The 42nd Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia Mapfre Women's Match Racing fleet enjoyed another beautiful day on Palma Bay which made conditions excellent for some great racing battles.
Womens Match Racing in the Princess Sofia Trophy
Silja Lehtinen (FIN) won her Quarter-Final over Silke Hahlbrock (GER) 3-0 and awaited her opponent. Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) saw her unbeaten streak ended by Stephanie Hazard (NZL), but rebounded to win her Quarter-Final 3-1. Claire Leroy (FRA) defeated her countrywoman Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA) 3-1 to reach the Semi-Finals. The battle between Sally Barkow (USA) and Lucy Macgregor (GBR) came down to the fifth and final match with Barkow victorious and winning the knock-out series 3-2 to advance.
This set up an American battle in Semi-Final One between Tunnicliffe and Barkow and a Finnish-French match between Lehtinen and Leroy in Semi-Final Two.
Lehtinen won the first match, then Leroy tied it up. Lehtinen won the next two to secure her spot in tomorrow's Final.
'We had reached the Quarter Finals twice before, but we had never advanced. So, this was a big thing for us. Our goal for the event was to get to the Quarter Finals, so everything from here on is a bonus. There are a lot of great teams here and just getting to the top eight is very difficult. We have been training a lot Tomorrow we will just keep doing what we have been doing, nothing special. We made some big gains in our training before Miami as well and we'll just keep doing what we've been doing.' explained Silja Lehtinen.
In the other Semi-Final, the two American teams - Sally Barkow and Anna Tunnicliffe - fought down to the wire in an exciting 5 match series which came down to a near phot finish with Barkow's team victorious.
'The key for today was that we really tried to be patient and not make any aggressive mistakes. Every time we were getting all fired up, we just tried to calm down and keep it simple. And I thought we had really good boatspeed and good boathandling and used it to our advantage. Just a really tough battle with Anna (Tunnicliffe) - it was back and forth more times than I can remember and so we were just pleased to win by inches in the end. We'll just stick to the same game plan - we're going well through the water, so we'll just try to win the starts and go from there.' commented Sally Barkow after her Semi-Final win.
The Finals will see Lehtinen and Barkow. And Leroy will meet Tunnicliffe in the Petit-Finals.
Sally Barkow (USA) defeats Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) 3-2
Silja Lehtinen (FIN) defeats Claire Leroy (FRA) 3-1
5. Stephanie Hazard (NZL)
6. Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA)
7. Lucy Macgregor (GBR)
8. Silke Hahlbrock (GER)
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) defeats Stephanie Hazard (NZL) 3-1
Claire Leroy (FRA) defeats Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA) 3-1
Silja Lehtinen (FIN) defeats Silke Hahlbrock (GER) 3-0
Sally Barkow (USA) defeats Lucy Macgregor (GBR) 3-2
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Womens International Match Racing Association website