Sweden’s Team WINGS won the all-women Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Santa Maria Cup today in Annapolis, the second stage of the 2023 Women’s World Match Racing Tour. Skippered by Anna Östling with Annika Carlunger, Anna Holmdahl White and Linnéa Wennergren, the Swedes defeated New Zealand’s Celia Willison and Edge Women’s Match team 3-0 in the finals and in a turnaround from last week’s event in San Francisco.
The route to the podium was no easy task for the Swedish team today. They started the day trailing New Zealand’s Megan Thomson/ 2.0 Racing 0-2 in their semi-final pairing and needing three straight wins against Thomson to secure a spot to the final.
After winning the first two races of the day in shifty conditions which have challenged the teams all week, Östling and crew were able to work the shifts close to the shore and complete their come-back over Thomson 3-2. First challenge of the day complete, now to the final.
In the second semi-pairing, Celia Willison (NZL) and Nicole Breault (USA) started the day levelled 1-1. Also having to deal with multiple wind holes and shifts, it was anyone’s game to find clear air on the course. But it was Willison and crew that managed to find their pace and win two straight races against Breault to win their semis match 3-1.
Into the finals and the WINGS were on a mission. With some of her crew having won the event before, and on her first visit to Annapolis, Anna Östling was determined to join the club. With the breeze light, it was a day for the tacticians to call the shifts and puffs – call it right and you could gain three boat lengths, call it wrong and it was game over.
Despite multiple lead changes keeping the spectators on shore guessing on who had the lead, the WINGS team were first to score. Feeling confident from their earlier semis match, they were able to win the next two races and clinch the Santa Maria Cup final 3-0 over Willison. Mission accomplished for Östling.
“We are so thrilled to win here in Annapolis” said a jubilant Östling. “We knew we had a lot of work to do today but we knew we could do it as a team. That was some very close and extremely difficult racing against Celia in the final but we are so pleased to have come through to win the event – fantastic!”
The Women’s World Match Racing Tour now heads to Normandy in France for the Normandie Match Cup in Le Havre, 25-29 May and then to Skovshoved in Denmark for the KDY Women’s Match Race, 21-24 September.
Final Standings at Santa Maria Cup:
- SWE - Anna Östling, Linnéa Wennergren, Annika Carlunger, Anna Holmdahl White
- NZL - Celia Willison, Charlotte Porter, Alison Kent, Serena Woodall
- USA - Nicole Breault, Dana Riley Hayes, Maggie Bacon, Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer
- NZL - Megan Thomson, Anna Merchant, Maeve White, Lisa Dartnall
- USA - Bridget Groble, Morgan Collins, Katherine Klempen, Samantha Foulston
- AUS - Brooke Wilson, Tiana Wittey, Emily Keg, Gemma Burns
- USA - Janel Zarkowsky, Rose Edwards, Meaghan MacRae, Abigail Preston
- USA - Allie Blecher, Alicia Blumenthal, Beka Schiff, Katja Sertl
- GBR - Sophie Otter, Hatty Ward, Amy Sparks, Hebe Henning
- DEN - Kristine Mauritzen, Katrine Munch Ejlev, Christina Andersen, Emilie Nordby Lauritzen
About Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County
Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County (VAAAC) is a nonprofit, membership-based Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) that generates revenues for the local economy by promoting Annapolis and Anne Arundel County to business and leisure travelers across the country and around the world. Anne Arundel County’s official DMO executes strategic marketing, sales, and media campaigns that position the destination’s portfolio of brands in key markets to bolster the economy and enhance employment opportunities. www.visitannapolis.org
About Maryland Sports Commission
The Maryland Sports Commission is the go-to resource for the sports events and sports tourism industry in Maryland. Our mission is to enhance Maryland’s economy, image and quality of life through the attraction, promotion, retention and development of regional, national and international sporting events.
About Women’s World Match Racing Tour
The Women’s World Match Racing Tour was launched in 2022 to continue the hugely successful legacy of the WIM Series (Women’s International Match Racing Series) providing a global match racing series for female sailors. The name of the series was re-launched as the Women’s World Match Racing Tour with its continued mission to expand and strengthen global match racing and promote opportunities for competitive women’s sailing at every level. The Women’s World Match Racing Tour is the world’s first and only professional sailing series for women providing a valuable pathway for aspiring female world champions in the sport of sailing. See womenswmrt.com