World Salling has published a report on gender equality in sailing, the Strategic Review into Women in Sailing and you can read it here.

We applaude this initiative. The report describes problems, challenges and opportunities for women in sailing and it is based on interviews, surveys and comparisons with other sports.

We agree that there are challenges we have to face. For example, we need more female role models in the sport. The report addresses this and states that there isn’t a clear path way for girls to a professional career.

Here, events like Lysekil Women’s Match and the WIM Series play a very importantrole. We inspire more young girls to stay in the sport and we want to be a clear path for the girls who want to continue their career after dinghy sailing, an age where we lose many active female sailors.

The report states that 70 % of all sports have the same prize money for women and men, while only 0.4% of the commercial investment goes to women in sports. Still, interest in investing in female sports is increasing and sailing must keep up with this progress. Sailing for women is an undervalued stock to invest in.

We have been working to create opportunities for women in match racing for over 15 years. Our vision has always been to create the best sailing event for women in the world and to be a stage for the world’s best female sailors. And we want to be a role model for all commercial events.

We are delighted to see these issues on the agenda and are very intersted in the report’s nine reccomendations for changing the situation.The first point recommends that a Working Group within World Sailing be created with the purpose to drive the development forward. Lysekil Women’s Match want’s to be a part of that group – we are confident that our experience will help to create better conditions for everyone to succeed in the sport.

World-class sailing and an exciting championship, a great crowd and fantastic entertainers made Lysekil Women’s Match 2019 a celebration we will not soon forget. It was a true spectacle out on the racecourse as well as a sailing festival on land full of happy faces and summer weather. I want to thank everybody who helped make it possible. And welcome back in 2020!

Lysekil Women’s Match 2019 was a great success. The event has always had a strong line-up, being the most prestigious match racing event in the world for female sailors. Now the regatta was also the official World Championship and the regatta was decided in perfect sailing conditions. The interest, both from the public and from media, was big as the twelve teams competed for the prize check of 300 000 Swedish Krona (31 000 USD).

To that we can add wonderful music artists, our partners and volunteers who all helped make the event a week to remember. Now we can look forward to taking new steps together as we aim to make Lysekil Women’s Match an even better event in august 2020.

Anna Holmdahl White, Project Manager Lysekil Women’s Match



This year’s edition of Lysekil Women’s Match – the world’s greatest match racing competition for female sailors – is over. Lucy Macgregor, with her Team Mac, sailed home the gold in Lysekil Women’s Match, and this year’s Women’s Match Racing World Championship 2019. 

Macgregor showed why she is the two-time reigning world champion when she won over Claire Leroy with 3-0 in the tough final, taking home the gold, and 300 000 Swedish kronor in prize money.
– I am honestly speechless! Absolutely thrilled, such a fantastic feeling, says Macgregor right after the final finish.
The bronze went to Pauline Courtois, and her Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, after defeating the Dutch Match Racing Team 2-1.

Anna Holmdahl White, project manager for Lysekil Women’s Match, sums up the week:
– We are super happy! What a week, great sailing with good weather conditions and such a strong line-up. Great interest from both the media and audience. This year’s Lysekil Women’s Match was like a festival, just as we like it.

Results in Lysekil Women’s Match / Women’s Match Racing World Championship 2019 (team, crew, nationality):

  1. Team Mac – Lucy Macgregor, Amy Sparks, Bethan Carden, Mary Rook, Kate Macgregor – GBR
  2. Mermaid Sailing Team – Claire Leroy, Mathilde Geron, Julie Gerecht, Lola Billy, Sigrid Longeau – FRA
  3. Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team – Pauline Courtois, Maëlenn Lemaître, Louise Acker, Nathalie Corson , Sophie​ Faguet – FRA
  4. Dutch Match Racing Team – Renée Groeneveld, Marcelien Bos – de Koning, Marieke Jongens, Marije Tijssen-Kampen, Mijke Lievens – NED
  5. WINGS – Anna Östling, Annie Wennergren, Linnéa Wennergren, Marie Berg, Annika Carlunger – SWE
  6. Team Emerson – Marie Björling Duell, Anna Holmdahl White, Elisabeth Nilsson, Jenny Axhede, Anna Nordlander – SWE
  7. Team Bergqvist Match Racing – Johanna Bergqvist, Isabelle Bergqvist, Johanna Thiringer, Ellinor Hansson, Julia Carlsson – SWE
  8. Vela Racing – Nicole Breault, Allie Blecher, Karen Loutzenheiser, Beka Schiff, Carina Becker – USA
  9. Team Kattnakken – Trine Palludan, Sille Christensen, Lea Richter Vogelius, Vivi Møller, Joan Wester Hansen – DEN
  10. L2 Match Racing Team – Marinella Laaksonen, Sofia Tynkkynen, Camilla Cedercreutz, Henna Holopainen, Catharina Sandman – FIN
  11. Swiss Women Match Racing Team –  Alexa Bezel, Fiona Testuz, Manon Kivell, Andrea Nordquist, Blandine Jaffrain – SUI
  12. Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team – Margot Vennin, Juliette Dubreuil, Clotilde Ponçon, Chloé Salou, Sophonie Affagard – FRA

Lucy Macgregor and Claire Leroy are ready for the World Championship final in Match Racing. After this mornings semi-finals it will be Macgregos vs Leroy fighting for the gold whilst Renée Groeneveld and Pauline Courtois battles over the brons.

In a matchseries to best of five, Team Mac, with skipper Lucy Macgregor, secured a place in the final after a win in the fifth and final semi-final race against Renée Groeneveld.

Even before the semi-finals started we knew that there would be a french team in this years final. The questions was who: Courtois or Leroy.
After a tight matchseries in the semi-finals Claire Leroy eventually won with 3-2 against Pauline Courtois.

In the finals (team, skipper, nationality):
Team Mac, Lucy Macgregor , GBR
Claire Leroy, Mermaid Sailing Team, FRA


The quarter finals are done and four teams will compete in becoming 2019´s World Champion in Match Racing.

There was a late start to the quarter finals due to no winds what so ever in the morning, but by lunch-time the wind kicked in. Four teams headed out to fight in the first flights of the quarter finals:

Team Björkqvist Match Racing went head to head with Claire Leroy and her Mermaid Sailing Team, and Groeneveld with Dutch Match Racing Team took on Anna Östling with her crew WINGS.

For Clair Leroy and Johanna Bergqvist the flights were tight, and the quarterfinal-series needed a fifth and final race to determine which team would go on to the semi-finals.

It was Leroy who took the first two matches, which put pressure on Team Bergqvist Match Racing, leading up to the third race. The Swedes managed to turn the scores around and tie, taking the series to a fifth race. And what a race – both teams delivered, ending with Leroy managing to cross the finish line just before Bergqvist. Disappointment for the young Swedes.
– We had the chance, but unfortunately, we could not pass her today, says Johanna Bergqvist after missing out on the semi-finals.

Clair Leroy is pleased after reaching their goal, getting through to the semi-finals after a tough battle with Team Bergqvist:
– It was close, they were always coming back and we had a tight game. It was one of the best quarter finals I have ever sailed. They sailed well, but today we were a little bit better, but not much.

In the second quarterfinal, WINGS, with skipper Anna Östling took the first race against Renée Groeneveld, but with three straight wins the Dutch turned the quarter finals around, eliminating the Swedish team, and joining Leroy in the next round.

After a day of waiting it was finally time for the remaining four teams to hit the water.
Reigning World Champion, Lucy Macgregor, who sailed through Round Robin with 10 wins and only one loss, was eager to get out.
– We had no races yesterday, so it was really good to get on the boat and back in rhythm again.

Facing off with Nicole Breault, Lucy Macgregor showed everyone why she is the reigning two time World Champion, when they secured a spot in the semi-finals after sailing home three in a row.
– We won them by a fair way in the end, but the wind was very light and I think all of us concentrated pretty hard to make sure we secured it, says Lucy Macgregor after making it to the final day.

A day full of though races awaits in the morning, staring of with the semi-finals deciding who will make it on becoming 2019’s World Champion.

In the Semi-finals (skipper, team, ranking, nation):

Lucy Macgregor, Team Mac, 18, (GBR) – 2018 World Champion
Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, 1, (FRA)
Claire Leroy, Mermaid Sailing Team, 13, (FRA)

Renée Groeneveld, Dutch Match Racing Team, 20, (NED)


The third day of racing is completed and we now know which teams made it through to the quarter-finals.

The weather, with sunny skies and a light breeze drew a big crowd in Lysekil, and opened up for a long day of sailing. After finishing the Round Robin, the four teams on top, directly qualifying to the quarter finals were: 2017 and 2018 World Champion Lucy Macgregor with Team Mac, number one in the world – Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, and the two Swedish: Anna Östling, WINGS, and Marie Björling Duell Team Emerson prevailed.

The teams ranked 5th to 10th after the Round Robin had to battle it out for the remaining four spots in the quarter finals in the Repechage, sailing a second Round Robin.

Renée Groeneveld from the Netherlands, who won in Lysekil 2017, had a tough start to this year’s competition. Ranked 9th after the initial Round Robin, went on to sail in the repechage. With four wins out of five races they secured a spot in tomorrow’s quarter finals after a long day of sailing.
– We are happy to get some more races in, because we have been getting into our grove. Sure, we are tired, but happy, to have gotten to race this much, says Groeneveld and continues:
– We are improving a lot, handling communication and decision-making much better now. I think we are feeling more comfortable and I believe that is when you start to see results.

The youngsters in this competition, Team Bergqvist Match Racing, had an even longer day than the Dutch. After falling short in their last race against Trine Palludan they had to fight in the Repechage for a spot in the next round of the competition.

With a total of eleven matches at the end of the third day they are joining the other swedes in the quarter finals.
– It’s a great feeling! The girls have done all the hard work. We had a long day, but we have also gotten some extra races in and it feels like we have gotten the hang of it, which is a great feeling! Says a tired, but satisfied, Johanna Bergqvist as her team made it to the quarter finals.

Tomorrow it is time to cut the eight teams down to four for the semi finals.

On to the quarter finals (skipper, team, ranking, nation)

Lucy Macgregor, Team Mac, 18, (GBR),
Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, 1, (FRA)
Anna Östling, WINGS, 2, (SWE)
Marie Björling, Team Emerson, 22, (SWE)
Renée Groeneveld, Dutch Match Racing Team, 20, (NED)
Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist Match Racing, 3, (SWE)
Claire Leroy, Mermaid Sailing Team, 13, (FRA)
Nicole Breault, Vela Racing, 5, (USA)

In perfect sailing conditions with winds of 5-7m/s (10-14 knots), the second day of competition Lucy Macgregor showed why she is the two-time defending World Champion by winning 7 out of 7 matches today.

In the lead, after 16 flights of Round Robin, is Lucy Macgregor who have only lost one match.
With a winning streak of 10 wins and only one loss, Team Mac have secured a place in the quarterfinals.
– Fantastic day for us, it’s been great conditions here, and it has been important to sail fast because it is quite tricky to maneuver in these boats. I think there is big differences between the teams that are really fast and the ones that are just average. So, we have done that well and just gone down the course really cleanly, says Macgregor after completing day two.

Round Robin racing will continue tomorrow, for the nine teams that still have matches to sail, before we know who will qualify directly to the quarterfinals. Macgregor, with 10 out of 11 wins, on the other hand can sit back and relax knowing they are in top four and through to the next round.
– Now we will probably make sure to stretch and get the sore muscles working again. It’s been quite physical the last two days. I think a bit of a break will be good for us to be able to reenergize and get ready for the quarterfinals, says Lucy Macgregor.

Two more teams have finished the Round Robin: Team Emerson and the Swiss Women Match Racing Team.
The Swedish Team Emerson, with skipper Marie Björling Duell, had a tough day with seven matches in a row. Despite the tight schedule they managed to take home 5 wins, leaving them with a total of 7 wins out of 11 matches after Round Robin. Left for them to do now is wait and see if they will qualify directly to quarterfinals.
– Actually I am a little bit tired right now, but we had a good day out at the water and that gives you energy as well. Today we sailed much better than yesterday and if we sail tomorrow we will be even better, and if we sail on Saturday we will sail our best, says Marie Björling Duell after her Team Emerson have sailed all their matches for the day.


Standings for Lysekil Women’s Match / Women’s Match Racing World Championship At the end of Day Two – 16 of 22 round robin flights (skipper, team name, country, wins-losses, points, winning %):

  1. Lucy Macgregor, Team Mac, GBR, 10-1, 10, 91%
  2. Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 4-1, 4, 80%
  3. Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist Match Racing, SWE, 4-1, 4, 80%
  4. Anna Östling, WINGS, SWE, 6-2, 6, 75%
  5. Marie Björling Duell, Team Emerson, SWE, 7-4, 7, 64%
  6. Claire Leroy, Mermaid Sailing Team, FRA, 5-3, 4.5, 56%
  7. Nicole Breault, Vela Racing, USA, 4-4, 4, 50%
  8. Trine Palludan, Team Kattnakken, DEN, 3-5, 3, 38%
  9. Renée Groeneveld, Dutch Match Racing Team, NED, 3-5, 3, 38%
  10. Marinella Laaksonen, L2 Match Racing Team, FIN, 1-4, 1, 20%
  11. Alexa Bezel, Swiss Women Match Racing Team, SUI, 1-10, 1, 9%
  12. Margot Vennin, Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 0-8, -0.25, 0%


After the first day of competition we have four teams on equal points at the top of the leader board in Lysekil Women’s Match, the 2019 World Championship: Johanna Bergqvist, Pauline Courtois, Anna Östling and Claire Leroy all counting four wins and one loss.

At the initial stage of the competition all crews will face each other in a Round Robin to determine which teams will proceed directly to the quarter finals, and who will have to rely on their performance in the repechage to make it to the next stage. During day one 10 out of 22 flights in the Round Robin were completed. Four teams have won four of their first five matches: local teams Johanna Bergqvist and Anna Östling of Sweden, and Frenchwomen Claire Leroy and Pauline Courtois.

The competition could not have started better for Johanna Bergqvist and her crew as they won their first four matches, heading in to the afternoon as the only undefeated team:
– We had a great day today: the girls have done an amazing job. Pauline Courtois sailed better than us and there is not much more to say about that. But we really had a great first day and are looking forward to tomorrow, Johanna Bergqvist says after beating 2018 World Champion, Lucy Macgregor in the second match of the day and finally losing the last match of the day to Courtois.

Pauline Courtois who made sure to finish of the day with a statement as they beat thereto undefeated Bergqvist Match Racing in their last match. All in all, a pretty good day for the French team:
– It was quite good for the first day, we are really happy with the conditions with a lot of wind at the end of the day.

During the first day we saw all kinds of weather conditions in Lysekil. In the morning, the sailors had to deal with heavy rain and light winds, but in the afternoon the wind picked up as the sky cleared.

Behind the leading four teams Lucy Macgregor has won three out of four matches (one match in the seventh flight was postponed due to a boat break down). The reigning World Champion is pleased with the first day out on the water, knowing what they have to do the following days:
– Going in to the next couple of days, I think it is all about improving as the event goes on. Then hopefully we will still be in the fight that last day. Bring it on!

Tomorrow, Tuesday, marks the start of Lysekil Women’s Match also the official World Championship for women – Five days of sailing awaits for the twelve teams fighting for the World Champion title 2019.

Lysekil Women’s Match has, since the start in 2004, evolved into the leading international match racing event for women on the WIMSeries circuit. This year the event is even bigger than before, and perhaps even more prestigious, as it has been awarded official World Championship status from World Sailing.

Liz Baylis, the event Race Official, is confident that it will be a week of tough competition and is looking forward to seeing how it unfolds:
– I think this is going to be a great Championship. With the history Lysekil has of running an event of this caliber it really makes no difference that it is a World Championship, they have run this event for years, always in spectacular fashion. Looking at the forecast, we will see all different kinds of conditions this week: we have some days that look light, and a few with more wind, the forecast also predicts some rain, but we are hoping for more sun – typical Swedish weather. Looking at the list of competitors it is a very competitive field, so we should see some very competitive racing. You really can’t count any one out, everyone has a real chance to win. It will be interesting to see if Lucy (Macgregor) can defend her title or if we see a new champion this year.

Team Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, with skipper Pauline Courtois, ranked number one in the world, are back after last yeas win here in Lysekil looking for a repeat:
– It is my fifth year in Lysekil and I am very happy to be back. During training this morning the team had a chance to get comfortable with the boat again, as we have not sailed it for a little while, says Pauline after today’s training session.

Marie Björling Duell, skipper of Team Emerson, competed in Lysekil last time the World Championship was held here in 2009, and are excited to be back:
– We love to sail in Lysekil, so it is extra exciting to be here sailing a World Championship. My feeling is that it might even be more fun for all the Swedish crews with the audience cheering on, but when you are racing, it is not really something you think that much of. We are here to sail our best, and if we can do the we know we can go far in the competition. But we will take it one day at a time, our first step is to go through Round Robin to the quarterfinals.

Anna Östling and her Team Wings are the second highest ranked team on the international match racing ranking. The Swedish home team are one of the favourites to win the World Championship in match racing in Lysekil next week. ”It will definitely be one of the biggest competitions for us in the team so far”, says Anna Östling.

Lysekil Women’s Match is the official Women’s Match Racing World Championship of 2019. Anna Östling has been a leading profile in the sport for over a decade, sailing the Olympics in 2012 and winning the World Championship title in both 2014 and 2016. To win another gold in the home event in Lysekil would be a true career highlight.

”It has been our goal since it became official last year that the World Championship would be sailed in Lysekil. We have done a lot of sailing this year and the focus has always been on sailing as well as possible next week”, says Anna Östling.

The first World Championship gold was won in Cork, Ireland in 2014 and two years later, the feat was repeated on Lake Michigan. This summer they have sailed the Midsummer Match Cup in Skärhamn, won the GKSS Match Cup Sweden at Marstrand and warmed up ahead of Lysekil with a competition in France in the end of July. The team has consistently been ranked as one of the best in the world the last decade but Anna Östling wants to tone down herself as a favourite.

”We always want to be at the top of the podium but we feel that many teams want exactly the same thing and the competition will be really tough. The regatta in France became an eye opener for us because and we discovered that we have troubles with certain parts of the sailing after having focused harder on other parts of our crew work”.

Specifically, the team has trained a lot on sailing with gennaker to be prepared for sailing the Fareast 28 used in Lysekil. Now they are looking forward to starting the regatta and they know they will have reach their maximum level from the start.

”To get all the way to the final, you will need determination and quick thinking in all situations when the competition is this good. But we feel confident and we have been in similar situations before where there is a lot at stake”, says Anna Östling, stressing that the winning recipe is about feeling the joy on board.

”We feel no pressure but think more about enjoying each race and just go out to sea and give it our best. We love to sail, we love to compete and we love to win!”

FOTO: WIM Series. Team Wings – Annie Wennergren, Anna Östling, Annika Carlunger, Marie Berg, Linnéa Wennergren.