– Östling and Vennin take silver and bronze

Local knowledge and good sailing lead to a win at the inaugural Normandie Match Cup by the Le Havre-based Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team lead by Pauline Courtois in blustery conditions.

The final day of racing in Le Havre started in the rain with a nice 14 to 17 knot northwesterly sea breeze. The round robin leaders, Pauline Courtois (FRA) and Anna Östling (SWE), focused their teams and wasted no time taking care of business in their respective semi-finals.

Östling and teammates Annie Wennergren, Linnea Wennergren, and Annika Carlungeras Team WINGS dispatched the other local skipper Margot Vennin’s Matchmoiselle by Normandy Elite Team (Juliette Dubreuil, Chloé Salou, and Sophonie Affagard) 3-0 in their matches. But it was not without some drama as Dubreuil injured her knee in the first match and as replaced for the rest of the day by Nathalie Corson. (The injury is not serious and Juliette will be back for the next event.)

Courtois and her Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team – Maëlenn Lemaître, Louise Acker, and Sophie​ Faguet- showed the skills that have them on top of the women’s match racing world rankings. By virtue of winning the round robin stage, they chose their opponent for the semi-finals and they chose Marinella Laaksonen’s L2 Match Racing Team from Finland. The French continued their undefeated streak through the semi-finals taking care of the Finns in 3 straight matches.

The Petite-Finals say Vennin’s team rebound from their semi-final performance and knock out Laaksonen’s team 2-0. “We were able to re-focus and keep things simple. It was good to see that our practice over the winter has paid off and we are looking forward to our next events, especially the Worlds in Lysekil.”

The “Queen of the Castle” kept with the theme and followed suit to maintain the positions from the round robin with Swedish skipper Marie Björling Duell’s Team Marie coming out on top of the Castle. “We had everything to lose going into today’s racing, so we are happy that we were able to win our match and keep our spot” said a relieved Anna Holmdahl White, Team Marie’s tactician.

Östling’s team was able to find a weakness in Courtois’ game and took a 1-0 lead in the Finals. That was short lived as Courtois came back and won the next two matches that were sailed on the outside course.

The last match of the Final was sailed inside the very spectator friendly confines of the commercial port of Le Havre. All commercial traffic was suspended for the duration of the racing giving the sailors a fantastic venue with smooth water and steady breeze to showcase their athleticism. One of the spectators enjoying the racing was Agnes Firmin Le Bodo, Member of Parliament for Seine-Maritime. And she had the opportunity to watch the French team perform.

Courtois and her team – Maëlenn Lemaître, Louise Acker, Sophie​ Faguet– thrilled the local crowd by winning the final match wire to wire. After the win they entertained the spectators while showering each other with champagne!

Most of the teams competing here will be race in the next event on the WIM Series calendar – the Women’s Match Racing World Championship at Lysekil Women’s Match in Lysekil, Sweden August 5-10.

Final Standings – 2019 Normandie Match Cup

(skipper, crew; team name, country, WIM Series points, prize money):

1. Pauline Courtois, Maëlenn Lemaître, Louise Acker, Sophie​ Faguet; Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 25, 4000

2. Anna Östling, Annie Wennergren, Linnea Wennergren, Annika Carlunger; WINGS, SWE, 22, 2500

3. Margot Vennin, Juliette Dubreuil, Chloé Salou, Sophonie Affagard; Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 20, 1500€

4. Marinella Laaksonen, Sofia Tynkkynen, Camilla Cedercreutz, Anna Savisaari; L2 Match Racing Team, FIN, 18, 1000€

5. Marie Björling Duell, Anna Holmdahl White, Elisabeth Nilsson, Anna Nordlander; Team Marie, SWE, 16, 250€

6. Lea Richter Vogelius, Sille Christensen, Vivi Møller, Joan Wester Hansen; Team Kattnakken, DEN, 14, 250€

7. Margot Riou, Clémentine Hilaire, Tiphaine Ragueneau, Blandine Jaffrain; APCC Women Sailing Team, FRA, 12, 250€

8. Chloé Le Bars, Jeanne Le Goff, Eliette Ferronnière, Maïwenn Deffontaines; No Name Sailing Team, FRA, 10, 250€


Results in the finals:
Pauline Courtois, FRA – Anna Östling, SWE 3 – 1

Results in the petit-finals:
Margot Vennin, FRA – Marinella Laaksonen, FIN 2 – 0

Results in the semi-finals:
Pauline Courtois, FRA – Marinella Laaksonen, FIN 3 – 0
Anna Östling, SWE – Margot Vennin, FRA 3 – 0

The line-up for the Women’s Match Racing World Championship 2019 in Lysekil is now official and includes a list of top ranked teams and former World Championship medallists.

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

Among the teams that are entering the event, raced August 5-11, ten have been invited according to their position on the official world ranking. For skipper Anna Östling, World Champion in 2014 and 2016, the event in Lysekil on her home arena will be a career highlight.

“To prepare for a World Championship in Sweden is very inspiring, it’s going to be the most fun event ever for us. The line-up is really strong but our goal is clear, we want to win our third gold, and a lot of things have to work perfectly in the team for that to happen. We are doing a lot of training to get comfortable in the Fareast 28 and with gennaker sailing”, says Anna Östling who is sailing with Annie Wennergren, Linnéa Wennergren, Marie Berg and Annika Carlunger.

British skipper Lucy Macgregor (GBR) has won the last two World Championship titles in 2017 and 2018 and also won the gold back in 2010. She will enter Lysekil Women’s Match with Annie Lush, Kate Macgregor, Mary Rook and Bethan Carden.

“I am lucky to have a fantastic crew with me this year for the World Championship, I have two of the same crew as I won with last year, Annie and Kate and the three of us also won the 2010 World Championship with Mary. In addition I have recently returned from the Argo Gold Cup in Bermuda where we finished fourth with Bethan as part of the team, it’s these girls that give us an advantage”, says Lucy Macgregor who also won the inaugural Women’s International Match Racing Series in 2013, which had the final event in Lysekil.

”It has been far too long since I raced in Lysekil. In my first few years of Match Racing it was always one of our main events of the year, fun boats, great racing and a fantastic atmosphere. I am looking forward to experiencing the same this year”.

Pauline Courtois is the current number one on the World Ranking and the French skipper won Lysekil Women’s Match as well as the WIM Racing Series in 2018.

”Our goal is of course to win again. It’s an advantage to have sailed on the arena before but each regatta is different so we will just try to do our best and have fun on the water. The line-up is awesome. We are very excited to sail against the best women’s match racers especially this year with a lot of former world number ones and world medallists”, says Pauline Courtois who’s team includes Maëlenn Lemaitre, Louise Acker, Nathalie Corson and Sophie Faguet.

Trine Palludan (DEN) took bronze in last year’s World Championship in a petit finale against Alexa Bezel (SUI). Marinella Laaksonen (FIN) and French skipper Margot Vennin are currently ranked fifth and seventh in the world. Nicole Breault (USA) will enter the regatta after a number of strong results in American events, including a second place finish at the recent World Sailing Nations Cup Grand Final held out of the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, USA.

Renee Groeneveld from the Netherlands has both silver and a bronze from previous World Championships. Of the Swedish teams, Johanna Bergqvist, 22, has the youngest crew in the line-up and they are currently ranked fourth in the world.

In May, a qualifying event was raced in Gothenburg where the winning team as well as the best Swedish team was awarded a ticket to Lysekil Women’s Match. Claire Leroy, a double World Champion won the final and Marie Björling and her team ended up third and the best Swedish team in the regatta. Marie Björling raced in Lysekil in 2009 and won silver when the event was also the official World Championship.

Skipper line-up for the Women’s Match Racing World Championship 2019
(Skipper, ranking, nationality)
Pauline Courtois, 1, (FRA)
Trine Palludan, 2, (DEN)
Anna Östling, 3, (SWE)
Johanna Bergqvist, 4, (SWE)
Marinella Laaksonen, 5, (FIN)
Nicole Breault, 6, (USA)
Margot Vennin, 7, (FRA)
Alexa Bezel, 8, (SUI)
Lucy Macgregor, 10, (GBR) – Defending World Champion
Renée Groeneveld, 13, (NED)
Claire Leroy, 15, (FRA)
Marie Björling, 36, (SWE)

PHOTO: Dan Ljungsvik

– Leroy is undefeated in qualifier and Björling Duell punches the Swedish ticket
Claire Leroy (FRA) and Marie Björling Duell have joined the line-up for the Women’s Match Racing World Championship 2019 in Lysekil. 
The top teams in the world are heading to Lysekil Women’s Match, the official world championship of 2019. Two spots in the line up were reserved for the best Swedish and the best international teams in this weekend’s qualifying event raced at the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club (GKSS) in Langedrag, Sweden. French skipper Claire Leroy and her team were undefeated in the round robin and the semifinal and won the final against Lotte Meldegaard Pedersen (DEN) 3-0 to secure their championship spot.
”We arrived in Gothenburg two days before the regatta started and got some great training in the boats, so we felt prepared from the start. Both today and yesterday we had really good starts and the whole team has done a really good job”, says Claire Leroy who won the World Championship in 2007 and 2008.
“The qualifier was the only shot for us to get to get to the World Championship in August and that was out goal. We are really happy to get the spot in the line-up” added Leroy.
Marie Björling Duell and her team made a comeback in the regatta after being away from international match racing a couple of years. After advancing from the round robin and winning the petite final against Margot Riou (FRA) 2-1, they secured the Swedish ticket to the World Championship.
“It feels great and now we are going to refocus on the World Championship and prepare to be as good as we can in that regatta. We have a lot of routine in the team and our love for match racing has been a big part of our motivation this weekend” said Björling Duell who is still hungry for her first World Championship title after five silver medals.
Results from the regatta can be found here.

The Notice of Race for the 2019 edition of the Women’s Match Racing World Championship, which will be held in Lysekil, Sweden, has been released.

Click here for the Notice of Race.

Lysekil Yacht Club Gullmar, an internationally renowned match racing venue, will host the world’s leading female match racers from 5 – 10 August 2019.

A prize fund of 300,000 SEK (Swedish Krona), €29,000 EUR, will be up for grabs with the winner receiving 100,000 SEK.

Twelve skippers will be invited and only skippers invited by the Organising Authority will be eligible to compete in the event.

As the defending champion, Lucy Macgregor (GBR) automatically receives an invitation and is followed by nine skippers using the Women’s Match Racing World Ranking. Sweden and one international wildcard will also be entitled to an entry from a qualifying event agreed with the organisers and World Sailing.

The Championship will be sailed in Fareast 28R type boats with a mainsail, gib and gennaker provided and these will be allocated by a draw.

The Championship will consist of six stages including:

Stage 1 – Single Round Robin
Stage 2 – Repechage Round Robin
Stage 3 – Quarter-Finals
Stage 4 – Semi-Finals
Stage 5 – Petit Finals
Stage 6 – Finals

For further information on entry process, event format, prize fund allocation and crew requirements, please consult the Notice of Race.

About the Women’s Match Racing World Championship

The Women’s Match Racing Worlds is an annual event which was first held in Genoa, Italy in 1999 after a successful event was held as part of the 1998 World Sailing World Championship in Dubai, UAE.

Skippers are invited to attend the Championship based on their World Sailing World Match Racing Ranking position.

The winning team at the World Sailing Women’s Match Racing World Championship are crowned World Champions and presented with the Francoise Pascal Memorial – Women’s Match Racing World Championship Trophy. The trophy is named in honour of the late Francoise Pascal, a former Vice-President of the Fédération Française de Voile and a hugely influential figure in the growth of women’s match racing.

The first, second and third place overall team receive World Sailing Gold, Silver and Bronze medals respectively. In addition, the first-placed skipper following the round robins is presented with the World Sailing Nucci Novi Ceppellini Memorial Trophy. The trophy is named after Nucci Novi Ceppellini, World Sailing Vice-President from 1998-2008, who passed away in February 2008 after many years dedicated to the sport, with women’s match racing one of her particular passions.

Great Britain’s Lucy Macgregor claimed the past two World Championship titles.

Read more about the history of the Women’s Match Racing Worlds.

A Qualification for Lysekil Women Match, the official match racing World Championship of 2019, will be sailed in Gothenburg 4-5 of May. The notice of race for the event has now been published.
The regatta is organized by GKSS and sailed in FarEast 28R. The regatta will be sailed in 4 boats during 2 days and 8 crews will get an invitation.
Click here to find more information and request an invite to the event here! 


French skipper Pauline Courtois defeated Henriette Koch from Denmark in the final of Lysekil Women’s Match 2018 with 3 straight victories to take the title.
– ”Koch’s team were very good, they were no simple opponents. But we’re incredibly proud of our team’s performance”, says Pauline Courtois.

Lysekil Women’s Match 2018 is over and the winner is French skipper Pauline Courtois with her team Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team. Courtois ended on second place 2017, but this was her year.
– ”We’re so happy, this feels amazing. It was tough today, the wind was tricky out there but we nailed all our pre-starts”, says Pauline Courtois who won three straight victories in today’s final after falling behind 0-2 in her semi-final match with the Swedish team of Anna Östling. Courtois is the defending champion of the WIM Series and is aiming to defend her title.

Henriette Koch sailed her first match racing regatta here in Lysekil this week and although they would have loved to win she is more than happy with the team’s second place in today’s final.
– ”All three matches were really tight where their experience helped them win. Everyone on the team is extremly competitive so it’s never fun to lose. However, we’ll leave Lysekil with a proud feeling and we are so happy that we made it to the finals”, says skipper Henriette Koch, Women On Water/Team Kattnakken.

In the petite final, Swedish skipper Johanna Bergqvist with her team Team Bergqvist Match Racing, won the first match against Anna Östling. However, Östling and her experienced crew evened the battle and forced a third and deciding match between the two Swedish teams.
– ”We were really close to taking them in the first match, after that we came back to the way we usually perform and it feels good to have reached the podium”, says skipper Anna Östling after today’s bronze medal.
– ”We had the most amazing start in the last match and gave us an advantage that we never gave up”, says Annika Carlunder, about the team effort in the deciding match.

Two competitions of the WIM Series 2018 have been conducted. The next regatta, which runs in Ekaterinburg, Russia next week, is also the official Women’s Match Racing World Championship 2018.

Results in the final in Lysekil Women’s Match
Henriette Koch, DEN – Pauline Courtois, FRA 0-3

Results in the petite final in Lysekil Women’s Match
Anna Östling, SWE – Johanna Bergqvist, SWE 2-1

Results in the semi-finals in Lysekil Women’s Match
Henriette Koch, DEN – Johanna Bergqvist, SWE 3-2
Anna Östling, SWE – Pauline Courtois, FRA 2-3

Results in Lysekil Women’s Match 2018 (team, crew, nationality):
1. Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team – Pauline Courtois, Maëlenn Lemaître, Louise Acker, Nathalie Corson, Sophie​ Faguet – FRA
2. Women On Water / Team Kattnakken – Henriette Koch, Trine Bentzen, Josefine Boel Rasmussen, Lærke Ilsøe Nørgaard, Lærke Marie Sørensen – DEN
3. Team Anna – Anna Östling, Annie Wennergren, Linnéa Wennergren, Marie Berg, Annika Carlunger – SWE
4. Team Bergqvist Match Racing – Johanna Bergqvist, Isabelle Bergqvist, Johanna Thiringer, Ellinor Hansson, Anna Sundberg – SWE
5. New Sweden Match Racing Team – Claire Leroy, Louise Kruuse af Verchou, Klara Ekdahl, Frida Langenius, Malin Holmberg – FRA
6. L2 Match Racing Team – Marinella Laaksonen, Daniela Rönnberg, Camilla Cedercreutz, Roosa Wederhorn, Eva-Lotta Hokkonen – FIN
7. Swiss Women Match Racing Team – Alexa Bezel, Fiona Testuz, Manon Kivell, Louise Thilo, Nicole Bolliger – SUI
8. Team Sköna Vibbisar – Antonia Degerlund, Carla Westersund, Janina Hallberg, Disa Långström, Lisa Gerkman – FIN
9. ProKaTeam Sailing Team – Ekaterina Kochkina, Tatiana Suslova, Natalia Noga, Sara Edholm, Ann Johnson – RUS
10. Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team – Margot Vennin, Marie Zugolaro, Clotilde Ponçon, Juliette Dubreuil, Sophonie Affagard – FRA
11. Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team – Sanna Mattsson, Niki Blässar, Therese Berg, Louise Lindkvist, Nellie Lindnér – SWE
12. Athena Racing – Octavia Owen, Ruby Riggs, Hebe Hemming, Amber Riggs, Pip Benson – GBR

Standings in WIM Series 2018 after two events (team, skipper, nationality, points):
1. Team Kattnakken / Women On Water, Trine Palludan / Henriette Koch – DEN, 47
2. Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, Pauline Courtois – FRA, 45
3. Team Bergqvist Match Racing, Johanna Bergqvist – SWE, 40
4. L2 Match Racing Team, Marinella Laaksonen – FIN, 32
5. Team Sköna Vibbisar, Antonia Degerlund – FIN, 24
6. Team Anna, Anna Östling – SWE, 20
7. New Sweden Match Racing Team, Caroline Sylvan / Claire Leroy – SWE / FRA, 16
8. Team BAAM!, Allie Blecher – USA, 16
9. Matchmoiselles by Normandy Elite Team, Margot Vennin – FRA, 14
10. Swiss Women Match Racing Team, Alexa Bezel – SUI, 12
11. NZ Match, Celia Willison – NZL, 12
12. Stockholm Match Racing Team, Sanna Häger – SWE, 10
13. Swedish Women’s Match Racing Team, Sanna Mattsson – SWE, 10
14. ProKaTeam Sailing Team, Ekaterina Kochkina – RUS, 8
15. Team Skogman, Jassi Skogman – FIN, 8
16. APCC Women Sailing Team , Margot Riou – FRA, 6
17. Athena Racing, Octavia Owen – GBR, 5
18. Peregrine Racing, Hanna Ericksson – SWE, 5

A very windy Lysekil kept everyone ashore on Friday and prevented any racing. The results from Thursday’s quarter-finals will stand and four teams led by skippers Henriette Koch (DEN), Anna Östling (SWE), Pauline Courtois (FRA) and Johanna Bergqvist (SWE) are ready for tomorrow’s semi- finals.

On Thursday, the round-robin ended in spectacular fashion and the quarter-finals kicked off with some fantastic match racing. On Friday, the race committee decided to cancel the competitions due to stormy winds and terminated the quarter-final stage. This means the results from yesterday stand.

Two Swedish teams are qualified. One of them is Anna Östling and her crew – Team Anna, ranked number one in the world.
”We’ve felt more confident and we’ve developed our gennaker sailing that we struggled with last year. We’ve definitely taken a step forward this year but so have the other teams so tomorrow we need to go out and deliver”, says Linnéa Wennergren, trim, Team Anna.
Team Bergqvist Match Racing with skipper Johanna Bergqvist is the other Swedish team in tomorrow’s semi-finals. They took second place in the last WIM Series in Helsinki earlier this summer, but they lost against Östling in the Lysekil Women’s Match round-robin.
”If we get to race against Team Anna, I think it’s going to be an interesting match. We sail completely different and they challenge us, but we’ve taken them before”, says Isabelle Bergqvist, main/tactics in team Bergqvist Match Racing. ”It feels so good to have past quarter-finals, so we can show everyone what we’re made of.”

Clarie Leroy (FRA) with Swedish crew New Sweden Match Racing and Alexa Bezel (SUI) with her Swiss Women Match Racing Team, are therefore out of this year’s competition.

Last year’s finalist and winner of WIM Series 2017, Pauline Courtois and her Match in Pink by Nornady Elite Team also qualified for the semi-finals after two victories against Marinella Laaksonen (FIN) as well as Henriette Koch (DEN), who won over Antonia Degerlund (FIN).

As the winner of the round robin stage, Koch’s team will get to select their opponent for their semi-final match. A secret that will be revealed in the morning meeting.

Today the organizers of Lysekil Women’s Match announced that the World Sailing Council selected Lysekil to host the 2019 Women’s Match Racing World Championship.
”We sailed our first World Championship when Lysekil hosted it last time in 2009. To get the chance to sail on home waters again feels amazing”, says Anna Östling.

Tomorrow’s racing will start 9.30 with semi-finals followed by final.

Results in the quarter-finals in Lysekil Women’s Match:
Claire Leroy, FRA – Johanna Bergqvist, SWE 0 – 2
Pauline Courtois, FRA – Marinella Laaksonen, FIN 2 – 0
Anna Östling, SWE – Alexa Bezel, SUI 2 – 0
Henriette Koch, DEN – Antonia Degerlund, FIN 2 – 0


Konserten med Sean Banan är tyvärr inställd pga av den kraftiga vinden, men du kan fortfarande träffa honom för att ta en selfie eller få en autograf kl. 14.30 inne på Oscars i Lysekil. Från 14.00 finns också Superhjältar mot cancer på plats och minglar.