Klartje ZUIDERBAAN (NED) has won the ISAF Grade 1 International Women Match Race Criterium in Calpe, Spain. The ISAF World Match Race Rankings' number eight won by the narrowest of margins, beating France's Claire LEROY in the final three to two.
After the opening round robin followed by the quarter finals, four competitors where left yesterday to decide the fate of this year's championship. Number one in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, Marie BJÖRLING
(SWE) looked to be the favourite after winning all eleven of her races in the opening round robin and losing only to ZUIDERBAAN
in the quarter final round robin (contested between the six best finishers in the first round).
The semi final lineup saw ZUIDERBAAN take on recent ISAF Grade 3 Ladies Cup winner, Nina BRAESTRUP (SWE) and a clash of the titans, with ISAF World Match Race Rankings' numbers one and two, BJÖRLING and LEROY, going head to head.
ZUIDERBAAN put BRAESTRUP to the sword, beating her three nil to claim a spot in the final, whilst LEROY got one over on her rival at the top of the Rankings with a three one victory.
The final went down to the wire with the opening four matches shared, leaving ZUIDERBAAN and LEROY tied at two all with one remaining race. ZUIDERBAAN has finished runner up here twice before, in 1999 to Dorte JENSEN (DEN) and in 2001 to BJÖRLING. Perhaps it was these two near misses that spurred her on, put the Netherlands' sailor dug deep to take the final race and claim the title of International Women Match Race Criterium champion 2005.
- Klartje ZUIDERBAAN (NED)
- Claire LEROY (FRA)
- Nina BRAESTRUP (DEN)
- Marie BJÖRLING (SWE)
- Fernanda OLIVEIRA (BRA)
- Sandy HAYES (USA)
- Christelle PHILIPPE (FRA)
- Jenny AXHEDE (SWE)
- Chistine BRIAND (FRA)
- Mar CASTANEDO (ESP)
- Ana UMBELINO (POR)
- Elsa SCHLEISSNER (ESP)