Sheboygan victory for Pedersen in final metres

Danish team comes out on top at the Women’s International Match Racing Series' Buddy Melges Challenge in

Sunday September 28th 2014, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States

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 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," said eventual victor Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen. "I never really knew a race was won before seeing the flag on the race committee boat."

Local hero Stephanie Roble added: “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”

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," continued Pedersen. "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”, she added relieved but 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 Americans, although they would’ve won because of their victory in the round-robins.

Pedersen: “I really didn’t wish for the time to run out! We had a fantastic final in perfect conditions, the best of the week."

Roble added: "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."

Roble will have to wait until the next event, the Busan Cup Women’s International Match Race in Korea, over 11–16 October, 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.

Le Berre commented: “We made a good petite final, sailing as we know. And we learned a lot that we will bring with us to Korea”. After her third place finish, she also steps up to the same place in 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

Final results in the 2014 Buddy Melges Challenge, (skipper name, nationality, prize money, WIM Series points):
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.

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