Team Mac defends World Championship title

In very tricky conditions, skipper Lucy MacGregor and her British Team Mac, with teammates Annie Lush, Nicky Walsh, and Kate MacGregor were declared 2018 Women’s Match Racing World Champions after defeating the French Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team skippered by Pauline Courtois sailing with Maëlenn Lemaitre, Louise Acker, and Sophie Faguet.

The teams of Trine Palludan and Alexa Bezel each had the night to come up with a plan to come back from 0 – 2 deficits in their respective Semi Final matches. They arrived at the yacht club with the intention of winning their matches and advancing to the Finals. Alas, Pauline Courtois’ and Lucy MacGregor’s teams had plans for a different outcome.

Courtois’ Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team won the start over Palludan’s Team Kattnakken and was able to maintain control and stay ahead to the finish to win 3 – 0 and advance to the Finals.

In the other Semi Final match, Bezel’s Swiss Match Racing Team “kept it close, but not close enough,” explains Bezel, thus paving the way for MacGregor’s Team Mac to also advance to the Finals with a 3 – 0 record.

The Petit Final matches saw some classic match racing with exciting lead changes, tacking duels and close mark rounding. The Danish Team Kattnakken proved just a bit stronger and won two straight matches to secure the Bronze medals.

The Finals were a battle of two teams that came into the Finals with an incredible combined score of 31 wins and only one loss (by Courtois to MacGregor in the first round robin).

Team Mac’s Annie Lush says:“The day was very tricky as we saw winds from 3 to 15 knots in just one race with really big shifts!” Team Mac played those shifts well and took an early 1 – 0 lead in the Finals.

As expected, the pre-starts were very aggressive as both teams jockeyed for control of their opponent. The second match was the most aggressive as MacGregor received a red-flag penalty at the start and still managed to catch and pass Courtois on the downwind leg. “I must say that was our best run of the regatta. We gybed six or seven times and played the shifts perfectly,” says MacGregor in describing their come-from-behind victory.

With their backs against the wall down 0 – 2, it was must win time for Courtois’ team. But MacGregor took early control of the third match with good speed and led from start to finish to win the World Championship.

“We were not fast today. We felt stuck in the water. Not our best day,” concedes Maëlenn Lemaitre, Match in Pink’s tactician, in describing their defeat. She then says: “We will train hard and believe in our talent and come back strong for our next event.”

Team Mac, incredibly, went undefeated through the whole regatta to win their third World Championship and Lucy gave much credit to her crew: “Annie, Nicky and Kate did a fantastic job all week. And it is great to have this win together.”

With this year’s win, Annie Lush becomes tied with Dorte Jensen (Denmark) as the most decorated sailor in Women’s Match Racing World Championship history with four titles. Lush was part of American Sally Barkow’s winning crew in 2004 and 2005 and won together with skipper Lucy MacGregor in 2010 and, of course, again this year.

The Gubernskiy Yacht Club – Komatek race committee was led on the water by Russian International Race Officer Anna Deyanova in cooperation with World Sailing appointed Technical Delegate / International Race Officer Annika Ekman from Sweden.

Yuri Kriuchenkov, Vice President of the Russian Yachting Federation and Commodore of the Gubernskiy Yacht Club – Komatek, lowered the World Sailing flag to symbolize the closing of the event. Liz Baylis, Chair of the World Sailing Match Racing Sub-Committee, declared the event closed and the World Sailing flag was then handed over to the Vice Chair of the Swedish Sailing Federation, Annika Ekman, as the 2019 Women’s Match Racing World Championship will be held in Lysekil, Sweden.

The 2018 edition of the World Championship celebrated the 20th anniversary of the event. As the third event of the WIM Series, racing was held in Ricochet-747 boats from August 14 to 18.

Final Standings:
1. Team Mac – Lucy MacGregor, Annie Lush, Nicky Walsh, Kate MacGregor; Great Britain
2. Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team – Pauline Courtois, Maëlenn Lemaitre, Louise Acker, Sophie Faguet; France
3. Team Kattnakken – Trine Palludan, Anne Sofie Munk-Hansen, Louise Ulrikkeholm Bredvig, Joan Wester Hansen; Denmark
4. Swiss Women Match Racing Team – Alexa Bezel, Fiona Testuz, Manon Kivell, Nicole Bolliger; Switzerland
5. ProKaTeam Sailing Team – Ekaterina Kochkina, Svetlana Sidorova, Anastasia Gladysheva, Antonina Tikhonova; Russia
6. BornToSail – Alexandra Martynova, Liudmila Dmitrieva, Anastasia Shcheglova, Yana Stokolesova; Russia
7. BERGAUF Sailing Team – Milena Laverycheva, Olga Ivanova, Ksenia Trushkina, Tatyana Razumova; Russia
8. L2 Match Racing Team – Marinella Laaksonen, Daniela Rönnberg , Marianna Kontulainen, Eva-Lotta Hokkonen; Finland
9. APCC Women Sailing Team – Margot Riou, Clémentine Hilaire, Caroline Vandame, Tiphaine Ragueneau; France
10. Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team – Margot Vennin, Marie Zugolaro, Juliette Dubreuil, Adèle Marévéry, Sophonie Affagard; France
11. Athena Racing – Octavia Owen, Ruby Riggs, Hebe Hemming, Amber Riggs; Great Britain

Results in the Final:
• Lucy MacGregor, Team Mac, GBR defeated Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA 3 – 0

Results in the Petit Final:
• Trine Palludan, Team Kattnakken, DEN defeated Alexa Bezel, Swiss Women Match Racing Team, SUI 2 – 0

Results in the Semi-Finals:
• Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA defeated Trine Palludan, Team Kattnakken, DEN 3 – 0
• Lucy MacGregor, Team Mac, GBR defeated Alexa Bezel, Swiss Women Match Racing Team, SUI 3 – 0

Quarter-Final Results:
• Alexa Bezel, Swiss Women Match Racing Team, SUI defeated Ekaterina Kochkina, ProKaTeam Sailing Team, RUS 3 – 1
• Trine Palludan, Team Kattnakken, DEN defeated Alexandra Martynova, BornToSail, RUS 3 – 2
• Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA defeated Milena Laverycheva, BERGAUF Sailing Team, RUS 3 – 0
• Lucy MacGregor, Team Mac, GBR defeated Marinella Laaksonen, L2 Match Racing Team, FIN 3 – 0

This story is from Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Comments are closed.