Women's match racing, which in the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition will be sailed for the first time, has developed into the crown sailing class for women. The entry of the new racing class of the Olympic Sailing Competition has already given a dramatic increase of elite sailing for women around the world. Therefore it is a natural step for Stena Match Cup Sweden to open up for the Olympic match racing class already in this year's event.
The entry of the Elliott class for the women in Stena Match Cup Sweden will even further strengthen the premiere sailing event in Sweden, which already is a Championship event for male match racing skippers and teams, part of the World Match Racing Tour. Ten female teams will race the Elliott 6 at Marstrand this year, two Swedish teams, two Danish teams and six other international crews from altogether six nations. The teams have a crew of three; all of them are top stars in their countries in female match racing.
"This can become the breakthrough in racing for Swedish women's elite sailing. It will also increase participation from national teams with all its support and professionalism", says Stefan Rahm, director of the Swedish Sailing Federation.
The two Swedish teams will be lead by the two star skippers Anna Kjellberg, the new star who became runner up at Stena Match Cup Sweden the last two years, and Linda Rahm, previously ranked second in the world.
"The Swedish teams will meet the world's top ranked teams and stars this summer. It will be a great measure of their potential, any one team of the ten can reach the top of the podium in the end of the week. That's how tough it will get", says Martin Sohtell, project manager at Brandspot, who is the commercial event organizer.
Stena Match Cup Sweden became one of the earliest events to establish a women's class in 1999. As a result Sweden has grown to a strong nation within women's match racing.
"The campaign in the Elliott class is a natural step in a long term commitment that GKSS has had to women's match racing. It's really thrilling to tie the team's athletic efforts to reach the Olympics with the largest sailing event in Sweden", says Peter Klock, managing director of GKSS, comments.