and even trying some sailing of their own.”
Skippers in the 2016 Lysekil Women’s Match (name, nationality, world ranking July 13):
Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN, 1
Having five consecutive victories in Lysekil, 34 years old titleholder Camilla and her crew are the unquestionable queens of the event. Since 2003 this smiling Danish sailor has concentrated on match racing, keeping her ranking as one of the world’s best, but her career started in different dinghies. Camilla’s speciality is the big DS-boats that are raced in Lysekil, as well as in the training centre of her home club KDY in Skovshoved, Denmark. Camilla is an architect in Helsingör and won the 2014 WIM Series.
Anna Östling, SWE, 2
She started as a match racing sailor on foredeck, but in former America’s Cup challenger Magnus Holmberg’s Sailing Factory, now 32 years old Anna Östling of the Royal Gothenburg YC found her interest in helming rise. After her Olympic debut in Weymouth, she finished runner-up in the 2013 inaugural WIM Series season. In 2014 Anna became a mother for the first time, and just a few weeks later she took the World Championship title. In the 2014 WIM Series Anna and her team finished second.
Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 4
As “everybody else” in Sweden, 27 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 reached the podium in the European Championships, and last year she took her second consecutive 4th place in Lysekil and finished 5th on the WIM Series.
Pauline Courtois, FRA, 5
27 years old sport teacher Pauline Courtois from Brest started sailing at seven and racing at nine. She has been in match racing on different positions since 2011. In 2013 she finished runner-up when calling the tactics for Julie Bossard in the WIM Series event in Saint-Quay-Portrieux, and took a bronze medal in the national championships. Pauline made her skipper debut on the WIM Series in 2014, and in Lysekil last year. She opened the 2016 WIM Series season with 2nd place in Helsinki in June.
Stephanie Roble, USA, 6
26 years old Stephanie Roble started sailing dinghies and scows out of Lake Beulah YC. Later she picked up match racing, and together with Maggie Shea she became in 2012 the first woman to win both the US Women’s and the Open Match Racing Championships. In 2014 Stephanie Roble won the Etchells Worlds and the US Women’s Match Racing Championships, and finished third in the Women’s Match Racing World Championships. Last year she and her Epic Racing Team took the WIM Series title.
Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, 7
24 years old mathematics student Marinella Laaksonen is not only the highest ranked female Finnish skipper on the World Sailing ranking, but also the reigning National Champion in Women’s Match Racing. Before getting into match racing, Marinella sailed dinghy classes like Europe dinghy, Zoom 8 and 49er FX. Her goal for the 2016 WIM Series season is to gain experience and learn what to improve. In her home event in June, Marinella finished 6th, and this year marks her debut in Lysekil.
Sanna Häger, SWE, 15
28 years old Swede Sanna Häger is quite new on the match racing circuit, but with a lot of experience from various dinghy classes. She learned sailing on the Lake Mälaren, and is hence an expert in the shifty and gusty wind conditions that often prevail also in match racing. In Swedish capital Stockholm Sanna has formed a team of six girls from all over the country, doing their second year on the WIM Series. Sanna & Co have not yet won any international events, but they have so far a number of home water victories.
Lotte Meldgaard, DEN, 16
With more than 20 years of match racing in approximately 40 different boats, a gold in the Europeans and some podium finishes in the Worlds, reigning World Champion Lotte Meldgaard is one of the most experienced sailors on the WIM Series. For 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 is working as a Coastal and Ocean Engineer, doing most of her sailing practise and training at the Royal Danish Yacht Club.
Alexa Bezel, SUI, 22
On the west coast of the elongated Lake Zürich, right where the ferry to Meilen departs, is the home waters of Swiss skipper Alexa Bezel, 25. She is a language talented person, managing to keep her French and German speaking crew together. Their sailing background is in 470 and Laser as well as in keelboats, multihulls and Volvo Ocean Race. In 2012 they came to Lysekil for the first time, and shocked everybody with their runner-up result! Last year they finished 7th in Lysekil and 15th on the WIM Series.
Johanna Bergqvist, SWE, 30
Team X Match Racing was born last year as a Swedish team from Gothenburg. Skipper Johanna Bergqvist has already, at age 20, competed at several international regattas in different dinghy classes. Members of Team X are between the ages of 19 and 22. Most of them have a background in dinghies, but some also have experience in keel-boat racing. Johanna has really advanced from last year’s 117th place on the world ranking, aiming for further climbing as she’s now got her second wildcard to the Lysekil Women’s Match.
Standings in the 2016 WIM Series before Lysekil Women’s Match (skipper, nationality, WIM Series points):
1. Anna Östling, SWE, 25
2. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 22
3. Renée Groeneveld, NED, 20
4. Camilla Ulrikkeholm Klinkby, DEN, 18
5. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 16
6. Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, 14
7. Rikst Dijkstra, NED, 12
8. Antonia Degerlund, FIN, 10
9. Susanna Kukkonen FIN, 8
10. Diana Kissane, IRL, 7
11. Sanna Häger, SWE, 6
12. Sanna Mattsson, SWE, 5
The Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) is the first and only professional sailing series for women, hosted by the Women’s International Match Racing Association and joined by the world’s leading women match racing sailors. Match racing is sailed in two identical boats around a short course, providing fast action close to the crowds on shore. The intense racing is just as exciting for the spectators as it is strategically, tactically and physically challenging for the competing crews.
An overall prize purse of 50 000 USD will be distributed by the WIM Series in addition to the prize money at each of the four events included in the 2016 WIM Series (date, event name, location, boat type):
- June 27 – July 1, Helsinki Women’s Match, Helsinki, Finland, J/80.
- August 8 – 13, Lysekil Women’s Match, Lysekil, Sweden, DS 37.
- September 20 – 25, Women’s Match Racing World Championship & Buddy Melges Challenge, Sheboygan, USA, Elliott 6m.
- October 25 – 29, Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, Busan, South Korea, K30.
- December 1 – 4, Carlos Aguilar Match Race, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, IC 24.
The WIM Series is hosted by WIMRA. 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, +46 70 604 25 04
WIM Series Manager Liz Baylis, Liz@wimseries.com, +1 415 691 6202
The main sponsor of Lysekil Women’s Match is Preem, with the Lysekil Municipality as the host city. Sebago, Svitzer, BRA and Båtsystem are partners. BMW from Bilia Group is the official car.
A selection of high resolution images from Lysekil Women’s Match is available to download at: