After four final matches, with more drama than the crowds on the cliffs could have wished for, the World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm (DEN) secured her fourth consecutive victory in the tenth edition of the Lysekil Women's Match.
"This is just wild. I can hardly believe it. We had to fight like crazy. If it had gone to a fifth match, I don't even know if we've had energy enough left for it. Without doubt this was the toughest final I've ever sailed here in Lysekil,"
Local hope and reigning World Champion Anna Kjellberg (SWE) and her crew offered the Danish opponent her hardest possible competition, but nothing helped, "It's my heaviest loss so far, mostly because we were so incredibly close. I really think it was us who had all the extras up our sleeve,"
Kjellberg sighs, shaking her head.
Ulrikkeholm gained a good position after winning the first two matches in the final to be 2-0 up. Though all those matches were close and intense, with short distances between the boats and many manoeuvres tiring the crews out, however they weren't even close to the excitement in the next ones.
With the knife at her throat, Kjellberg invested aggressively in their third match. She was penalized, but managed to take the Danish far beyond the top mark and do her penalty turn without losing too much ground,"Penalties come when you're racing with small margins, that's just the way it is. The trick is to take them without losing,"
The fight continued with a number of exciting manoeuvres all the way to the finish, where the Swedish crew reduced the Danish lead to 2 - 1.
In the fourth match Kjellberg got penalized in the pre start, after not keeping clear of Ulrikkeholm. The Swedes gained the lead, but the Danish crew kept so close that Kjellberg couldn't find the time to make her turn. Kjellberg had to slow down, and tried all different tricks to get contact between the boats in order to level the penalty.
With her routine and experience, Ulrikkeholm didn't fall into that trap. "When your opponent has a penalty, it's important to keep close but with a safety margin, and we're quite good at that,"
Kjellberg's last call was to take the Danish skipper far beyond the finish line, in order to take her penalty on the way back. That risky move first seemed to be successful, but when the Swede right on the finish line got one more penalty for not keeping clear, Ulrikkeholm could take the important victory, for the match and for the 2014 Lysekil Women's Match.
"Anna did everything right, but so did we. She really gave us some grey hair,"
"If we can continue sailing like this, the victories will come to us sooner or later. Maybe we'll be able to feel satisfied also with this achievement after a while,"
Saturday's racing in Lysekil Women's Match began with the conclusion of both semis 3 - 0, in the favour of Kjellberg and Ulrikkeholm, leaving Swedish Caroline Sylvan and Danish Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen to fight for the bronze. Sylvan couldn't stand the pressure from the far more routine and experienced Danish skipper, and fell in two straight matches, "We made too many mistakes, and then the defeats come,"
The next stage on the Women's International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) is sailed in Sheboygan, USA, in late September, before it's time for the grand final in Busan, Korea, in mid October. A WIM Series prize purse of 50 000 US dollars is at stake, in addition to the prize money at each of the five events.
Results in the final of Lysekil Women's Match, the third stage out of five in the 2014 Women's International Match Racing Series (WIM Series):
Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN - Anna Kjellberg, SWE 3 - 1
Results in the petit final of Lysekil Women's Match:
Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN - Caroline Sylvan, SWE 2 - 0
Semi final results in Lysekil Women's Match:
Anna Kjellberg, SWE - Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN 3 - 0
Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN - Caroline Sylvan, SWE 3 - 0
Results in sail-off for the 7th place in Lysekil Women's Match:
Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED - Linda Rahm, SWE 1 - 0
Final results of Lysekil Women's Match, the third stage out of five in the 2014 Women's International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) (skipper name, nationality, prize money, WIM Series points):
1. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, 100 000 SEK, 25
2. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 47 000 SEK, 22
3. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 39 000 SEK, 19
4. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 31 000 SEK, 15
5. Stephanie Roble, USA, 27 000 SEK, 13
6. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 24 000 SEK, 11
7. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 19 000 SEK, 9
8. Linda Rahm, SWE, 13 000 SEK, 7
9. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 0 SEK, 4
For more information - www.lysekilwomensmatch.se