The Petit Final led off today and provided a brilliant introduction to the display of match racing that was enthralling for the spectators to watch today. Caroline Sylvan (SWE) put up a tough fight against Stephanie Roble (USA), but the American crew proved to be strongest at the end. With two straight wins they secured the bronze in the 2014 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship, the first event out of five on the 2014 Women’s International Match Racing Series.
Finally the climax of this outstanding match racing event arrived and all were waiting with bated breath expecting a tremendous fight that lived up to all expectations and provided a display unequalled on the Cork Harbour scene for a number of years. Following a short delay to allow for the swopping of Stephanie Roble’s (USA) boat, who in fact had come third in the series thus taking the bronze spot, all was in readiness and the scene set for the epic battle of the week and this in fact was what it turned out to be. With SSW breeze of 15 to 25 knots, a flooding tide, sunshine and shifty winds Anna Kjellberg of Sweden, World No. 2 and Camilla Ulrikkeholm World No. 1 entered the ding dong competition.
Ulrikkeholm gained an early advantage by winning the first match of the final. The flukey winds together with the flooding tide and strong current, really put it up to the sailors who gave it their all with a masterful display which was to last through the races for the final.
In the second match it was Kjellberg got through to victory and thus leaving it all to play for in match 3. Both teams started aggressively in race 3 with both clearly stating their intention to do the business. The Dane appeared to be in control of the situation when the Swede had a poor bottom mark rounding and it looked to be all over for her. However, the wily Swede went up the right side the beat and it paid off handsomely for her, taking the lead from the Dane and then held on in very tight circumstances and took the win.
Race 4 started with the tide turned. The start was again very aggressive with the Swede appearing to have the better of it. The wind seemed at it’s strongest for this race. Both boats drag raced up the beat heading left. The Dane appeared marginally faster in the stronger conditions and got through. The pattern continued until the bottom mark when the Swede, who clearly wanted the right side of the course, threw a couple of dummy tacks to break the Dane’s tight cover. Five minutes of racing later and it was all over bar the shouting. The smooth water on the right and a lucky shift took the Swede past the Dane and once through she never looked like losing and so it proved to be with the Swede taking the right hand side of the course downwind and gybing in the strongest breeze to power through to the finish and taking the winner’s title in the final of the 2014 ISAF Women’s Matching World Championships.
The prize giving followed in a very excited atmosphere with all very glad to be finished after a grueling week and showering the winner with congratulations and good wishes. A very lovely little human touch was added and made a perfect ending to the ceremonies when by kind permission of ISAF, Anna Kjellberg’s little five week old daughter, Vera, was brought out to join with her mother to receive her very own gold medal to mark the auspicious occasion.
A wonderful end to a wonderful week.
1st Anna Kjellberg, Karin Almquist, Vanja Lundberg, Annika Carlunger – Sweden
2nd Camilla Ulrikkeholm, Trine Palludan, Louise Ulrikkeholm, Joan Vestergård Hansen – Denmark
3rd Stephanie Roble, Janel Zarkowsky, Maggie Shea, Lara Dallman9Weiss – USA
4th Caroline Sylvan, Therese Wolgast, Louise Kruuse af Verchou, My Karlsten – Sweden
5th Anne9Claire Le Berre, Morgane Fountaine, Julie Gerecht, Anne Goasguen – France
6th Klaartje Zuiderbaan, Mijke Lievens, Kim Platteeuw, Lena Koter – Netherlands
7th Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, Anne Sophie Monk, Tina Gramkov, Nina Grunow – Denmark
8th Claudia Pierce, Diana Kissane, Isabella Morehead, Ellen Cahill – New Zealand
9th Annabel Vose, Emily Nagel, Suzy Russell, Hannah Peters – UK
10th Mary O’Loughlin, Lynn Reilly, Caoimhe Burns, Niamh McDonald – Ireland
11th Laura Dillon, Maria Coleman, Carol O’Kelly, Kate Nagle – Ireland
12th Lucie Scheiwiller, Clara Scheiwiller, Laure Ferchaud, Juliette Le Friec, Juliette Dubreuil – France
13th Anne Christianne Kentgens, Rikst Dijkstra, Rozan Gilles, Fettje Osinga – Netherlands