WAITEMATA HARBOUR TESTS WORLD’S BEST WOMEN SAILORS
Auckland, New Zealand (10 November 2022) The home of the America’s Cup delivered thrilling conditions for the opening day of the 2022 Barfoot & Thompson Women’s Match Racing World Championship, the final stage of the Women’s World Match Racing Tour.
Racing was off to a flying start at 10am in front of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron with teams of competitors jostling for wins on Auckland’s famous Waitemata Harbour. A pleasant 10 knots at the start of the day meant fun sailing for the first flights before a squall set in early afternoon, bringing with it 25 knots of wind and rain, adding a challenging chop to already exciting racing.
The event comes at a pivotal time for women’s sport in Auckland, New Zealand, with the Women’s Rugby World Cup coming to a close and several female focused sporting events taking place across the city – making Auckland a truly exceptional global destination for the Women’s Match Racing World Championships and celebrating provision of pathway, opportunity, participation and inspiration to women across the globe.
Top-ranked skippers Pauline Courtois (FRA ‘Match in Pink’), Anna Östling (SWE ‘Wings’), and Celia Willison (NZL ‘Edge Racing’) front-footed a strong entry into the regatta putting on a show. Leading the middle of the pack was Ali Morrish (GBR ‘Five by Five’) and Megan Thomson (NZL ‘2.0 Racing’).
New Zealand’s Celia Willison (Edge Women’s Match) has been sailing with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron for 10 years and, at just 24, had a successful day winning seven of their eight races. But it was Pauline Courtois of France who had the most successful opening day, taking eight wins from eight guns. Anna Östling (SWE) and Megan Thomson (NZL) each won six of their eight races.
Edge Women’s Match crew member Alison Kent, was on the water for an extremely long opening day of racing.
“Tomorrow we expect to see some heavy winds as a front comes through Auckland overnight and throughout the morning, so there is a very good chance we will be held on shore in the morning, but we are all hoping that the conditions ease for racing in the afternoon,” said Kent. “Today was definitely a good build up to tomorrow’s conditions and the race committee will likely complete the round robin. The racing out there is incredibly close and we are absolutely loving every minute of it.”
Before racing got underway, International Race Officer, Megan Kensington said that the objective of the day was to get in as many races as possible.
“Knowing what we have coming our way on Friday, it was extremely important for the on water race management to have a good clean day to ensure we made gains to get through the round robin series,” said Kensington.
Race officials delivered with 11 flights completed between starting at 1000 hours, and wrapping up the day with the final match starting just minutes before the 1900 hour cut off.
Follow the action on the Women’s WMRT and Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s social media channels, where the team will be posting daily photography, videos, and reels. You can also watch the event finals LIVE and hosted by Alex Maloney and Scotty Dickson, with streaming available on the RNZYS Facebook and Instagram, or at matchracingresults.com.
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron thanks event sponsors Barfoot & Thompson and supported by Auckland Unlimited, Dubarry, Scarbro and Live Sail Die.
Writing and Photo Credits: Live Sail Die
Notes to Editors:
For more information on the event including competitor bios, download the Barfoot & Thompson Women’s Match Racing World Championship media pack HERE.
Follow the WMRWC with daily photos, videos, press conferences and a live stream of the finals on Sunday via the RNZYS Facebook and RNZYS Instagram, and at matchracingresults.com
See the WWMRT website for more information:
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
+6427 275 3757
Womens World Match Racing Tour
- Match in Pink (FRA) – Pauline Courtois, Maelenn Lemaitre, Louise Acker, Thea Khelif, Clara Bayou
- WINGS (SWE) – Anna Östling, Anna Holmdal, Annika Carlunger, Annie Saeedfar Wennergren, Linnéa Wennergren
- Edge Racing (NZL) – Celia Willison, Charlotte Porter, Serena Woodall, Paige Cook, Alison Kent
- 2.0 Racing (NZL) – Megan Thomson, Ellie Copeland, Chelsea Rees, Josi Andres, Anna Merchant
- Matchmoiselles (FRA) – Margot Vennin, Juliette Dubreuil, Elena Circiello-Vaillant, Clotilde Ponçon, Chloé Salon
- As One (USA) – Janel Zarkowsky, Allie Blecher, Rose Edwards, Meaghan MacRae, Aimee Famularo
- Easy Tiger Racing (AUS) – Juliet Costanzo, Jemma Hodgson, Sarah Parker, Ruby Scholten, Rosie Rowell
- Team Bergqvist (SWE) – Johanna Bergqvist, Isabelle Bergqvist, Ellinor Hansson, Fanny Edgren, Clare Costanzo
- Vela Racing (USA) – Nicole Breault, Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer, Dana Riley Hayes, Karen Loutzenheiser, Julie Mitchell
- APCC Women’s Racing (FRA) – Margot Riou, Maiwenn Deffontaines, Tiphanie Ragueneau, Chloe Le Roux, Blandine Jaffrain
- Athena Racing (GBR) – Octavia Owen, Chloe Collenette, Arwen Fflur, Charlotte Fensom, Jasmine Boote
- Five by Five Racing (GBR) – Allison Morrish, Emily Robertson, Anna Carpenter, Rebecca ‘Boo’ Coles, Sarah Jarman
- CYCA (AUS) Chelsea Williams, Jessica Tavener, Charlotte Alexander, Sofia Higgott, Audrey Scheu
- Sailing Mums (NZL) Samantha Norman, Polly Powrie, Miranda Addy, Hana Hielkema, Bex Costello
About Women’s World Match Racing Tour
The Women’s World Match Racing Tour was launched in 2022 to continue the hugely successful legacy of the WIM Series (Women’s International Match Racing Series) providing a global match racing series for female sailors. The name of the WIM Series has been changed and re-launched as the Women’s World Match Racing Tour with it’s continued mission to expand and strengthen global match racing and promote opportunities for competitive women’s sailing at every level. The Women’s World Match Racing Tour is the world’s first and only professional sailing series for women providing a valuable pathway for aspiring female world champions in the sport of sailing. womenswmrt.com