Linda <a href=http://www.sailing.org/bio.html#SWELR1>RAHM</A> from the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club has taken first position with five victories in five matches after day one of the ISAF Grade 1 Lysekil Women's Match.
Linda and her crew - Johanna SÄRNÅ, Erika ARNOLDSSON, Suzanne NYBERG, Susanne IVARSSON and Anna BJURSTRÖM - defeated both the reigning World Champion Sally BARKOW (USA) and the ISAF world ranking leader, Lotte MELDGAARD-PEDERSEN from the Royal Danish Yacht Club in Copenhagen.
"We really had a good day, and we are especially proud for the victory against Lotte. The lead was changing a lot of times during that race, and after a gibing duel on the last downwind we could be sure of the victory"
, said Linda, who herself is not very surprised about the successes. "New sponsors have made it possible for us to sail more internationally, so we are well prepared. Above that, we have sailed these boats for five years now."
During the first day of racing in Lysekil, the wind conditions were changing in both strength and directions. Not only did that put the sailor's tactical capability on a tough test, it also caused some problems for the race committee of Lysekil Yacht Club. The afternoon races didn't start until very late, and then had to be cancelled and postponed to another day due to a 180-degrees wind shift, followed by a massive thunderstorm and heavy rain. Because of that six of the participating crews still haven't done any racing, but the morning group finished five matches before changing boats to the afternoon group.
"We are extremely pleased to have already secured five victories. Now we have to take just a few more, in order to secure our slot in the next round of racing,"
Linda RAHM commented. Even if it looks good for her right now, she is not willing to take anything out in advance: "Absolutely not. The other crews are so competitive that we can just take one match at a time and try to race as good as we can. "
The top three women in the Lysekil Women's Match - Linda RAHM, Lotte MELDGAARD-PEDERSEN and Nina BRAESTRUP - are all very used to the DS 37 Matchracers sailed in the event. The boat is a Danish design and is frequently sailed in Scandinavia, an advantage for the Nordic sailors. Reigning ISAF Women's Match Racing World Champion, American Sally BARKOW had a tough day and only managed to get one single victory in her five matches, against the Dutch team skippered by Klaartje ZUIDERBAAN: "We are very happy to at least wrap up the day with a victory. We will continue to work hard on getting our communication and boat handling better together. Don't count us out"