Please select your home edition
Edition
Suntouched 2017 D-Zero offer 728x90

2016 WIM Series Buddy Melges Challenge - Day 3

by Joakim Hermansson on 24 Sep 2016 21-25 September 2016
Stephanie Roble and her Epic Racing (left) are leading the Buddy Melges Challenge © Niklas Axhede / WIM Series

Stephanie Roble is leading on her home waters

Defeated World #1 Anna Östling of Sweden twice

The Buddy Melges Challenge, the 3rd event of the 2016 WIM Series and also the Women's World Match Racing Championship, finally got underway Friday. With a dozen flights sailed, Wisconsinite Stephanie Roble has taken the lead on her home waters of Lake Michigan: "We had a lot of fun and some really close matches today" she smiles.

Two days with no racing in Sheboygan, due to fog and very shifty or no wind at all, really put the sailors to the test, wandering around on shore longing for wind and waves. But as the sun rose over Lake Michigan on Friday morning, a stable northerly breeze around 12 – 14 knots filled the racecourse just east of the Sheboygan South Pier: "That was certainly worth waiting for" says World Sailing Technical Delegate Alfredo Ricci from Italy, in USA for the week to supervise the event.

The race management used the excellent sailing conditions to make up for the lost days, completing as many as a dozen flights of four matches each.

Local hope Stephanie Roble and her Epic Racing crew of Maggie Shea and Janel Zarkowsky mastered the somewhat choppy and lumpy waters in a formidable way, posting a 10 – 1 score to sit alone at the top of the leader board after this first day of racing. The American team were all sunshine but very tired, arriving at the dock after no less than eight hours on the water:

"It was a lot of fun in good conditions out there, and I'm really happy with how our day went. I think we were getting off the line pretty well" Roble says, praising her crew for their hard work:

"Our boat handling was definitely an advantage for us. It was hard going in all of the chop, but the girls kept the boat rolling and let me concentrate on driving."

World #3 Anne-Claire Le Berre was the only one to beat Roble. The French skipper finished last year with a win in the Busan event, for a podium position on the 2015 WIM Series. After a maternity leave during the start of this season, she's now back in full swing. With her 8 – 2 score so far in the round-robin stage, she's sharing third place in the regatta with Renée Groeneveld, The Netherlands:

"It was a long day on the water and I'm happy we lost just two matches, as we were quite exhausted at the end" Le Berre sighs, explaining what cost them the two matches: "Boathandling, tactics and speed worked pretty well on board, but as we haven't sailed very much this year, we lose matches when we're making too many mistakes" she admits.

Anna Östling of Sweden may be World #1, but on Lake Michigan she learned that Roble was the superior skipper. At least in their two Friday fights:

"In the first match we had Stephanie until the last downwind, where she surfed away on a big wave that we missed. And when we met her again in the afternoon, we hadn't adjusted the trim on our boat for the slightly lighter winds, so she slipped away again" Östling analyses, not too worried about the two defeats.

"No, I think it's good with tight racing on a high level. We've learnt a lot that we'll use over the weekend."

The double round-robin will be concluded Saturday and followed by quarterfinals, with the semi finals and the final to be decided on Sunday.

Round Robin Standings:

1. Stephanie, Roble, USA, 10 – 1
2. Anna Östling, SWE, 9 – 2
3. Renée Groeneveld, NED, 8 – 2
3. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 8 – 2
5. Samantha Norman, NZL, 4 – 6
6. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 4 – 7
7. Nicole Breault, USA, 3 – 8
8. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 2 – 9
9. Elizabeth Shaw, CAN, 0 – 11

Related Articles

WIM Series Busan Cup day 4
Palludan advances and awaits her finals opponent The weather has really been the dominant story this week at the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race. The fourth day was no different as the race committee and sailors battled with their patience in the light air. Posted on 17 Nov
WIM Series Busan Cup day 3
Three teams through to the Semis; Courtois, Macgregor and Östling advance A slow start to the day as the wind alternated between spinning circles and glassing off completely. The patience of the race committee paid off as the round robin was completed in a light cold northerly breeze before moving on to the quarter-finals. Posted on 16 Nov
WIM Series Busan Cup day 2
Increased breeze but very shifty Day two of the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race, the third event of the 2017 WIM Series, brought some challenges to the teams as the breeze increased to and the conditions stayed consistent – consistently shifting and puffing! Posted on 15 Nov
WIM Series Busan Cup day 1
Women's international match racing in South Korea The Busan Cup Women's International Match Race started on time under sunny skies but with a shifty north-westerly breeze keeping the teams and the race committee on their toes all day. Posted on 14 Nov
WIM Series Busan Women's Match preview
Twelve teams set for racing in Korea The sailors were greeted by sunny conditions and warm hospitality which took the chill off the overnight cool temperatures as they practised in the shadows of the Diamond Bridge near Dongbaek Island. Posted on 13 Nov
WMRT Match Racing World Championship overall
Torvar topples Robertson to win his first world title Torvar Mirsky has become the Match Racing World Champion after beating defending champion Phil Robertson 3-1 in the 2017 finals in Shenzhen, China. The skipper from Western Australia tore up the script, defied the odds, and sailed out of his skin. Posted on 29 Oct
WMRT Match Racing World Championship day 5
Steele and Robertson square up for Battle of the Bridge After a day of very little wind at the 2017 Match Racing World Championship, the breeze kicked in for the final hour before sunset and the drama unfolded. Posted on 28 Oct
WMRT Match Racing World Championship day 4
Harry pays a heavy price but he's not spent yet Harry Price might have broken through to the Quarter Finals after winning two crucial battles today in Match Cup China 2017. The young Australian was up against Markus Edegran from the USA, but Price was penalised for a technical infringement. Posted on 27 Oct
WMRT Match Racing World Championship day 3
Aschenbrenner leaps into the Super 16 Stage Joachim Aschenbrenner defied the odds today to battle his way out of the Sail Off and into the Super 16 stage at the 2017 WMRT Match Racing World Championship. Posted on 26 Oct
WMRT Match Racing World Championship day 2
America's Cup Veterans battling for survival There are no fools among the 18 teams battling for supremacy at the 2017 Match Racing World Championship, but after two days of fleet race Qualifying three skippers are battling for survival through to the Super 16 Stage. Posted on 25 Oct