Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, Josefine Boel Rasmussen and Malin Holmberg, winners of the Buddy Melges Challenge, the fourth and penultimate stage of the 2014 WIM Series. Photo: Isao Toyama.
Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen wins US event
– local hero Stephanie Roble runner-up in Sheboygan
In Sunday’s final matches in the Buddy Melges Challenge, Stephanie Roble and Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen showed the crowds on the bluffs of Lake Michigan how top class match racing should be sailed. It took five absolutely thrilling matches for the Danish crew to secure their first WIM Series event victory since last summer’s Danish Open:
“This is just crazy. The racing was so close. I never really knew a race was won before seeing the flag on the race committee boat” Lotte laughs, just after the traditional winners’ bath and champagne spray.
“We gave it all and are proud of ourselves. Walking away with second place is not bad. Now we’re looking forward to the WIM Series final in Korea” says local hero Stephanie Roble.
As the other days of this year’s Buddy Melges Challenge, the final Sunday began with a postponement of racing. But also just as the other days, PRO Rich Reichelsdorfer never gave up his hunting for wind. Right after noon he found a few patches that soon spread out enough to give good racing conditions. The final and the petite final, that kicked off with one match respectively already on Saturday, could continue.
Veteran Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen immediately evened the score with young Stephanie Roble, who then won their second meeting for the day and the third of the final matches. Forced to take the fourth match to stay alive, Lotte fired off some Danish dynamite and did just that.
With only a few minutes margin to the official 15.00 time limit, the race committee managed to get the two opponents away for a fierce fight in the last and deciding match of the day:
“Stephanie put a lot of pressure on us in all the final races. Yesterday she won with quite some distance, but today the racing was closer. We didn’t win the last match by more than maybe half a boatlength”, Lotte sighs relieved and smiles, pointing out that she never wanted the last final race not to be sailed. That would’ve put her in a 2 – 2 tie with the American, a tie the Dane would’ve won because of her victory in the round-robins.
“I really didn’t wish for the time to run out! We had a fantastic final in perfect conditions, the best of the week” says Lotte.
“Lotte had a speed edge upwind, and sailed very smart. We gained on the downwinds, but obviously not enough. It was just a metre here and there” Stephanie analyses.
Stephanie Roble will have to wait until the next event, the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race in Korea, October 11 – 16, for another chance to take her first ever WIM Series event victory. As will Anne-Claire Le Berre of France, who defeated Swede Caroline Sylvan 2 – 0 in the petite final of the Buddy Melges Challenge:
“We made a good petite final, sailing as we know. And we learned a lot that we will bring with us to Korea” says Anne-Claire, who not only finished third in the regatta but also steps up to the same place on the overall WIM Series standings.
With fourth place in the US WIM Series event, it was the third time just outside the podium this year for Caroline Sylvan. She’s now fourth also on the WIM Series total, after the penultimate event in Sheboygan:
“In Korea we have to be on the podium. We really don’t want yet another fourth place” she states.
Reigning World Champion Anna Kjellberg didn’t convince at all in Sheboygan, but at least scored ten WIM Series points for her sixth place. That moves the Swede to the top spot of the WIM Series standings, just one point ahead of World #1 Camilla Ulrikkeholm of Denmark.
Results in the final of the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge:
Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN – Stephanie Roble, USA 3 – 2
Results in the petite final of the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge:
Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA – Caroline Sylvan, SWE 2 – 1
Total results in the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge, (skipper name, nationality, prize money, WIM Series points), the fourth and penultimate stage of the 2014 WIM Series:
1. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, USD 2 600, 25
2. Stephanie Roble, USA, USD 1 600, 22
3. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, USD 1 300, 19
4. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, USD 1 100, 14
5. Juliana Senfft, BRA, USD 1 000, 12
6. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, USD 900, 10
7. Madeline Gill, USA, USD 800, 8
Standings in the 2014 WIM Series, after four stages out of five (skipper name, nationality, WIM Series points):
1. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 73
2. Camilla Ulrikkeholm, DEN, 72
3. Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA, 65
4. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 58
5. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN, 57
6. Stephanie Roble, USA, 55
7. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 45
8. Claudia Pierce, NZL, 28
9. Annabel Vose, GBR, 25
10. Morgane Fountaine, FRA, 14
11. Juliana Senfft, BRA, 12
12. Lucie Scheiwiller, FRA, 12
13. Pauline Courtois, FRA, 10
14. Madeline Gill, USA, 8
15. Mary O’Loughlin, IRL, 8
16. Linda Rahm, SWE, 7
17. Rajaa Al Owaisi, OMA, 6
18. Laura Dillon, IRL, 6
19. Anastasia Guseva, RUS, 4
20. Anne-Christianne Kentgens, NED, 0
The 2014 WIM Series final event will be the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race, in Busan, Korea, October 11 – 16.