Auckland (12 November 2022) Quarter-finals Heat Up with Sunny Skies in Auckland for the 2022 Barfoot & Thompson Women’s Match Racing World Championship

The sunshine finally arrived for Day Three of racing at the Barfoot & Thompson Women’s Match Racing World Championship, hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, home of the America’s Cup. A change in conditions saw a light north-westerly across the course – a vast difference from the 25 knots from the previous days.

Onlookers eagerly anticipated the remaining round-robin flights which had a short postponement until just before 1030 while International Race Officer Megan Kensington waited for the wind to fill in enough to commence the remainder of the round-robin races.

Blue skies brought welcome relief to sailors, alongside a light six knot breeze for the first flight and a strong incoming tide. The first flight of Day Three was completed before the wind died completely and it swung to the northeast, slowly filling in. The event was again under postponement until 1230 before the breeze was steady enough for more competitive racing, and built to 15 gusting 18 knots by late afternoon.

Racing was at the level you’d expect from a World Championship as the top three teams were tied after the round-robin was completed. It was Celia Willison (NZL ‘Edge Women Match’) that sat on top of the round-robin on count back.

Willison, Anna Östling, and Pauline Courtois entered the quarter-finals with fierce conviction, all having won 85% of their Round Robin Flights. Also qualifying for the quarter-finals was Nicole Breault (USA ‘Vela Racing’), Janel Zakowsky (USA ‘As One’), Juliet Costanzo (AUS ‘Easy Tiger Racing’), Megan Thomson (NZL ‘2.0 Racing’) and Johanna Bergqvist (SWE ‘Team Bergqvist’).

Celia Willison and the Edge Womens Match Team of Alison Kent, Charlotte Porter, Paige Cook, Serena Woodall. Photo: Adam Mustill / Live Sail Die
Pauline Courtois and Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team (FRA) of Maelenn Lemaitre, Louise Acker, Thea Khelif, Clara Bayou. Photo: Adam Mustill / Live Sail Die
Anna Östling, WINGS (SWE) Anna Holmdal, Annika Carlunger, Annie Saeedfar Wennergren, Linnéa Wennergren Photo: Adam Mustill / Live Sail Die

The best female match racers stepped up, adapting to conditions with breeze in their sails, enough to see two races of the quarter-finals completed today. The remaining races will take place before the semi-finals and finals tomorrow, Sunday 13th November. The first team from each match to win three races will move into the semi-finals and will be placed in the top four competing teams of the event.

Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Commodore, Andrew Aitken, said the teams had a great time on the water today.

“We’ve had an exciting round robin. It’s been really even, three teams finished on the same points which was really cool. We’ve completed a little bit of the quarter-finals today and tomorrow is the big day! We’ll do the semi-finals and the finals and celebrate at the end of the day with a nice party “ said Aitken.

Skipper Samantha Norman (NZL ‘Sailing Mums’) said “It was a lot more tactical today, lots of big picture planning… These sailors are the best people I could think of to sail with, it’s just so much fun and we’re laughing all the time” continued Norman.

Auckland, New Zealand lived up to its reputation with a busy Waitemata Harbour for teams to navigate, including a Classic Yacht Association race, Young 88’s, Finn, Flying 15 and the P Class Auckland Championships, just to name a few.

With the City of Sails back and better than ever, the Barfoot & Thompson Women’s Match Racing World Championship was a sight for sore eyes today, with plenty of excitement building for semi-finals and finals day tomorrow, Sunday 13th November.

See today’s highlight video from on the water HERE.

Follow the action on the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s social media channels, where the team will be posting daily photography, videos, and reels. You can also watch the event finals LIVE with up-to-the minute commentary by match racing expert Scotty Dickson and Olympic Silver Medalist Alex Maloney with streaming available on the RNZYS Facebook and Instagram, or at

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron would like to thank our line-up of sponsors for this fantastic event, led by Barfoot & Thompson and supported by Auckland Unlimited, Dubarry, Scarbro Construction and Live Sail Die.

Writing and Photo Credits: Live Sail Die

Notes to Editors:

  • For more information on the event including competitor bios, download the Barfoot & Thompson Women’s Match Racing World Championship media pack HERE.
  • Daily press releases will be distributed with links to high resolution images HERE.
  • Daily media-boat available for on-water filming or photography, please contact us the night before you want to be on the water to organise.
  • Livestream feed available from daily post-race press conference after racing on RNZYS Facebook and Youtube
  • Livestream feed available for the final day of racing.


Media Enquiries:

William Woodworth
+6427 275 3757

Molly Miller