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Carlos Aguilar Match Race to host Women's International Match Racing Series

by Carol Bareuther 16 Jul 2017 11:25 BST 30 November - 3 December 2017
In the Carlos Aguilar Match Race, the 5th and final event of the 2016 WIM Series, Renée Groeneveld, Annemieke Bes, Lobke Berkhout and Mijke Lievens sailed some really close final races against Stephanie Roble, Maggie Shea, Liz Shaw and Janel Zarkovsky © Dean Barnes / CAMR

Carlos Aguilar Match Race (CAMR) organizers are pleased to announce that the St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands'-based event will host the Women's International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) Finale, November 30th - December 3rd. The CAMR, presented by the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, is known for bringing some of the best international match racing talent, from America's Cup veterans to Olympians, to sail in the scenic yet challenging Charlotte Amalie Harbor.

"St. Thomas is one of the best places on earth we have ever sailed," says Netherlands Olympic match racing star, Renée Groeneveld, who with her Dutch team of Annemieke Bes, Lobke Berkhout and Mijke Lievens, won their first-ever WIMS event at the 2016 CAMR. "The scenery is beautiful, there are great sailing conditions and the event is so well organized."

CAMR and WIM Series organizers are excited to bring another world-class sailing event to St. Thomas.

"The Carlos Aguilar Match Race is looking forward to hosting the WIMS final event for the second consecutive year. We are honoured that these top international teams want to come back and look forward to the skippers, crew and for many of their families visiting our beautiful Virgin Islands once again," says Verian Aguilar Tuttle, who co-directs the CAMR with Bill Canfield.

A strong contingent of teams is expected to compete for the highly-coveted 2017 WIM Series title. The Series kicked-off June 16 with the Women's Match Racing World Championship in Helsinki, Finland, won by Great Britain's Lucy Macgregor. Next up is the Lysekil Women's Match, August 7-12 in Lysekil, Sweden, followed by the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race, November 13-18, in Busan, South Korea and WIMS @ CAMR. WIM Series teams represent the five continents of North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

"The WIM Series cannot wait to be back in St. Thomas for the season finale at the 2017 CAMR. All the sailors had a fantastic time in 2016 and were already planning their return trips before they left the islands! Every part of the event was a great experience: from the racing in beautiful and challenging Charlotte Amalie Harbor to the great organization and race management to the fun and entertaining social activities to the fun racing with the kids from the Marine Vocational Program as part of the CAMR Youth Regatta. We can't wait to be back in December!" says Liz Baylis, WIM Series manager.

The WIMS @ CAMR is a World Sailing (WS)-provisional Grade One event. The format will feature a full round robin of all teams followed by knockout quarterfinals for the top 8, then knockout semi-finals, petit-finals and finals. The event will be sailed in IC 24, a modification of J/24.

Match racing is sailed in two identical boats around a short course, providing fast action close to the crowds on shore. The intense racing is just as exciting for the spectators as it is strategically, tactically and physically challenging for the competing crews.

The Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA) and St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) are the organizing authorities for the CAMR, namesake for the late Carlos Aguilar, who was an avid sailor. Past winners of the Open Division in the nine-year-old CAMR reads like a Who's Who of sailing, including the USVI's Taylor Canfield and Peter Holmberg, USA's Sally Barkow and Genny Tulloch, Finland's Staffan Lindberg and France's Claire Leroy. Sponsors for the regatta include the US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, Yacht Haven Grande, Bellows International and K3.

The WIM Series is the first and only professional sailing series for women, hosted by the Women's International Match Racing Association (WIMRA) and joined by the world's leading women match racing sailors. Official suppliers are Sailnet, 1080 Media, MILK, Sailing Education Association of Sheboygan, Adstream and Match Racing Results Service.

www.carlosmatchrace.com / www.wimseries.com