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22 April 2008, 11:17 pm
BÉJAR Wins Vitoria Brasil Women's Cup
Caroline BÉJAR
Caroline BÉJAR and her crew triumphed in Vitoria

Vitoria Brasil Women's Cup 2008
Vitoria, Brazil

Brazil's Caroline BÉJAR defeated France's Mathilde GERON in the final to win the ISAF Grade 1 Vitória Brasil Women's Cup.
Caroline BEJAR defeated the Mathilde GERON (FRA), #25 in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, by 3-0 in the best-of-five final.

The title won by BEJAR's team was celebrated by Justino SÁ MACHADO, organizer of the Vitória Brasil Women's Cup and Vitória Brasil Sailing Cup, who invited the Niterói-born sailor and her crew to participate in the Tróia Portugal Women's Cup next July in Portugal.

"Caroline BÉJAR's victory proves we were right to bet on Brazil - the higher the number of events of this level we host, the higher the chances of good results for the Brazilian sailors. I hope a Brazilian wins the men's race as well," said SÁ MACHADO.

Rossana RAMOS, the other Brazilian in the competition, also put in a strong performance, although she lost the petit-final match to the American Sandy HAYES, #24 in the world ranking. Portugal's Catarina CARVALHO defeated her fellow countrywoman Maria RAMIRES to grab fifth place.

Earlier in the regatta, BÉJAR had been on the received end of three defeats against GERON, but bounced back strongly in the final to win an ISAF Grade 1 event for the first time.

"The girls were perfect today. We lost the other fights to Mathilde because of our own mistakes. So, we knew what to fix for the final. We remained calm and confident, and our confidence increased during the competition. This combination gave us the title," explained the new Vitória Brasil Women's Cup champion.

Odile GINAID, a local sailor and member of BÉJAR's winning crew, was ecstatic. "This victory is special for me because I knew that, once I was back on land, I would be able to celebrate with my mother, grandmother and friends. I think our consistency and concentration throughout the competition gave us the victory," stated GINAID. Andrea GRAEL, Kyra PENIDO, Roberta BORGES and Larissa JUK completed the winning team.

"We had almost won several times in the past and knew we could win an event of this level. It was important to have participated in the Rio de Janeiro State Match Race Championship last week. We could get the pace of the competition and were already interacting quite smoothly when we arrived in Vitória," said GRAEL, wife of five-time Olympic medallist Torben GRAEL (BRA).

After being defeated in the final, GERON was disappointed with the result. "The calm of Caroline's team made the difference in this final series. The sea conditions were a little complicated today and they could deal with that better than we. I am a little disappointed. I expected to win. But this runner-up performance is not bad," stated the French skipper.
Mauro Rodrigues
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