In very tricky conditions, Lucy Macgregor and her British Team Mac with teammates Annie Lush, Nicky Walsh, and Kate Macgregor were declared 2018 Women’s Match Racing World Champions in Ekaterinburg, Russia, defeating the French Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team skippered by Pauline Courtois sailing with Maëlenn Lemaitre, Louise Acker, and Sophie Faguet.
The teams of Trine Palludan and Alexa Bezel each had the night to come up with a plan to come back from 0 – 2 deficits in their respective Semi Final matches. They arrived at the yacht club with the intention of winning their matches and advancing to the Finals. Alas, Pauline Courtois’ and Lucy Macgregor’s teams had plans for a different outcome.
Courtois’ Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team won the start over Palludan’s Team Kattnakken and was able to maintain control and stay ahead to the finish to win 3 – 0 and advance to the Finals.
In the other Semi Final match Bezel’s Swiss Match Racing Team “kept it close, but not close enough” Bezel explained, thus paving the way for Macgregor’s Team Mac to also advance to the Finals with a 3 – 0 record.
The Petit Final matches saw some classic match racing with exciting lead changes, tacking duels and close mark rounding. The Danish Team Kattnakken proved just a bit stronger and won two straight matches to secure the Bronze medals.
The Finals were a battle of two teams that came into the Finals with an incredible combined score of 31 wins and only one loss (by Courtois to Macgregor in the first round robin).
When asked to describe the day, Team Mac’s Annie Lush replied “the day was very tricky as we saw winds from 3 to 15 knots in just one race with really big shifts!” Team Mac played those shifts well and took an early 1 – 0 lead in the Finals.
As expected, the pre-starts were very aggressive as both teams jockeyed for control of their opponent. The second match was the most aggressive as Macgregor received a red-flag penalty at the start and still managed to catch and pass Courtois on the downwind leg. “I must say that was our best run of the regatta. We gybed six or seven times and played the shifts perfectly” said Macgregor in describing their come from behind victory.
With their backs against the wall down 0 – 2, it was must win time for Courtois’ team. But Macgregor took early control of the third match with good speed and led from start to finish to win the World Championship.
“We were not fast today. We felt stuck in the water. Not our best day” conceded Maëlenn Lemaitre, Match in Pink’s tactician, in describing their defeat. She went on to say “We will train hard and believe in our talent and come back strong for our next event.”
Macgregor gave much credit to her crew: “Annie, Nicky and Kate did a fantastic job all week. And it is great to have this win together.”
With this year’s win, Annie Lush becomes tied with Dorte Jensen (Denmark) as the most decorated sailor in Women’s Match Racing World Championship history with four titles. Lush was part of Sally Barkow’s winning crew in 2004 and 2005 and won together with skipper Lucy Macgregor in 2010 and, of course, again this year.
The Gubernskiy Yacht Club – Komatek race committee was led on the water by Russian International Race Officer Anna Deyanova in cooperation with World Sailing appointed Technical Delegate / International Race Officer Annika Ekman from Sweden.
Yuri Kriuchenkov, Vice President of the Russian Yachting Federation and Commodore of the Gubernskiy Yacht Club – Komatek, lowered the World Sailing flag to symbolize the closing of the event. The flag was then handed over to the Vice Chair of the Swedish Sailing Federation, Annika Ekman, as the 2019 Women’s Match Racing World Championship will be held in Lysekil, Sweden.
The following awards were presented:
Nucci Novi Ceppellini Memorial Trophy – Lucy Macgregor (GBR)
The first-placed skipper following the round robin was presented with the ISAF / World Sailing Nucci Novi Ceppellini Memorial Trophy. The trophy is named after Nucci Novi Ceppellini, ISAF Vice-President from 1998-2008, who passed away in February 2008 after many years dedicated to the sport, with women’s match racing one of her particular passions.
World Sailing Medals:
The first, second and third place overall team received World Sailing Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, respectively.
Gold: Team Mac – Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush, Nicky Walsh, Kate Macgregor; Great Britain
Silver: Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team – Pauline Courtois, Maëlenn Lemaitre, Louise Acker, Sophie Faguet; France
Bronze: Team Kattnakken – Trine Palludan, Anne Sofie Munk-Hansen, Louise Ulrikkeholm Bredvig, Joan Wester Hansen; Denmark
Françoise Pascal Memorial – Women’s Match Racing World Championship Trophy –
Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush, Nicky Walsh, Kate Macgregor
The winning team at the ISAF / World Sailing Women’s Match Racing World Championship are crowned World Champions and presented with the ISAF Françoise Pascal Memorial – Women’s Match Racing World Championship Trophy. The trophy is named in honour of the late Françoise Pascal, a former Vice-President of the Fédération Française de Voile and a hugely influential figure in the growth of women’s match racing.
2018 Women’s Match Racing World Championship Final Results (team – crew; nationality):
1. Team Mac – Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush, Nicky Walsh, Kate Macgregor; Great Britain
2. Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team – Pauline Courtois, Maëlenn Lemaitre, Louise Acker, Sophie Faguet; France
3. Team Kattnakken – Trine Palludan, Anne Sofie Munk-Hansen, Louise Ulrikkeholm Bredvig, Joan Wester Hansen; Denmark
4. Swiss Women Match Racing Team – Alexa Bezel, Fiona Testuz, Manon Kivell, Nicole Bolliger; Switzerland
5. ProKaTeam Sailing Team – Ekaterina Kochkina, Svetlana Sidorova, Anastasia Gladysheva, Antonina Tikhonova; Russia
6. BornToSail – Alexandra Martynova, Liudmila Dmitrieva, Anastasia Shcheglova, Yana Stokolesova; Russia
7. BERGAUF Sailing Team – Milena Laverycheva, Olga Ivanova, Ksenia Trushkina, Tatyana Razumova; Russia
8. L2 Match Racing Team – Marinella Laaksonen, Daniela Rönnberg , Marianna Kontulainen, Eva-Lotta Hokkonen; Finland
9. APCC Women Sailing Team – Margot Riou, Clémentine Hilaire, Caroline Vandame, Tiphaine Ragueneau; France
10. Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team – Margot Vennin, Marie Zugolaro, Juliette Dubreuil, Adèle Marévéry, Sophonie Affagard; France
11. Athena Racing – Octavia Owen, Ruby Riggs, Hebe Hemming, Amber Riggs; Great Britain
Results in the Final:
• Lucy Macgregor, Team Mac, GBR defeated
Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA 3 – 0
Results in the Petit Final:
• Trine Palludan, Team Kattnakken, DEN defeated
Alexa Bezel, Swiss Women Match Racing Team, SUI 2 – 0
Results in the Semi-Finals:
• Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA defeated
Trine Palludan, Team Kattnakken, DEN 3 – 0
• Lucy Macgregor, Team Mac, GBR defeated
Alexa Bezel, Swiss Women Match Racing Team, SUI 3 – 0
Standings in 2018 WIM Series after three events (team, skipper, nationality, points):
1. Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, Pauline Courtois – FRA, 67
2. Team Kattnakken / Women On Water, Trine Palludan / Henriette Koch – DEN, 67
3. L2 Match Racing Team, Marinella Laaksonen – FIN, 42
4. Team Bergqvist Match Racing, Johanna Bergqvist – SWE, 40
5. Swiss Women Match Racing Team, Alexa Bezel – SUI, 30
6. Team Mac, Lucy Macgregor – GBR, 25
7. ProKaTeam Sailing Team, Ekaterina Kochkina – RUS, 24
8. Team Sköna Vibbisar, Antonia Degerlund – FIN, 24
9. Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team, Margot Vennin – FRA, 21
10. Team Anna, Anna Östling – SWE, 20
11. New Sweden Match Racing Team, Caroline Sylvan / Claire Leroy – SWE / FRA, 16
12. Team BAAM!, Allie Blecher – USA, 16
13. BornToSail, Alexandra Martynova – RUS, 14
14. APCC Women Sailing Team, Margot Riou – FRA, 14
15. NZ Match, Celia Willison – NZL, 12
16. BERGAUF Sailing Team, Milena Laverycheva – RUS, 12
17. Athena Racing, Octavia Owen – GBR, 11
18. Stockholm Match Racing Team, Sanna Häger – SWE, 10
19. Team Skogman, Jassi Skogman – FIN, 8
20. Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team, Sanna Mattsson – SWE, 10
21. Peregrine Racing, Hanna Ericksson – SWE, 5