The conditions turned blustery on small Lake Bedanne in Normandy for the second day of racing at the International Bedanne’s Cup – the final event of the 2017 Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series). But change of conditions did not deter local skipper Pauline Courtois as she maintained control to remain in the lead.
After a day of beautiful sunshine for the first day of racing, the second day brought rain, large windshifts and big puffs that kept the teams on their toes throughout the day. “It was very shifty and puffy, but we were happy to keep sailing fast and stay in the best pressure whenever we could” said Courtois as she shared her team’s strategy for the day.
The highlight match of the day was a battle between the Match in Pink by Normandie Elite Team skippered by Courtois and Anne-Claire Le Berre’s French Women’s Match Racing Sailing Team. Le Berre took the early advantage in the pre-start when Courtois made an error and received a penalty for not keeping clear while gybing away in a dial down. Le Berre led off the start, but Courtois took the lead on the puffy first upwind leg. The race was like an accordion as the boats came close together as the trailing boat had a new puff, but Courtois stretched out her lead when she sailed into a nice puff on the final run. In the end, Courtois’ team executed a near perfect penalty turn and finished just ahead of their rivals to maintain the advantage in the overall results.
The format for this event is different than the previous WIM Series events as the event organizers from the Ligue de Voile Normandie and the Club de Voile Saint Aubin Elbeuf came up with some creative ideas. Beginning with a double round robin stage giving all of the teams the opportunity to sail a lot and rewarding the winner of this stage by advancing directly to the semi-final stage. While the top team rests ashore, the next six teams sail the knock-out quarter-finals to see who will join them in the semi-finals. The lower places (5th through 9th) will be decided in a “Queen of the Castle” format. The 10,000 Euros in prize money will be distributed to the top eight teams in the final results.
Four flights remain in the double round robin for Thursday. The conditions are predicted to deteriorate overnight, but the organizers are hopeful that we will keep on schedule.
Standings in the 2017 International Bedanne’s Cup after day two of the double round-robin (skipper, nationality, team, wins – losses):
1- Pauline Courtois, FRA, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, 12-1
2- Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, French Women's Match Racing Sailing Team, 11-3
3- Margot Vennin, FRA, Team CVSAE, 10-3
4- Allie Blecher, USA, Team BAAM, 9-5
5- Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, L2 Match Racing Team, 7-6
6- Margot Riou, FRA, APCC Women's Sailing Team, 5-8
7- Sanna Mattsson, SWE, Swedish Women's Match Racing Team, 3-10
8- Linnéa Floser, SWE, Peregrine Racing, 2-11
9- Ekaterina Kochkina, RUS, ProKateam Sailing Team, 1-13
The International Bedanne’s Cup in Tourville-la-Rivière, France, continues until the final races, prize giving and closing ceremony on Saturday.