Saturday’s racing in the Buddy Melges Challenge on Lake Michigan, USA, saw more breeze than ever before during the week. Stephanie Roble used her local knowledge to show a clean sheet for the day, going in to Sunday’s conclusion with a 1 – 0 lead over Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen in the final, sailed as a best of five match series:
“Our parents and some close friends are here, so we finally had our own cheering squad” Roble smiles.
“It was a tough race against Stephanie. She’s very good at boat handling and tactics” says her Danish opponent.
The Saturday of the Buddy Melges Challenge, the fourth and penultimate stage of the 2014 WIM Series, began just as the previous days during the week. No wind at all forced the race committee to once again hoist the AP-flag, showing postponement of racing. But today the keen sailors didn’t have to wait long before getting out on the water. The repechage stage could start well before noon, with local sailor Stephanie Roble and her Epic Racing Team shining with four wins and no losses. And with a 3 – 1 repechage result, Caroline Sylvan of Sweden joined the American in the semi finals:
“We really gave everything we had, and managed to keep extremely focused in our boat. We trimmed for good speed and caught all the small wind shifts that appeared on the course” Caroline comments.
Already clear for the semi final after top results in the double round-robin stage, were Anne-Claire Le Berre of France and Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen. As winner of that stage the Danish skipper chose Sylvan as her semi final opponent, then beating her 3 – 0 to secure a slot in the final:
“We made some mistakes and got a couple of unnecessary penalties that didn’t make things easy for us” the Swede wraps up.
In the other semi final Stephanie Roble convincingly continued her winning streak by defeating Le Berre and her Team Xavier Bourhis 3 – 0:
“It was a very tough day! A little bit of pressure to make the semis, and then after being undefeated from the repechage we felt very confident for the semis” says the American.
“Stephanie was really better than us today, especially when it came to boat handling in the pre-start. We lost two of the starts after being over the line too early, and after that it was difficult to come back and win the race. We lost the second race after two bad gybes on the finish line” Anne Claire analyses.
To take advantage of the good breeze, the race committee decided to run one of the final and petit final races, leaving Roble and Le Berre with a 1 – 0 lead respectively over Meldgaard Pedersen and Sylvan:
“We look forward to a new day tomorrow. We are ready to fight all we can to win the necessary three races, and hope for some wind to get a good final” says the Danish skipper, getting supported in her wishes for wind by the opponent.
“We are excited to race! We just need some breeze…” says Stephanie Roble.
The final and the petit final will both be concluded on Sunday. No matter the outcome of the final, the penultimate event of the 2014 WIM Series will see a new event winner this time. Stephanie Roble has the chance to take her first ever WIM Series victory, while Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen can post her first win since the Danish Open in June 2013.
Standing in the final of the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge:
Stephanie Roble, USA – Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN 1 – 0
Standing in the petit final of the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge:
Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA – Caroline Sylvan, SWE 1 – 0
Results in the semi finals of the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge:
Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN – Caroline Sylvan, SWE 3 – 0
Stephanie Roble, USA – Anne-Claire Le Berre, FRA 3 – 0
Results in the repechage stage of the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge, (skipper name, nationality, wins/losses):
1. Stephanie Roble, USA, 4 – 0
2. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, 3 – 1
3. Juliana Senfft, BRA, 2 – 2
4. Anna Kjellberg, SWE, 1 – 3
5. Madeline Gill, USA, 0 – 4
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images