Pauline Courtois “Match In Pink” wins double world title
by Womens World Match Racing Nov 13 1:31 PM PST
November 14, 2022
Pauline Courtois and Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team (FRA) by Maelenn Lemaitre, Louise Acker, Thea Khelif, Clara Bayou © WWMR
Pauline Courtois and her match racing team Match in Pink from France successfully defended their world title by winning the 2022 Barfoot & Thompson Women’s Match Racing World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand.
The team was also crowned champions of the inaugural Women’s World Match Racing Tour 2022 after scoring the highest points during the four-event world tour.
Four days of match racing with the world’s best sailors, all vying for the title of women’s match racing world champions, have come to an end, but not before delivering all the excitement that comes with match racing to the spectators. The world fleet of sailors battled it out in Waitemata Harbor in the changing and harsh conditions of Auckland. Fog, squalls, sun and rain kept sailors on edge for four days of tight racing, just opposite the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and next to Auckland’s iconic Harbor Bridge.
The winning skipper of the 2022 Barfoot & Thompson Women’s Match Racing World Championship is Pauline Courtois, a 33-year-old sports teacher from Brest and helmsman of ‘Match in Pink’ (FRA). Courtois started sailing at seven and racing at nine, and has been match racing in various positions since 2011. His favorite boat for match racing is the Elliott 6m, so racing in Elliott 7m this week has seen his years of experience paid off at the end of the day when Courtois became the event champion, earning a 2-0 win over 24-year-old Celia Willison’s Edge Women’s Match (NZL) in the final match. The win comes just a week after also winning the New Zealand Women’s Match Racing title with the same two teams going head-to-head and Courtois taking the New Zealand top spot from Willison.
All five members of the Match in Pink team held on to the front of the pack throughout the round robin flights, finding themselves in a fiercely competitive three-way tie for first place after the round robin ended. Courtois held on in the semis before finishing with a stunning win today.
Courtois and his team, consisting of Maelenn Lemaitre, Louise Acker, Thea Khelif and Clara Bayou, stood proudly on stage as the awards show guests gave them warm Kiwi congratulations and a standing ovation before Courtois delivered his short acceptance speech.
“A big thank you to the organizers and the referees. We spent two amazing weeks here. To all the teams, we thank you!
Pauline Courtois and Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team (FRA) by Maelenn Lemaitre, Louise Acker, Thea Khelif, Clara Bayou. Photo: Adam Mustill/Live Sail Die
Celia Willisons’ New Zealand Edge Women’s Match team, which consists of Willison and her longtime teammates Charlotte Porter, Serena Woodall, Paige Cook and Alison Kent, proudly took second place on the podium after a competition enjoyable on the local waters. Willison thanked the race sponsors, the race committee and the referees before congratulating his team and finally making a special mention of his tough competitor Courtois.
“Thanks to Pauline for giving us heaps in this final, it was a repeat of last week and we can’t wait to race again!”
Sweden’s Anna Östling and her ‘Wings’ team ventured across the world alongside their fans and held on to the lead of the pack. Today, they were paired with New Zealander Megan Thomson and her “2.0 Racing” team. The teams battled it out today in the small final, which was a sudden death, with Thompson ultimately taking third place for the Kiwis on 2.0 Racing.
“Thank you very much to Pauline and her team. This semi-final was… crazy,” Östling said.
Auckland provided light, choppy and frustrating conditions for the final day of racing, with the receding tide also providing another element for the sailors to contend with. However, there was enough wind for the race to start and only a few short breaks were needed due to the changing conditions.
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Commodore Andrew Aitken said Auckland lived up to its reputation as the city of sails.
“We’ve seen Auckland deliver all sorts of weather conditions possible, today we had four seasons in half an hour! But the various teams, especially the race direction volunteers, managed to make the event a real success,” said Aitken.
“We saw some great racing, some really close racing, and actually all 14 teams were right up there, which is just great for women’s sailing.” He continued.
“It’s magical to have a world-class event held here at RNZYS and in Auckland, it’s the kind of thing we love to do, and we probably don’t do it enough. It’s great to see yachting to take place at this level in little New Zealand, competitors from Australia, Great Britain, France, Sweden and the United States – it’s really cool. I want to say well done to the competitors and we We can’t wait to see you racing with the squad again!” said Aitken.
About the 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 Women’s International Match Racing Series (WIM) providing a global match racing series for female sailors. The name of the WIM series has been changed and relaunched as the Women’s World Match Racing Tour with its continuing mission to expand and strengthen global match racing and promote opportunities for competitive women’s sailing at all levels. 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 world champions in the sport of sailing.
For all results follow at www.matchracingresults.com/2022/womens-world-championships
2022 Barfoot & Thompson Women’s World Match Racing Championships – Final standings: