Please select your home edition
Gul 2017 Boots 728x90

2016 WIM Series Buddy Melges Challenge - Day 4

by Joakim Hermansson on 25 Sep 2016 21-25 September 2016
Dutch skipper Renée Groeneveld and her crew Lobke Berkhout and Mijke Lievens has qualified for the semi finals of the Buddy Melges Challenge © Niklas Axhede / WIM Series

Stephanie Roble and her Epic Racing kept their firm grip of the Buddy Melges Challenge, the 3rd event of the 2016 WIM Series and also the Women's World Match Racing Championship, through Saturday's racing. The US team won the round-robin stage 14 – 2, and then their quarter final against compatriot Nicole Breault 3 – 0:

"We had some really even starts, but our speed and boat handling was the advantage we could capitalize on today" Roble comments.

Renée Groeneveld, NED, Anna Östling, SWE and Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, all won their quarters 3 – 1. One of them will be picked by the Americans for the semis.

Saturday's racing, on the waters just outside Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, offered the sailors sunshine from a partly cloudy sky, and a quite stable south-easterly breeze of 10 – 12 knots, slowly decreasing throughout the day. In relatively flat waters this would have been the most easily managed conditions any sailor could have asked for, but a lot of swell during all eight hours of racing completely changed the impression:

"It was really tricky, tough and frustrating out there today," Stephanie Roble admits, giving her crew Maggie Shea and Janel Zarkowsky a lot of credit, "They kept me into the game, no doubt about that."

Fellow semi finalist Renée Groeneveld, who finished runner-up in the round-robin stage on a 13 – 3 record, backs the American skipper in her opinion on the sailing conditions: "It was a long day on the water, and we fought hard to keep our speed up. Sometimes the boat went sideways in the steep and choppy sea. We made a few mistakes but are generally happy" the Dutch skipper says.

Groeneveld and her crew Lobke Berkhout and Mijke Lievens raced Pauline Courtois of France, in a tough quarter final round that went to four matches and finished 3 – 1 in Dutch favour. They are now looking forward to Sunday's racing, predicted to bring a lot of breeze to Lake Michigan:

"We like heavy wind, but it's going to be tough as the others know that well too" Groeneveld says.

Despite somewhat upset stomachs during the last few days, Swedish twin sisters Annie and Linnea Wennergren managed to help their skipper, World #1 Anna Östling, to finish the round-robin on third place with a 12 – 4 score. Then Kiwi Samantha Norman gave the Swedes a hard time in their quarter final, narrowly winning the first match: "We gave away that one as we got the spinnaker under our boat when rounding the mark. The boat stopped completely, and that's a mistake you simply can't afford in this competition" says Annie Wennergren.

"In the following matches we found some patches of better pressure, enough to gain momentum and avoid the worse stops in the swell" the Swedish skipper fills in.

Being back on WIM Series after her maternity leave, French skipper Anne-Claire Le Berre came to Sheboygan with her crew Mathilde Geron and Alice Ponsar, determined to make a top result. After fourth place in the round-robin and their 3 – 1 win over Swedish Caroline Sylvan in the quarter final, they're now well on their way to reach their goal:

"We're here to sail the final" Le Berre declares, also explaining why, "We know these boats very well, and we're also used to the new rules, as we sailed under them before our break" she concludes.

The semi finals and the final will be decided Sunday.

Quarter Final Results:

Stephanie Roble, USA – Nicole Breault, USA, 3 – 0
Renée Groeneveld, NED – Pauline Courtois, FRA, 3 – 1
Anna Östling, SWE – Samantha Norman, NZL, 3 – 1
Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA – Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 3 – 1

Double Round-Robin Stage Results:

1. Stephanie Roble, USA, 14 – 2
2. Renée Groeneveld, NED, 13 – 3
3. Anna Östling, SWE, 12 – 4
4. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 11 – 5
5. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 7 – 9
6. Samantha Norman, NZL, 6 – 10
7. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 5 – 11
8. Nicole Breault, USA, 4 – 12
9. Elizabeth Shaw, CAN, 0 – 16

Related Articles

Australian Youth Match Racing day 1
NSW teams in fine form The 2017 Sharp Australian Youth Match Racing Championship got underway today at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia with 8 of the 9 flights in round robin one completed in a gusty and chilling south easterly breeze. Posted today at 11:04 am
Five States to battle it out
For Australia's Youth Match Racing Championship Trophy For the second year, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia will host the 2017 SHARP Australian Youth Match Racing Championship with ten teams from five States set to battle it out on Sydney Harbour to be named Australia's top youth match racing team. Posted on 23 Sep
Blind Fleet Racing Worlds at Sheboygan overall
Great Britain become World Champions GBR woke on the final day with all to play for in the B1, B3 fleets. The wind was light from the South South Westerly which through the morning swung to the West. The B2 and B3 were out first with two races scheduled. Posted on 19 Sep
Blind Fleet Racing Worlds at Sheboygan day 4
GBR getting to grips with the conditions The GBR team woke to glorious sailing conditions with the wind from the South at 12-14 knots with a slight chop from the South East. Posted on 16 Sep
Blind Fleet Racing Worlds at Sheboygan day 3
A solid day for GBR sailors Teams woke again to fog but the forecast showed it to lift early morning. B1s were up first with the race officer hoping to fit in 3 or 4 races. Posted on 15 Sep
Blind Fleet Racing Worlds at Sheboygan day 2
Fog lifts to allow for some fierce racing GBR pulled the curtains back to be met with fog, but B2 & B3 headed down to the water in hope for racing. But by 11 o'clock the fog was still thick, which saw the racing postponed for the day. Posted on 14 Sep
Blind Fleet Racing Worlds at Sheboygan day 1
GBR Blind Sailing get off to a solid start Sail Sheboygan welcomed 14 teams from 5 countries from around the World with all teams under the control of Principal Race Officer Richard Reichelsdorfer. Great Britain, under the coaching of Steve Irish, got off to a great start. Posted on 13 Sep
Simon Bertheau wins inaugural title
In the European Match Race Tour French skipper Simon Bertheau and his team APCC Team Jeune secured the victory in the first European Match Race Tour with an impressive win over reigning European Champion Maxime Mesnil. Posted on 12 Sep
British team arrive in the USA
For the 2017 Blind Fleet Racing Worlds GBR have landed in Sheboygan, the weather is warm and the breeze is steady 12 - 15 knots. The blind fleet racing is raced in a team of four in sight categories B1, B2, and B3. Posted on 11 Sep
Marinassess Women's Match Racing Regatta
Costanzo takes the win in Sydney Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club's Clare Costanzo, Emma May, Hannah Lanz, Amy Lee and Annie Scholten have won the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy's 2017 Marinassess Women's Match Racing Regatta following an action-packed weekend on Sydney Harbour. Posted on 11 Sep