The countdown is on to the 2014 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship which kicks off on 3 June in Cork, Ireland.
Preparations in Cork are well underway with a comprehensive programme unveiled for fans ashore. Spectators can watch the racing every day from Camden Fort Meagher in Crosshaven and a 'Sail in the City' event has been announced for 6 June. Traditional Irish entertainment from the "The Lee sessions
", followed by members of the cast of "Pulse Tradition
". Completing the entertainment that afternoon will be one of the country's top blues and rock bands, "The Dizzy Blues".
Thirteen teams will compete for the coveted world title and this year's event is one not to be missed with 2013 runner up Camilla Ulrikkeholm from Denmark hoping to improve on her position from last year's championship in Busan, Korea.
World #1 Ulrikkeholm has a clear ambition to stay on the top spot for the foreseeable future and during the long, cold Scandinavian winter, kept her crew together with some off the water team building activities,
"Actually we hired two coaches, divided our crew in two teams and practised curling for a change. That was great fun!"
Back on the water the team returned to normal procedures, focusing on practising in J/80s which will be used in Ireland as much as possible.
"We've never sailed in Cork before, but we're quite confident anyway. We've done a lot of research about the venue, we know the boat very well and we're definitely as tuned together as a crew should be"
Camilla says, explaining their strategy,
"We'll just handle it the same way we usually do; first of all arrive early to spend a day finding out all the practical details about lodging and so on. Then do some practising and get to know the boat. And finally work our way into the regatta, by using the first matches to learn about the local conditions."
It may sound easy when described like that, but the truth is that Ulrikkeholm and others will have to face fierce competition from some of the world's foremost women match racing sailors, so the Danes can take nothing for granted.
The good mood and relaxed but focused attitude of Camilla Ulrikkeholm seems promising for her in the upcoming events and the 2014 ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds Championship Cork, Ireland is the perfect place for her to prove her World #1 ranking.