Friday was another day of excellent sailing conditions at the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship 2013 in Busan, Korea the second event of the inaugural Women's International Match Racing Series.
Dynamic Busan presented beautiful blue skies and 12-17 knots of breeze on the racecourse, enough to attract as well as challenge the competitors.
The Spanish team lead by London 2012 gold medallist Tamara Echegoyen is still undefeated in the regatta, winning the double round robin with a 16 - 0 record and now leading her quarterfinals against Kiwi Claudia Pierce 1 - 0.
Spanish trimmer Eva Gonzales Gonzalez seems satisfied so far, "Yes, we are really sailing well. We have a very competent skipper in Tamara, in combination with great understanding and communication between the crewmembers. And more wind makes us happy, since I think we are able to handle situations and difficult manoeuvres to gain advantages in the matches,"
Their quarter-final opponent, Claudia Pierce of New Zealand, was hoping to further improve racing over the weekend, "We're a fresh team learning a lot through many good races here in Busan. Now we're going to go back and work on some things, and then continue racing with a fresh mind,"
she says, pointing out timing issues and building up speed in the boats as major objectives.
Russian round-robin runner-up (13 wins and 3 losses) Ekaterina Skudina was rather tired after a day in more breeze than the previous days of the 2013 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship, taking into account also some months of absence from the match racing circuit.
"Every hour I spend in the boat makes me get back into shape, giving more feeling. We are working and discussing, getting better and better all the time,"
On Echegoyen she added, "She has put up a very good performance so far, but we still have a lot of racing in front of us. I don't think that can be said in advance, we have to see what happens further on," Skudina said, seeming very determined to fight for her share of the 100,000 USD event prize purse.
With the forecast predicting even more wind for the weekend, Skudina admits that she would have preferred lighter wind conditions, "That would give us more time to think in the manoeuvres, with less pressure on things and less strength needed to handle the boat,"
The winning team at the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship 2013 will be crowned 2013 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Champions and presented with the ISAF Francoise Pascal Memorial - Women's Match Racing World Championship Trophy.
The trophy is named in honour of the late Francoise Pascal, a former Vice-President of the Fédération Française de Voile and a hugely influential figure in the growth of women's match racing.
The first, second and third place overall teams will receive ISAF Gold, Silver and Bronze medals respectively. In addition, the first-placed skipper following the round robins will be presented with the ISAF 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.
"Nucci Novi Ceppellini was absolutely dedicated to lifting the women sailing, particularly match racing. No one could have been a bigger supporter of women match racing, and I'm sure she would have loved being here in Busan,"
says Adrienne Greenwood of New Zealand, ISAF Vice President.
Quarter Final after one flight
Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) - Claudia Pierce (NZL) 1 - 0
Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) - Alexa Bezel (SUI) 1 - 0
Camilla Ulrikkeholm (DEN) - Susannah Pyatt (NZL) 1 - 0
Anna Kjellberg (SWE) - Katie Spithill (AUS) 0 - 1
1. Tamara Echegoyen (ESP) 16 - 0
2. Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) 13 - 3
3. Camilla Ulrikkeholm (DEN) 10 - 6
4. Anna Kjellberg (SWE) 9 - 7
5. Katie Spithill (AUS) 8 - 8
6. Susannah Pyatt (NZL) 5 - 11
7. Alexa Bezel (SUI) 5 - 11
8. Claudia Pierce (NZL) 5 - 11
9. Sung-Eun Choi (KOR) 1 - 15
ISAF Event Microsite