A slow start to racing in Lysekil – but the sailors praise the new boats

The second stop of the 2017 WIM Series saw a dramatically different day from the blustery practice day yesterday. Very light and shifty winds led to postponements, long waiting and fewer matches than scheduled as Lysekil Women’s Match kicked off Tuesday with the first day of racing. Thanks to the new Fareast 28R boats, the sailors still came ashore with big smiles:
“Super fun boats with a fast and sporty feeling, really something new and challenging” says Swede Caroline Sylvan of the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club, who won one of her matches and lost the other.

The weight of the new Chinese boats in Lysekil Women’s Match is about a third of the previously raced DS 37s, and they are sailed with a crew of five instead of six as in the Danish precursor. Accordingly, they are quicker in the turns and with faster acceleration, characteristics that in combination with asymmetric instead of symmetric spinnaker is leading to a completely different tactical game on the race course:
“The large asymmetric spinnaker will easily make us broach when luffing the opponent too quickly, so we will have to be a little more careful. But that wasn’t actually a problem today” says Trine Palludan.

Despite being very used to the DS 37s from their home club, the Royal Danish Yacht Club in Copenhagen, Palludan & Co managed to win both their matches. They are now on top of the somewhat abbreviated leaderboard:
“We’ve practised a few hours in a borrowed Fareast 28R, but apart from that everything is new to us” says Josefine Boel Rasmussen, tactician for the Danish team.

Alexa Bezel (SUI) currently in second overall, is also undefeated. She won her only match of the day over World #1 and Lysekil defending champion, Swede Anna Östling:
“We lost the start to Anna, but were able to pass her at the downwind mark rounding. Then we kept our lead into the finish” Bezel describes the race, adding today’s only not completely positive comment on the new boat type.
“The asymmetric spinnaker is so large that it gets stuck everywhere in the manoeuvres, but I guess we have to learn how to sort that out” she says.

The Wednesday weather forecast looks more promising. Event organisers Sailnet and Lysekils Yacht Club Gullmar plan to run as many matches as possible, in order to catch up with the program.

Standings in Lysekil Women’s Match after the first day of the round-robin (skipper, team, nationality, wins – losses):
1 Trine Palludan, Team Kattnakken, DEN, 2-0
2 Alexa Bezel, ChicaCER Women Match Racing Team, SUI, 1-0
3 Renée Groeneveld, Dutch Match Racing Team, NED, 2-1
3 Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist Match Racing, SWE, 2-1
5 Anna Östling, Team Anna, SWE, 1-1
5 Caroline Sylvan, New Sweden Match Racing Team, SWE, 1-1
5 Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 1-1
8 Antonia Degerlund, Team Sköna Vibbisar, FIN, 0-1
8 Linnéa Floser, Peregrine Racing, SWE, 0-1
8 Octavia Owen, Athena Racing, GBR, 0-1
11 Marinella Laaksonen, L2 Match Racing Team, FIN, 0-2

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