Race Day 3 - Women Match Racing report
Match Race Girls happy at halfway point
Britain’s Match Racing Girls enjoyed a storming day three of their Olympic Regatta as they not only scored two perfect race wins but beat the newly-crowned World Champions into the bargain at Weymouth and Portland today (Tuesday 31 July).
The Poole trio of Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor revelled in the breeze in front of the gathered spectators on the Nothe course picking up their first double victory of the regatta so far.
The Brits went head-to-head against the Finnish trio of Silja Lehtinen, Silja Kanerva, Mikaela Wulff, who had beaten Macgregor’s team en route to clinching the World crown in Sweden in June. But the British girls, who themselves won the World title in 2010 and took silver in 2011, gave Lehtinen’s team a gentle reminder that they are going to be a force to be reckoned with at this event by claiming race victory.
So far in this event, the Brits have scored one win and one loss on each day. But they made sure of a clean sweep on race day three, by following up their success against Finland with another impressive, gritty display in seeing off the French trio of Claire Leroy, Elodie Bertrand and Marie Riou.
The double puts the Brits up to tied third overall in the round robin phase of the competition, with a 66% win ratio. The girls have five round robin races remaining before the knock-out stage for the top eight boats commences next Wednesday (8 August).
Lucy said: “It’s certainly very tight across the whole fleet and they are two very good competitors so were really pleased to have beaten them both in what were both really good races. We really enjoyed it out there today.
“The last couple of days we have felt like we have been there or thereabouts but we just weren’t quite nailing it, even in the races we were winning. We felt a bit more like we were in the game today. That last race was certainly tough with Claire, it certainly wasn’t a walk over by any stretch of the imagination but that also made it more enjoyable to then go on and win at the end.”
Annie added: “This round will seed you for the knockout round but if everyone sailed to form then theoretically you would want to finish high in this round, so you sail against a lower rank person in the quarter-finals. But the results are so tight that goodness knows who is going to end up where in the seedings. We just need to get into the next round and take it from there. The conditions are probably going to change and people’s strengths and weaknesses are also going to change.”
The Match Race Girls are scheduled to resume their campaign against New Zealand (Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt) at 3pm tomorrow before going head-to-head with Russia (Ekaterina Skudina, Elena Syuzeva and Elena Oblova) at 5pm.
Both races are once again due to take place on the Nothe spectator course, something that Kate admits has been a massive boost to the local girls.
She added: “The home support has been great so far. It was amazing today even when it started to rain. They were still sat with their umbrellas and it was incredible. Especially in the last match with Claire, we definitely heard the crowd down the last run when it was getting a bit close. It’s definitely nice to know they are there supporting us. I’m sure many of them have got the bus down from Poole!
“Once the racing has finished it’s nice to look up and see all of the GB supporters. On the way in we did a little sail-by and Lucy actually said to me and Annie ‘I wish I could take a photo of your faces right now’ because we were so amazed by how many Union Jack flags there were plus all the screaming and shouting.”
Match racers are in action on more days than any other class and are not only one of the first classes to start but the last class to finish with the match racing final bringing the curtain down on the 2012 Olympic Regatta on Saturday 11 August.