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11 October 2005, 11:13 am
BJÖRLING Claims Another Title In Run Up To Worlds
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Ladies Nordic Match Race Championship 2005
Gåshaga, Stockholm

Marie BJÖRLING (SWE) and her Team Schenker claimed the ISAF Grade 3 Ladies Nordic Match Race Championship in Gåshaga, Stockholm over the weekend with victory in the final over 2003 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Champion Malin MILLBOURN (SWE). The win gives BJÖRLING her third victory of the year and her second of the month just a few days before the start of her challenge at the Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship.
The event, organized by Gamla Stans Yacht Sällskap, was held in sunny weather in Gåshaga, with 14 crews from Scandinavia gathered to fight for the title in Stockholm Match Race Centre's six new J92's. The competitors were divided in two groups, with the first racing on Saturday beginning in five knots of breeze which increased slightly during the day.

In group A Malin SVEDMYR (SWE) showed great form and won five of her matches. One of the favourites, BJÖRLING was defeated by both SVEDMYR and local sailor Helena STRÖMBERG (SWE), a real surprise. However BJÖRLING still managed to proceed to the semis, just edging through after finishing tied with Camilla ULRIKKEHOLM (DEN) on four victories.

In group B two of the favourites faced each other in the first flight. MILLBOURN defeated winner of the recent ISAF Grade 1 Ladies Match Cup Malin KÄLLSTRÖM, both of whom were representing Team Santa Maria. Nina BRAESTRUP (DEN) impressed during the round robin and lost only one match, to KÄLLSTRÖM. After the last three flights on Sunday BRAESTRUP and MILLBOURN both had five points leaving KÄLLSTRÖM and Lotte MELGAARD-PEDERSEN (DEN) just outside the semis with four victories.

The semi finals were sailed in strong wind, up to 24 knots. BJÖRLING won over BRAESTRUP, 2-0, but both were really tight matches with BJÖRLING less than one metre ahead in the second race. In the other semi final upcommer SVEDMYR gave MILLBOURN a difficult afternoon taking the series to a third match. However MILLBOURN managed force SVEDMYR into a penalty in the pre-start and stayed cool when SVEDMYR attacked during the race to take her place in the final.

As time was running out it was decided to sail first to one point to decide the title. BJÖRLING started a little better just to windward of MILLBOURN. During the race no more than two boat lengths ever separated the teams, although BJÖRLING was able to maintain her lead. Crossing the finish line Team Schenker was just one boat length ahead, but it was enough for them to take the title. In the petit final SVEDMYR beated BRAESTRUP to claim third place.

Ladies Nordic Match Race Championship Final Standings

3. Malin SVEDMYR (SWE)
8. Martina KARLEMO (FIN)
10. Mikaela FORS (FIN)
11. Isabelle MUNGSGÅRD (SWE)
13. Helena STRÖMBERG (SWE)
14, Ellinor BERG (SWE)

Björn Hansen (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Marie BJÖRLING, pictured her at the Swedish Match Cup, claimed her third title of the year in Gåshaga:© Dan Ljungsvik
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