Claire Leroy, a double world champion made a comeback on the WIM Series last year and lead her team to a victory in the Swiss International Women’s Match. Now she is one of the strongest contenders in the line-up in Lysekil Women’s Match 2019.
Claire Leroy, 39, belongs to the small group of sailors who have been named Sailor of the Year by World Sailing. After securing her second straight World Championship title gold in match racing 2008, she was well worth the prestigious award. The career is full of impressive top results including two wins in Match Cup Sweden, sixth place in the London 2012 Olympics and three second places in Lysekil.
The last few years, she hasn’t been competing as much, but last summer Leroy got a chance to once again feel the pulse in match racing. She replaced Swedish skipper Caroline Sylvan in Lysekil and the regatta ended with a fifth place. She came back again with a new team in the WIM Series event in Switzerland and now she was once again on the top of the podium.
“When I competed with Caroline’s team in Lysekil, it was fantastic and so I came back to Switzerland. When we won that competition we started thinking about the World Championships in Lysekil. But because I had not sailed for a long time, my ranking was low so we knew it would be difficult to get a spot”, Leroy says.
But when the invitation came to the World Championship qualifying event in Långedrag in May, a door opened for the French team.
“With the qualifying event we got a chance. We trained as much as we could at GKSS in Gothenburg before the competition and it laid the foundation for us to win a World Championship ticket. I have a new team, I have sailed a lot with Julie Gerecht before but the other two in the team have been opponents of mine before. Now we are really looking forward to coming to Lysekil together.
“Lysekil is a fantastic event. The sailing is so close to the cliffs and with many track boundaries it becomes an exciting game on the track”.
The latest world championship for Claire Leroy was in Gothenburg in 2012.
“It feels like so long ago and like another life. Much has changed and then everyone was so focused on the Olympics because the competition was just before we went to London. But it is clear that we have missed the feeling of competing in such a big competition”.
The victory in the Swiss International Women’s Match 2018 in Ascona last year shows that Leroy can compete with the best teams in the world. The team will be training in the Fareast 28 this week and some team members are warming up with the Tour de Voile in France.
“We aim high and prepare ourselves as much as we can, but there are many other teams that sail more than we do. Winning would be fantastic, our strength is our routine and we have nothing to lose”.