NZ Womens Match Race Team on the verge of making Quarterfinals in Helsinki

The NZ Women’s Match Race Team are currently 6th after two days of racing at the opening WIM Series event in Helsinki.

With only 4 round robin races sailed on day two, the team helmed by Celia Willison managed to claim two wins and two losses which has left them with a solid chance of making the Quarterfinals. 

Speaking from Helinski, Willison realises the importance of tomorrows final two round robin races “We had 2 wins 2 losses today, with 2 races to go tomorrow. We are currently sitting in 6th place so the races tomorrow are quite important if we are to go on to make the quarterfinals.”

Willison and her team now have a 6-4 scorecard in 6th, with the 7th placed American Allie Blecher on 5-4 and the 8th placed Margot Vennin (FRA) on 4-6.

Marinella Laaksonen from Finland is currently leading the regatta with a 10-1 scorecard.

All eyes at the Squadron will be on Helsinki at 7pm (NZT) tonight when racing gets back underway. – 



Current results and the official WIM Series release below:

Helsinki continued to sparkle today as the wind picked up and the sun continued to shine for the second day of the Helsinki Women’s Match.

Finnish skipper Marinella Laaksonen and her L2 Match Racing Team continued their winning ways today, but with one blemish to their near perfect record.
“Other than the last match it has been good, we have had nice close races today with tight wins, so it has been fun”, said Laaksonen.

When asked about that last match of the day with Laaksonen, Courtois gave credit to her crew: “My crew did an amazing job for a good prestart. The wind was quite strong, so that was important to have a good start.” And Laaksonen agreed that the prestart was the key to the race: “We did some mistakes in the prestart and got a penalty in it. It also took a little bit too much time for us to get away from being locked.”

But Laaksonen did not let one loss bother her too much by concluding “Of course there is always some small things that you could do better, but we will continue winning tomorrow.”

Two teams currently stand between Laaksonen and Courtois in the standing: Trine Palludan’s Danish Team Kattnakken and Johanna Bergqvist’s Swedish Team Bergqvist Match Racing.  With only two losses (to Laaksonen and Courtois), Palludan is comfortable at this stage of the event: “It feels quite nice. We are slowly starting to get in to the boats and we are coming better all the time. One of our teammates had some problems with her stomach yesterday, so she was a bit tired today, but she is getting better as well.”

Bergqvist, with nine wins and three losses, was also quite upbeat about the day despite losing the last match to Palludan: “It has been two good days of racing, except for our last race today. It was really close, so I am a bit upset right now, but I am probably going to be happier about it later.”

Midway through the day the decision was made to switch from the genoas to the smaller jibs as the wind increased which was universally applauded by the crews. Johanna Bergqvist confirmed “As the wind increased, there was a bit too much power in the sails with the genoa, so it was a good thing to change. The jib was easier for the girls to get in.”

Further down the standings, there is still a battle to see which teams will join the top four in the quarterfinals tomorrow afternoon as only two points separate 7th to 10th place. With even more wind forecast for Thursday and Friday, the racing will continue to be exciting.

The round robin racing will finish on Thursday.  Then the top eight teams from the round robin series will advance to the knockout quarter-finals later on Thursday. The event will conclude on Friday with the semi-finals and finals.

Results in the 2018 Helsinki Women’s Match, the first event of the 2018 WIM Series, after day 2 of the round-robin (skipper, team name, nationality, wins – losses):
1. Marinella Laaksonen, L2 Match Racing Team, FIN, 10 – 1
2. Trine Palludan, Team Kattnakken, DEN, 10 – 2
3. Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist Match Racing, SWE, 9 – 3
4. Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 8 – 3
5. Antonia Degerlund, Team Sköna Vibbisar, FIN, 8 – 3
6. Celia Willison, NZ Match, NZL, 6 – 4
7. Allie Blecher, Team BAAM!, USA, 5 – 4
8. Margot Vennin, Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 4 – 6
9. Sanna Häger, Stockholm Match Racing Team, SWE, 4 – 7
10. Jassi Skogman, Team Skogman, FIN, 3 – 6
11. Margot Riou, APCC Women Sailing Team, FRA, 2 – 9
12. Hanna Ericksson, Peregrine Racing, SWE, 1 – 9
13. Sanna Mattsson, Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team, SWE, 0 – 11

IMAGES: Sebastian Mardones, Studio Finchi



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