The sailors were greeted by sunny conditions and warm hospitality which took the chill off the overnight cool temperatures as they practiced in the shadows of the Diamond Bridge near Dongbaek Island for the 10th edition of the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race. Beginning Tuesday, 60 sailors in twelve crews from nine countries will fight for valuable WIM Series points, as well as for a share of the 50 000 USD prize pool:
“With the support of the Metropolitan City of Busan and the Busan Sailing Federation, I am very proud to welcome the sailors to Busan for a tenth time” says Regatta Director Alfredo Ricci.
The 10th Anniversary edition of the Busan Cup Women's International Match Race will begin Tuesday with the round-robin, to be raced on the same waters outside Haeundae Beach as hosted the 1988 Olympic sailing competition:
“Since the beginning in 2008 when local match racing enthusiasts Mr Moon and Dr Sun met with Alfredo Ricci and conceived the idea, the Busan Cup has grown to be a star on the international calendar for women’s match racing, showcasing Busan’s ability to host world-class sailing events and shining a spotlight on the tremendous excitement of championship level women’s match racing. In those 10 years nearly 1 million U.S. dollars have been awarded in prize money to the sailors” says WIM Series Manager Liz Baylis.
The high level competition of the Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM Series) – the only professional sailing series for women – attracts the world’s best women sailors. At every event Olympians, National Champions, World Champions and Volvo Ocean Race veterans fiercely compete alongside rising young stars for gold and glory:
“In Busan we have the top six skippers on the World Sailing ranking list competing as well as three teams that have not yet competed in previous WIM Series events, so we should have some great competition and exciting” Baylis comments.
“It is great to be back in Busan and the conditions today were nice. After a long break since Lysekil we are very keen to be back out racing and we are especially keen to have a chance to do better here than last year” the current leader of the 2017 WIM Series, Renée Groeneveld, commented after practice and remembering her less than stellar performance in the 2016 Busan Cup.
The weather forecast for the week may prove challenging as a low pressure system moves in later in the week bring with it gusts over 40 knots and cooler temperatures.
Skippers in the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, the 3rd event of the 2017 WIM Series, in Busan, South Korea (name, nationality, team name, world ranking October 18 2017):
Anna Östling, SWE, Team Anna, 1
Swedish match racing ace and Olympian Anna Östling is not only #1 on the World Sailing ranking, double World Champion and overall winner of the 2016 WIM Series. Last year she also managed to take her first triumph in Lysekil Women’s Match. To develop their sailing skills and have fun is the ambition of Team Anna.
Renée Groeneveld, NED, Matchrace Team Netherlands, 2
Renée Groeneveld took the World Championship bronze medal in the USA last year, and later she also won the WIM Series finale on US Virgin Islands. This year she won the silver in the Helsinki Worlds and followed that with a convincing win at the 2017 Lysekil Women’s Match to lead the 2017 WIM Series. In the 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth, the Dutch sailing star reached the quarter finals. Groeneveld represents Haarlemsche Jachtclub close to Amsterdam, and looks after customer service and planning at Vopak when not sailing.
Caroline Sylvan, SWE, New Sweden Match Racing Team, 3
Östling’s fellow club member of the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club, 28 years old Caroline Sylvan, finished 5th on the 2016 WIM Series. Currently she’s holding the same spot on the World Sailing ranking, close to Groeneveld. Sylvan participated in all the 2016 WIM Series events, and earlier in her career she sailed a large number of international championships in different dinghy classes.
Pauline Courtois, FRA, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, 4
28 years old sport teacher Pauline Courtois from Brest started sailing at seven and racing at nine. She has been in match racing on different positions since 2011. In 2013 she finished runner-up when calling the tactics for Julie Bossard in the WIM Series event in Saint-Quay-Portrieux, and took a bronze medal in the French championships. Pauline finished 7th on the 2016 WIM Series and this year finished runner-up in Lysekil.
Trine Palludan, DEN, Team Kattnakken, 5
As a main trimmer and tactician in successful Team Ulrikkeholm, 38 years old Trine Palludan from famous sailing metropolis Hellerup has got three World Championship silver medals. And as helm this year Team Kattnakken won the bronze medal at the World Championship in Helsinki. Trine will again be helming the Danish team, as she did in Busan in 2014 and 2016. But steering the boat is not a new task for Trine, who in 2004 became both World and European Champion as an Yngling skipper. When not sailing Trine works as a chiropractor in Frederiksberg, in the Danish capital Copenhagen.
Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, L2 Match Racing Team, 6
25 years old mathematics student Marinella Laaksonen is not only the highest ranked female Finnish skipper on the World Sailing ranking, but she also has two straight National Championships in Women’s Match Racing. Before getting into match racing, Marinella sailed dinghy classes like Europe dinghy, Zoom 8 and 49er FX. She finished 5th in the World Championship on her home waters of Helsinki earlier this summer and made the quarterfinals in Lysekil.
Clare Costanzo, AUS, Team Costanzo, 10
Clare Costanzo, 20, is one of the latest match racing skippers to come from the Australian match racing “factory” known as the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. She began match racing as a skipper in 2014 and won the Australian Women’s Match Racing Nationals in 2016. Clare was one of two all-female teams competing in the 2017 Youth Match Racing World Championship and will be making her WIM Series debut at the 2017 Busan Cup.
Lucy Macgregor, GBR, Team Mac, 12
The 30 year old British Olympian led her Match Race Girls to victory in the inaugural 2013 WIM Series, but in 2014 her only match racing event was in Busan, where she won. In 2010 Lucy took the World Match Racing Championships in Newport. She has also raced a range of keelboats from 24 to 45 ft as helm, tactician and crew at events such as Cowes Week and IRC National Championships, winning the 2016 Quarter Ton Cup. This year Team Mac convincing won the World Championship in Helsinki and returns to Busan after finishing second last year.
Linnea Floser, SWE, Peregrine Racing, 14
Living in the Swedish capital Stockholm, and representing the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSS), 24 years old Linnéa Floser made her debut on the WIM Series at the 2016 Carlos Aguilar Match Race event in St Thomas. She has raced several dinghy classes and is working as a personal trainer at SATS Lidingö and as a skipper at the At Sea Events match racing centre. Floser’s match racing career started in 2015, with fast climbing to her current ranking position. Linnéa Floser is a certified personal trainer, and has studied science and meteorology at the Stockholm University, and now works as the Chief Operations Officer at At Sea Events.
Alexa Bezel, SUI, Swiss Women Match Race Team, 17
In Horgen on the west coast of the elongated Lake Zürich, right where the ferry to Meilen departs, is the home waters of Swiss skipper Alexa Bezel, 25, and her team. Their sailing background is in 470 and Laser as well as in keelboats, multihulls and Volvo Ocean Race. In 2012 the girls in Team ChicaCER came to Lysekil for the first time, and shocked everybody with their runner-up result! In 2015 and 2016 they finished 7th in Lysekil.
Sarah Parker, AUS, Team Parker, 19
22 year old Sarah Parker grew up sailing at the Avalon Sailing Club in Australia’s famous Pittwater sailing area north of Sydney before joining the match racing squad at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. Although Sarah only began skippering match racing 3 years ago, she’s made quite an impression in a short time – winning the 2015 Marinassess Women’s Match Race and 2016 World University Match Racing Championship as a skipper. As a crew she’s notched off another World Champion title crewing for Will Dargaville (AUS) in the Youth Match Racing World Championship in New Caledonia in 2016. She’ll make her debut as a skipper on the WIM Series at the 2017 Busan Cup.
Eunjin Kim, KOR, Team Ladies, unranked
Eunjin Kim leads the only female yacht racing team in Korea. Kim started sailing in 1995 in college for fun then took a break while raising her kids before starting again in 2012. Since 2015 Kim and her team, Team Ladies, started training at the Gyeonggi Yacht School in the Ara Marina in Korea’s capital, Seoul in J/24s. The team has very successfully competed on the open keelboat circuit in Korea including an open win in the Saemangeum International Yacht Race in 2015. Team Ladies will make their WIM Series debut in the 2017 Busan Cup.
2017 WIM Series Standings after two events (Skipper, team, nationality, WIM Series points):
1. Renée Groeneveld, Dutch Match Racing Team, NED, 47
2. Anna Östling, Team Anna, SWE, 38
3. Trine Palludan, Team Experience, DEN, 38
4. Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 34
5. Caroline Sylvan, New Sweden Match Racing Team, SWE, 26
6. Marinella Laaksonen, L2 Match Racing Team, FIN, 26
7. Lucy Macgregor, Team Mac, GBR, 25
8. Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist Match Racing, SWE, 20
9. Alexa Bezel, ChicaCER Women Match Racing Team, SUI, 14
10. Mikaela Fors, Pen & Hammer Sailing Team, FIN, 14
11. Antonia Degerlund, Team Sköna Vibbisar, FIN, 11
12. Linnéa Floser, Peregrine Racing, SWE, 8
13. Octavia Owen, Athena Racing, GBR, 7
14. Margot Riou, APCC Women's Sailing Team , FRA, 7
15. Martina Karlemo, Team Karlemo, FIN, 6
16. Sanna Häger, Stockholm Match Racing Team, SWE, 4
17. Ekaterina Kochkina, Team SailWay, RUS, 3
The Busan Cup Women's International Match Race in Busan, South Korea, will kick off the round-robin racing on Tuesday the 14th of November, with final races, prize giving and closing ceremony on Saturday the 18th of November.
photos Janos Schmidt