COURTOIS WINS CRUCIAL MATCHUPS AND LEADS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Auckland (11 November, 2022) World no.1 Pauline Courtois and her Match in Pink team from France lead the qualifying round at the 2022 Barfoot & Thompson Women’s Match Racing World Championship after two days of racing in challenging conditions on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour. The event is the final stage of the 2022 Women’s World Match Racing Tour.
From blue skies, to squalls and rain, then finally a break in the weather, it was another gripping day on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour for the 2022 Barfoot & Thompson Women’s Match Racing World Championship. New Zealand lived up to its late spring reputation of ‘it’s never like this here’, delivering at least three seasons in one day and a postponement on land due to heavy weather passing through Auckland.
Yesterday, the teams flew through day one in challenging conditions, with 11 flights completed and nine hours on the water.
Defying the weather gods, all 14 teams again took to the water at 1600 hours local time today, this time west of the Harbour Bridge where the conditions were more settled but still providing about 15 knots of east-northeast conditions.
Teams continued to battle rain and low cloud, but it didn’t hinder the front-runners Pauline Courtois (FRA, Match in Pink), Celia Willison (NZL, Edge Women’s Racing) and Sweden’s Anna Östling (SWE, Wings Racing), all likely to make their way to the quarter-finals tomorrow, with Megan Thomson (NZL, 2.0 Racing) just one race away from the securing her team a spot.
Tomorrow (Saturday 12 November), six teams will fight for the four remaining quarter final spots and will go head to head with the top ranked teams, however Courtois, the current four time world champion, will be hard to beat.
Skipper of New Zealand’s 2.0 Racing, Megan Thomson knows there’s an exciting challenge ahead.
“It will be a nail-biting day tomorrow to get to the quarter-finals and I think it will be pretty tough,” said Thomson. “All the points look close so we’re taking it one race at a time. I think we pulled through with some good boat handling earlier this week and I’d like to credit the crew for that! Tomorrow it’s going to soften off so there’s definitely more exciting match racing to come.”
Despite plenty of experience sailing on the Waitemata Harbour, Thomson said “it’s still anyone’s game.”
“Having local knowledge has helped at times but it’s just so changeable. Racing on the other side of the bridge meant the left was really strong and you needed to come off the start line really well,” said Thomson.
International Race Officer, Megan Kensington commented on today’s conditions and noted a promising forecast ahead. “Today was probably easier than yesterday. We still had some big gusts but nowhere near what we had yesterday. We’re in good shape going into tomorrow and we’re well through the programme because we were able to get so much done yesterday, and then completed four flights today” stated Kensington.
“We’ll finish off the round robin in the morning, and then head straight into the quarterfinals. The forecast is looking great for the weekend, almost perfect conditions for match racing” said Kensington.
Today’s racing wrapped up at the end of flight 15, with three further round robin flights scheduled tomorrow before the quarter-final event. Auckland’s weather is expected to do a ‘full 180’, with just 20% cloud cover, plenty of sun and a switch to a north westerly breeze.
Follow the WMRWC with daily photos, videos, press conferences and a live stream of the finals on Sunday via the RNZYS Facebook and RNZYS Instagram, and at matchracingresults.com
See the WWMRT website for more information:
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
+6427 275 3757
Womens World Match Racing Tour
- Match in Pink (FRA) – Pauline Courtois, Maelenn Lemaitre, Louise Acker, Thea Khelif, Clara Bayou
- WINGS (SWE) – Anna Östling, Anna Holmdal, Annika Carlunger, Annie Saeedfar Wennergren, Linnéa Wennergren
- Edge Racing (NZL) – Celia Willison, Charlotte Porter, Serena Woodall, Paige Cook, Alison Kent
- 2.0 Racing (NZL) – Megan Thomson, Ellie Copeland, Chelsea Rees, Josi Andres, Anna Merchant
- Matchmoiselles (FRA) – Margot Vennin, Juliette Dubreuil, Elena Circiello-Vaillant, Clotilde Ponçon, Chloé Salon
- As One (USA) – Janel Zarkowsky, Allie Blecher, Rose Edwards, Meaghan MacRae, Aimee Famularo
- Easy Tiger Racing (AUS) – Juliet Costanzo, Jemma Hodgson, Sarah Parker, Ruby Scholten, Rosie Rowell
- Team Bergqvist (SWE) – Johanna Bergqvist, Isabelle Bergqvist, Ellinor Hansson, Fanny Edgren, Clare Costanzo
- Vela Racing (USA) – Nicole Breault, Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer, Dana Riley Hayes, Karen Loutzenheiser, Julie Mitchell
- APCC Women’s Racing (FRA) – Margot Riou, Maiwenn Deffontaines, Tiphanie Ragueneau, Chloe Le Roux, Blandine Jaffrain
- Athena Racing (GBR) – Octavia Owen, Chloe Collenette, Arwen Fflur, Charlotte Fensom, Jasmine Boote
- Five by Five Racing (GBR) – Allison Morrish, Emily Robertson, Anna Carpenter, Rebecca ‘Boo’ Coles, Sarah Jarman
- CYCA (AUS) Chelsea Williams, Jessica Tavener, Charlotte Alexander, Sofia Higgott, Audrey Scheu
- Sailing Mums (NZL) Samantha Norman, Polly Powrie, Miranda Addy, Hana Hielkema, Bex Costello
About Women’s World Match Racing Tour
The Women’s World Match Racing Tour was launched in 2022 to continue the hugely successful legacy of the WIM Series (Women’s International Match Racing Series) providing a global match racing series for female sailors. The name of the WIM Series has been changed and re-launched as the Women’s World Match Racing Tour with it’s continued mission to expand and strengthen global match racing and promote opportunities for competitive women’s sailing at every level. The Women’s World Match Racing Tour is the world’s first and only professional sailing series for women providing a valuable pathway for aspiring female world champions in the sport of sailing. womenswmrt.com