Lucy Macgregor continued to consolidate her place amongst the World’s top Women’s match racers looking ahead to London 2012 as she claimed an impressive second place at the 2009 ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final in Brazil.
Reigning European champion helm Macgregor, and her team of Annie Lush, Ally Martin and Mary Rook, had earned the right to contest the prestigious trophy with victory at the European Regional Final qualifying event in France last October.
The 22-year-old from Poole, the World ranked number three, battled through tough round-robin and repechage phases in Porto Alegre to ultimately book a Nations Cup final showdown with France’s two-time Nations Cup winner and double World Champion Claire Leroy.
But with Skandia Team GBR’s Macgregor having taken a 1-0 overnight lead over Leroy into the final day of racing on Saturday (28 March), the defending champion turned things around clinching three straight wins to retain her Nations Cup title 3-1 with Macgregor settling for second spot.
With Women’s Match Racing set to make its debut as an Olympic event at London 2012, Team Macgregor have got their campaign for selection off to a great start this year, this Nations Cup result coming hot on the heels of their bronze medal at the Rolex Miami Regatta in January.
Macgregor progressed through the round robin in Brazil in fourth spot, with a 5:3 win-loss ratio before booking her place in the semi-finals courtesy of a 3-0 repechage whitewash.
In the semis the Brits met Miami silver medallist and former world 470 number one Olympian Giulia Conti (ITA), Team Macgregor edging out the Italians in a nailbiting contest 3-2 while Leroy saw off Beijing 2008 Laser Radial champion Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) by the same score to ensure the final head-to-head with Macgregor.
Damien Iehl (FRA) won the Open event to make it France’s second successive Nations Cup clean sweep.
Meanwhile, the second RYA Women’s Olympic Classes Match Racing qualifier event also took place at Queen Mary Sailing Club this weekend (28-29 March) with Katie Archer claiming the bragging rights.
With the qualification series introduced to identify boats to receive Skandia Team GBR support for forthcoming international Olympic Classes Regattas both this season and towards the London Games, as well as for selected international Women’s Match Racing events, Archer took advantage of near perfect conditions on Saturday to seal victory as Sunday’s racing was abandoned due to lack of wind.
Archer romped to eight wins out of nine to claim what proved to be a decisive series as the round robin results determined the final standings. Josie Gibson took second, Charlotte Lawrence third and Lucy Burn fourth.
Entries are open for all the remaining qualifiers and full entry details can be found at www.skandiateamgbr.com/crew/Pages/WomensMatchRacing.aspx
RYA Women's Olympic Classes Match Racing National Qualification Series dates:
Qualifier 3 – 9 - 10 May – QMSC
Qualifier 4 – 17 – 19 July – WPNSA
Qualifier 5 – 5 – 8 September – WPNSA
Qualifier 6 – 3 – 4 October – WPNSA
Qualifier 7 – 17 – 18 October - WPNSA