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6 August 2008, 01:44 pm
RAHM Wins Lysekil Women's Match
Linda RAHM and her crew
Linda RAHM and her crew celebrate victory

Lysekil Women's Match 2008
Lysekil, Sweden

Sweden's Linda RAHM is the champion of the 2008 ISAF Grade 1 Lysekil Women's Match after a thrilling 3-2 final victory over reigning World Champion Claire LEROY.
Reigning World Champion Claire LEROY has performed excellently throughout the Lysekil Women's Match, but in the final against Swede Linda RAHM, the defending champion, the French woman just wasn't good enough.

RAHM started with two victories, LEROY broke back taking two matches, and then RAHM in the fifth match secured her second straight title: "We're simply better when it really counts. I feel so happy," RAHM shouted, praising her crew for their skills and team work.

"They had to repair my poor starts a number of times. I don't think we have ever sailed as fast as this before," she laughed.

"We won all the starts and made a great come back after Linda's first two victories, but she had better speed than us so it was hard to stay in front," LEROY commented.

The final matches of Lysekil Women's Match were really thrilling and exciting for the large audience on the cliffs of the beautiful Swedish west coast archipelago:

Final match 1: LEROY starting well ahead, leading all the way round the course but being passed just before the finishing line by RAHM, winning with half a boatlength.

Final match 2: RAHM penalized in the start, when both the competitors are in tight manoeuvres just metres from the crowded spectator cliffs. RAHM is late starting, but is soon gaining distance on LEROY and managing to take her penalty. On the last downwind LEROY looses her grip enough for RAHM to pass and win by small margin.

Final match 3: Heavier winds and a three-lap course. Very tight match with a short distance between the boats, who several times are changing in the leading position. LEROY gets penalized but manages to make her turn at the last rounding, without letting RAHM pass her. In spite of intense attacks from RAHM during the last downwind, LEROY wins the match.

Final match 4: RAHM is very aggressive in the pre-start, getting penalized twice and having to make one of the turns immediately. She starts far behind LEROY, but manages to gain 25 seconds, take her remaining penalty and yet keep in contact with LEROY. After an intense fight on the last downwind, LEROY wins the match with just inches.

Final match 5: RAHM gets a little advantage in the start, but LEROY is ahead of her when they meet the first time. At the first setting LEROY doesn't get her spinnaker hoisted fast enough, and RAHM stretches away a little. Then she is able to keep LEROY behind for the rest of the match, winning Lysekil Women's match for the second year in a row.

"I think this will help us advance on the World Ranking," RAHM said, soaking wet from champagne and a bath in the harbour.

Before the final LEROY had only lost two matches, but for the third time she has now placed second in Lysekil Women's Match:

"We have now been so close so many times that it must be our turn next year when the World Championship is to be sailed here in Lysekil," LEROY says.

In the petit-final experienced Dane Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN defeated the young Lucy MACGREGOR from Great Britain in two straight matches:

"We turned 0-2 to 2-2 in the semi final against RAHM, but then we lost the fifth deciding match. We have to get back next year and do better then," MELDGAARD PEDERSEN said.

"We are pleased to reach the semi finals, it has been a great experience. We really enjoyed the event and we would definitely like to come back," MACGREGOR commented.

Results - click here
Lysekil Women's Match - www.lysekilwomensmatch.se

Joakim Hermansson
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