Poole, Östling victorious at 30th anniversary Match Cup Sweden

Poole, Östling victorious at 30th anniversary Match Cup Sweden

Poole, Östling victorious at 30th anniversary Match Cup Sweden


08/07/2024 - 10:21

USA’s Chris Poole/ Riptide Racing became the first American skipper to win the GKSS Match Cup Sweden this weekend, the founding event of the World Match Racing Tour and this year celebrating its 30th Anniversary. Sweden’s Anna Östling and her Team Wings successfully defended their Nordea Women’s Trophy title defeating Renee Groeneveld and her Dutch Women’s Match Racing Team in a tense final. It is the first year the GKSS Match Cup Sweden event has played host to an official stage of both the World Match Racing Tour and Women’s World Match Racing Tour in the same week.

After racing in Marstrand was postponed on Friday due to high winds, Principal Race Officer Annika Ekman and the GKSS race committee team started promptly on Saturday morning with the first-to-two-point semi-finals for both Open and Women’s divisions.

Popular local Swedish sailor and veteran of the World Match Racing Tour Johnie Berntsson and team were quick to use their local knowledge and defeat Denmark’s Jeppe Borch/ Borch Racing 2-0 in the opening semi-final match, advancing Berntsson to the final.

In the Nordea Women’s Trophy event, running concurrently during GKSS MAatch Cup Sweden, defending event champion Sweden’s Anna Östling/ Team Wings met with Renee Groeneveld/ Dutch Match Racing Team in the finals after each team had defeated their respective semi-final opponents Julia Aartsen (NED)/ Team Out of the Box, and Pauline Courtois (FRA)/ Match in Pink.

After Groeneveld secured the first race, the Wings Team were determined to stay in the game and equalised in the second race 1-1.

In the winner-take-all decider over 3 laps of the shorter course, the teams were less than a boat length of each other down the final leg, but it was the Wings Team that were able to gybe first to the finish and just pull away from Groeneveld to cross the line ahead, much to the delight of their committed fans lining the Marstrand rocks.

“I’m so exhausted!” said a jubilant Östling crossing the finish line, “It’s the craziest final we have ever done, three laps with such a gusty breeze and many lead changes. Renee was a very strong opponent, but we never give up as a team and today was our day – we are thrilled and I am so happy for all the team that worked so hard for this result!”

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