The tenth edition of the ISAF Grade 1, Swedish Match Cup started with the first flights of the women's round robin in Marstrand yesterday.
Clouds and northeasterly winds had the sailors wondering if they were really in Marstrand, as the first week of July usually means sunshine and westerly breezes. "No, I've never met these particular conditions in Marstrand and I have been sailing here a lot!"
laughed Malin KÄLLSTRÖM, who did a good job winning three out of four races.
So did American Betsy ALISON, who beat Malin in a tight last match on Monday afternoon. Malin had a good enough lead after the first tack but then she broke a rule blocking Alison rounding the leeward mark and got a penalty. After that Alison took the lead and won the match. "We came to Marstrand early this morning after having sailed Yngling during Kieler Woche, so I'm quite pleased with our results today. I'm glad to be sailing with my well co-coordinated team and I feel that we have made a good start,"
commented Betsy ALISON.
"I'm not entirely happy with the umpires' decision but that's nothing to dwell on now,"
Malin noted following the match, one more win should get them a place in the semi-finals. "We ought to be able to do that now that things have calmed down onboard. During the first match we were almost too eager and there were some raised voices."
Title defender Marie BJÖRLING also three wins from yesterday's racing. She beat in turn Betsy ALISON, Danish Lotte MELGAARD-PEDERSEN and reigning ISAF Women's Match Race Champion Malin MILBOURN from Stockholm, but then she lost against the lowest ranked competitor Anette STRÖM from Denmark. "That was the match we really ought to have won but Anette was simply too tough for us today."
Marie stated without seeming too disappointed. "Now we look forward to tomorrow. The meteorologists have promised very strong winds and that's where a well functioning team-work becomes essential. Since we have quite a lot of sailing experience in these boats we should have an advantage over the competition."
The Swedish Match Cup continues today, Tuesday, with the remaining matches of the women's round robin. After that we will know who goes on to the semi-finals. The men start in earnest this afternoon.
Results after four of seven flights in the women's round robin:
Betsy Alison, USA 3-1
Marie Björling, GKSS, SWE 3-1
Malin Källström, GKSS, SWE 3-1
Malin Milbourn, KSSS, SWE 2-2
Anette Ström, DEN 2-2
Claire Leroy, FRA 1-3
Lotte Melgaard-Pedersen, DEN 1-3
Paula Lewin, BER 1-3