Please select your home edition
Ocean Elements 2016

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

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 today at 11:26 am
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