Written by Andrea Watson Friday, 22 March 2013 00:00
Something very exciting is happening over at Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay. There is a new international match race series for women with a purse of $50,000 for the winner. The series will have five high-level women’s match racing events in 2013 , with prize money at each event. Within minutes, once the entry process was opened, teams form New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland had signed on. A dozen teams are expected to be battling it out from May through August.
“The women sailors have asked for a long time to have a Series of their own and WIMRA is thrilled to be in a position to work with our international event partner to make this happen,” says WIMRA executive director and former Match Racing World Champion, Liz Baylis. “The Weymouth Olympics highlighted the spectacular nature of match racing and the Women’s International Match Racing Series is going to take that to new heights. With events in France, Korea, Denmark, the United States and Sweden, spectators will be able to experience in person the excitement of the top women sailors dueling on the water.”
The five stops on the 2013 Women’s International Match Racing Series are: Saint Quay Women’s Match Racing, St. Quay, France, May 15-19 (Elliott 6m); Busan Cup International Women’s Match, Busan, Korea, June 6-9 (K 30); Danish Open Women’s Event, Copenhagen, Denmark, June 20-23 (J/80); New York Women’s Invitational, Oakcliff, Oyster Bay, NY, July 11-14 (SM 40); and Lysekil Women’s Match, Lysekil, Sweden, August 5-10 (DS 37).
The enthusiasm and excitement about this new development is spreading throughout the sailing world: “I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to continue to improve in this class and I’m sure that the organizers and spectators will experience a great spectacle, good racing and enjoy the match race as it happened at the Olympics,” said Támara Echegoyen (Spain), 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist. Lucy Macgregor (GBR), Women’s Match Racing World Champion and Olympian added, “All the competitors I have spoken to before and after the Olympics are keen to continue Match Racing and many have scores to settle, so I’m sure the title will be fiercely contested.” Adrienne Greenwood, International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Vice President gave her support to the series, “Match racing is an exciting and challenging sailing discipline, and the enthusiasm and expertise within the WIMRA organization will surely result in a competitive and captivating series.”
Finally, Bill Simon, race program director at Oakcliff and a resident of Port Washington, voiced the enthusiasm of the entire staff at Oakcliff, “We are honored to be hosting the New York Women’s Invitational, the only US stop on the WIMR Series for 2013. Oakcliff Sailing is looking forward to the best women sailors in the world coming to Oyster Bay, New York.”
Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis Racing, challenger for the America’s Cup, had the final word, “Women’s Match Racing has taken a great step forward with the introduction of a professional series this year…. I am sure this will be a very exciting series.”
For more information: www.wimrs.com.