Next Stop Is Hyeres For Women's Match Racing Sailing World Cup

Twenty-four teams from eighteen countries will be competing for the women's match racing title at the 43eme Semaine Olympique Française – with a remarkable 20 of those teams ranked in the top 25 in the World.
By: WIMRA Press Office
April 19, 2011 - PRLog -- The focus of the Olympic Sailing World shifts to the Toulon Provence Méditerranée this week with the next stop in the ISAF Sailing World Cup – 43e Semaine Olympique Française de Voile  (or the 43rd French Olympic Sailing Week) in Hyères, France.

The popularity of the Women’s Match Racing event has again caused the event to limit the field to the maximum number of entries – 24 teams. So, we’ll see twenty-four teams from eighteen countries competing for the title at Semaine Olympique Française – with a remarkable 20 of those teams ranked in the top 25 in the World.

In addition to the individual event title, the teams are competing for the overall 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup (SWC) title. The final SWC standings will be used to determine which twelve countries will be invited to the Olympic Test Event in Weymouth in August 2011. The Semaine Olympique Française is one of six stops on the Sailing World Cup series in which women's match racing is contested.  

After winning the 42nd Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE, Sally Barkow (USA) and her team (Elizabeth Kratzig- Burnham and Alana O’Reilly) lead the overall ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings. When asked about the team’s chance of a repeat, Barkow said “From Palma we learned many lessons, not the least of which is that the field is very deep and everyone has a chance to win.  Repeating a win in the Sailing World Cup will be very difficult, but we’ll definitely give it a try. Taking one race at a time and focusing on the process at hand are key to successful races.  We continue to work on our communication, fine tuning tactics, and decision-making in the last minute before the start.  Everyone is competition. In match racing you can never let your guard down because someone is always there to take an advantage.  So, in this respect we must treat every race the same.  We hope that this will lead to some repeat wins in the future for us!”

Defending Semaine Olympique Française Champion, Silke Hahlbrock (GER) (sailing with Kerstin Schult and Maren Hahlbrock) believes “It will be tough to repeat.  The racing will be tough like all of the Sailing World Cup events. We will need to make the least mistakes in the entire fleet to win again.  But, we like the venue in Hyeres and we hope we will have tricky conditions!.” When asked about the competition, Hahlbrock noted “I think the level is very high and everybody is working very hard. Everybody is training a lot and improving on different parts of the game. I think it will be close until the Olympic Games and that's fantastic!”

French hero, Claire Leroy (FRA) and her team (Claire Pruvot and Marie Riou) won the first Sailing World Cup event of the year in Miami, USA and are hoping to return to the podium after a 4th place finish in Palma. “Winning a second event this year would be great and would be a good sign to see our improvement in the Elliott 6m class. The experience from Miami and Palma gave u more experience in heavy wind which should help us in Hyeres.  We also watched a lot of other teams and hope to take some of those techniques learned and apply them during racing!” Asked whether it would be different to win an event on home oil, Leroy said “No, a race is a race. But, winning the race when it is your home is better!”

Racing begins on Sunday, 24 April, in Hyères and continues through Saturday, 29 April. Sailing just outside the breakwater, the twenty-four teams will sail an initial stage round robins to seed the knock-out stages for the top eight and ultimately the series between the final pair to determine the champion on Friday.

The teams will compete in equally matched event-provided Elliott 6m keelboats - the same boats that will be used in the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition in Weymouth, England.

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This press release was prepared by the Women's International Match Racing Association (WIMRA).  WIMRA can be found at,,, and

Contact the WIMRA Press Office at PressOffice (at)

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The Women's International Match Racing Association was formed in 1996 to promote, coordinate and supervise women's international match-race sailing and support the inclusion of a Women's Match-Racing Event in the Olympic Games.
Source:WIMRA Press Office
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