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Having been bitten by the Match Racing bug earlier this summer, Ellen Cahill and Bella Moorehead are continuing to sail with New Zealand skipper Claudia Pierce for the rest of the Women's Match Racing Series.

When Claudia's team couldn't travel for the Worlds hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club in June, Ellen and Bella were two of the three Irish girls who stepped in to sail with the Kiwi. After a successful event the girls were invited by Claudia to stay on and sail with her for the summer. Ellen travelled to France last week for Stage 2 of the 2014 WIM Series where they finished 8th overall. Below is the team's report.

We had a great start to the day as we stopped into the local patisserie to top up on morning pain au chocolate. We arrived at the club 40 minutes early, Claudia was particularly eager as today was the day that quarters were decide and thus our final two races in the round robin were particularly important. The morning breeze was still up as we arrived but began to drop as we waited for the rest of the less eager fleet to arrive. The rest of the morning followed a dying land breeze which fought against the see breeze which finally filled in from 2pm and built all afternoon.

We had two races left to sail in the round robin. Our first match was against the French Morgan Fontaine. We had a great start off the line but in the shifty wind she managed to sneak past us. We had some fantastic communication and breeze calling on the downwind and rounded the bottom mark ahead of her. We held a loose cover on her throughout the first lap while stretching our lead and crossed the finish line first. 

Our second race was against World Champion Anna Kjellberg. We crossed the start line just ahead of her and maintained our lead through the race to secure our second win of the day, finishing 7th overall in the round robin.

The best of three quarter finals started in good breeze across the course. Klaartje Zuiderbaahn choose to race us in the quarters which started off with an intensive pre-start. A tight race ensued with many lead changes, but unfortunately we got caught up in another race at our final top mark and were not given the room we were entitled to. We won the protest against the other boat but it wasn't enough to recover the lost ground in our race. We had another great start in second race and were totally in control but one critical mistake put us behind and we were unable to recover from there. 

Lots of lessons were learn't, we are so close to the top couple of teams and are looking forward to Sweden in 2 weeks to prove all we have learn't. 

Posted in: Racing
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