'The teamwork, the timing and the tactics - everything has worked perfectly for us during this week. And the conditions and the courses have been marvellous here in Lysekil. It's a wonderful feeling to win here at last,'
RAHM said, remembering her fourth place in the first Lysekil Women's Match 2004 and her third place last year.
Tens of thousands of people on the granite rocks of the beautiful Swedish westcoast archipelago followed and cheered the final matches of the 2007 Lysekil Women's Match, sailed on Saturday afternoon. The final ended up an all-Swedish affair, after RAHM defeated defending champion Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN from Denmark 3-0 in their semi final, and BJÖRLING beat Katie SPITHILL from Australia in a really close fight in the other semi-final, ending in a 3-2 scoreline.
RAHM started the finals looking very convincing and self confident, with a fairly easy win against BJÖRLING in the first match. After RAHM had been penalized in a simple port-starboard situation in the second match, and then failed to make the 270 degree penalty turn in time before crossing the finishing line, BJÖRLING took victory to even the score to 1-1.
In the third match BJÖRLING and her crew - Malin KÄLLSTRÖM, Anna SKARENHED, Pia ECKERSTEIN, Charlotta LJUNGMAN and Emelie LIDÉN - got the genoa sheet around the spinnaker pole and couldn't use the pole for the whole first downwind. RAHM immediately took advantage of the situation and won the match.
In the last downwind of the fourth match, RAHM used her positioning on the course to run BJÖRLING and co far away from the finishing line, then turning the boat quickly around, getting the spinnaker down and running in to the finish just metres before BJÖRLING. All the people on the rocks surrounding the sailing area went from complete, nail-biting silence to happy cheering in just a second:
'The audience is superb, I haven't experienced anything like this,'
BJÖRLING, world #1 for a long period just a couple of years ago, was - despite her loss - fairly satisfied with her comeback after maternity leave.
'We've had great fun. But we had a tougher journey with two semi-final matches more than Linda, and that made the difference today. We were tired and the manoeuvres weren't as perfect as they have to be at this level of match racing,'
1. Linda RAHM (SWE)
2. Marie BJÖRLING (SWE)
3. Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN (DEN)
4. Katie SPITHILL (AUS)
5. Jenny AXHEDE (SWE)
6. Malin MILLBOURN (SWE)
7. Silja LEHTINEN (FIN)
8. Nina BRAESTRUP (DEN)
9. Liz BAYLIS (USA)
10. Silke HAHLBROCK (GER)
11. Camilla ULRIKKEHOLM (DEN)
12. Delphine CASAS (FRA)