Brisk conditions greeted competitors on Day 3 of the Santa Maria Cup in Annapolis as teams fought for a final-four place in the semi-finals. In a repeat of last week’s opening stage of the Women’s World Match Racing Tour in San Francisco, the same top four skippers will meet again for the Santa Maria Cup semi-finals: Anna Östling (SWE), Megan Thomson (NZL), Celia Willison (NZL) and Nicole Breault (USA).
Coming into the day, nearly all the teams had a mathematical shot at moving into the knockout series. But the cards fell into place by the end of the double round robin with the final four skippers advancing to the start of the first-to-three-points semis.
As winner of the round robin qualifying stage, Anna Östling had the option to choose her semi-final opponent and selected to face New Zealand’s Megan Thomson, with USA’s Nicole Breault up against Celia Willison (NZL) in the other pairing.
Östling’s decision may have bitten her team however as Thomson led the first two races to a 2-0 score with the Swedish team now needing to win three straight races to secure their spot in their finals.
In the second pairing, Nicole Breault/Vela Racing and Celia Willison/ Edge Women’s Match finished the day squared at 1-1 with both teams challenged by the shifty gusts on the course.
“Today was super shifty on the course with the breeze from almost zero to 20 knots” commented Celia Willison; “we had a crucial last few races to get into the semis, the course was then moved up in front of the Eastport Yacht Club and it was difficult to see any of the shifts which made for a lot of lead changes.”
“Today was more consistent with the shifts but still very challenging for us” added Vela Racing’s Dana Riley, “but we sailed well and came out ok to go 1-1 in the semis and we are looking forward to more racing tomorrow.”
Closing out the day was the playoffs for 5-8th position in a first-to-two points series.
Results after Day 3
Racing concludes tomorrow starting from 0900 Eastern Daylight Time with the remainder of the semi-final matches and the top two teams advancing to the final.
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