The Womens Match Racing World Championship kicks off in windy conditions
11 teams are ready to fight for the world title. Dutch team in spectacular capsize during practice.
July 3, 2023 - Middelfart Denmark: The top female match race sailors were literally blown away today as they went out for a practice session before the start of the 2023 Womens Match Racing World Championship - powered by Bunker One.
The weather forecast had no telltale of how much wind would suddenly appear out of nowhere. It caught Dutch skipper Julia Aartsen and her crew on the wrong foot, and they totally lost control of their boat while going downwind, flying the spinnaker.
The result was a nose-dive followed by a Chinese gybe and two crew members swimming after the boat. Luckily, everyone was all right, and the event photographer quickly picked up the crew members and put them back onto their boat.
The incident starkly contrasted the cozy opening ceremony of the event at Hindsgavl Castle, where Mayor Johannes Lundsfryd Jensen welcomed the participants to the municipality of Middelfart Kommune.
Liz Baylis has been appointed World Sailing Technical Delegate at the World Championship. At the opening ceremony, she thanked the organizers, sponsors, and municipality for hosting another match racing world championship as they did in 2015.
The city has been busy with sailing events this summer, with two world championships back to back. Last week the Melges 24 World Championship was also held in Middelfart, and this week the waters off Middelfart Marina will be the scene for the match racing event.
The Danish event company, GoSail, runs the two world championships, and along with the major event partners and sponsors - Sport Event Denmark, the Municipality of Middelfart, Destination Fyn, and title sponsor Bunker One - a minimal carbon footprint is a main focus point.
Therefore GoSail has teamed up with Danish sail manufacturer Elvstrom Sails to make brand new sails for the Blu 26 boats. The sails are made from 95 percent reusable polyester fibers and are normally used in cruising sails, and the world championship will mark their debut on the racing scene.
Racing gets underway Tuesday morning, and the forecast promises a lot of wind and rain before the Danish summer, with temperatures in the high 20s (C), lighter wind, and the blue sky returning for the finals Thursday and Friday.
With 6 skippers among the top 10 world rankings, competition for the gold medal is predicted to be fierce. French skipper Pauline Courtois sits comfortably at the number one spot, but Swedish competitor Anna Östling is ready to take up the challenge.
1. Pauline Courtois, Maëlenn Lemaître , Louise Acker, Thea Khelif, Clara Bayol – FRA, World Ranking #1
2. Anna Ӧstling, Anna Holmdahl, Linnéa Wennergren, Annika Carlunger, Jenny Axhede – SWE, World Ranking #2
3. Celia Willison, Ruby Scholten, Charlotte Porter, Serena Woodall, Alison Kent – NZL, World Ranking #4
4. Megan Thomson, Josi Andres, Anna Merchant, Chelsea Rees, Juliet Costanzo – NZL, World Ranking #5
5. Sophie Otter, Hebe Hemming, Hatty Ward, Jemima Lawson, Alice Bradford – GBR, World Ranking #6
6. Lea Richter Vogelius, Joan Wester Hansen, Louise Ulrikkeholm Bredvig, Sille Christensen, Josefine Boel Rasmussen – DEN, World Ranking #7
7. Kenza Coutard, Lucie Gout, Enza Geslin-Grimaud, Victoire Lerat, Sophonie Affagard – FRA, World Ranking #15
8. Octavia Owen, Abbie Sanders, Kate MacAdorey, Jodie Martin, Yasmine Sfaxi – GBR, World Ranking #20
9. Louise Kristine Olesen, Nora Berg, Mille Brandt Jensen, Line Mørkebjerg, Sara Keir Wright – DEN, World Ranking #21
10. Kristine Marie Mauritzen , Helena Gustavs Formgren, Pernilla Lindnér , Christina Andersen , Emilie Nordby Lauritzen – DEN, World Ranking #22
11. Julia Aartsen, Eva Asbeek Brusse, Nerine Usman, Ismene Usman, Svea Karsenbarg – NED, World Ranking #27
See all of the results updated live here
For information on the 2023 Womens Match Racing World Championship https://gosail.dk/womens-match-racing-world-championship-2023/
See the photo gallery on Flickr:
For specific information about the event, please contact:
Søren Laugesen - Event Chairman
GoSail - Middelfart, Denmark
Mobile/WhatsApp: +45 26 49 79 13
Mick Anderson - Event Press Officer
Mobile/WhatsApp: +45 27 11 44 50