With ten of the nineteen events now completed Britain's John POLLARD leads the 2004 International Melges 24 World Ranking Series, with Tim HAWKINS (USA) and Claes ROJNING (SWE) hard on his heels. The results from each helm's best four events count in the series and the leading three helms now have four results apiece. Behind them and currently only counting three events each are Flavio FAVINI (SUI), Sebastian COL (FRA), Sheldon ECKLUND (USA), Kristian NERGAARD (NOR) and Luca SANTELLA (ITA).
Already 224 boats from thirteen nations have competed in the 2004 World Ranking, which incorporates ten North American and nine European events. Points are awarded to the helmsman rather than to the boat and with nine regattas still to come, including the North American and World Championships which carry bonus points, the series is wide open. Whilst competition for the overall Ranking title is fierce the series is about more than just the leading competitors. Boats travel across continents and oceans to take part in the series and making new friends and having fun in some of the world's most beautiful sailing venues are equally important to the teams competing.
Alongside the World Ranking the IMCA also runs Continental Rankings for Europe and North America. In the continental rankings a helmsman's best three regatta results count. John Pollard also leads the North American Ranking, where again Tim HAWKINS is his closest competitor. Martin WEDGE (GBR) is currently lying in third place ahead of Michael SCHULTZ (USA) and Karen GOTTWALD (USA). Four further events are scheduled for the North American Ranking, which culminates at the North American Championship in September.
In the European Ranking Claes Rojning leads after four of the nine regattas. Rojning is counting three events whilst his competitors are only counting two results each. Flavio FAVINI is in second ahead of Luca VALERIO (ITA), Kenneth THELEN (FIN) and Andrea RACCHELLI (ITA). The five events still to be sailed in the European ranking include the World Championship in Marstrand from 9-13 September.
The remaining events in the 2004 Melges 24 World Ranking are:
US Pacific Coast Championship (Lake Tahoe, CA) 17-18 July
Finnish Championship (Mariehamn) 23-25 July
German Championship (Travemuende) 29 July - 1 August
US Atlantic Coast Championship (Bayhead, NJ) 31 July - 1 August
Melges 24 World Championship (Marstrand, Sweden) 9-13 August
US Gold Cup (Charleston, SC) 21-22 August
Norwegian Championship (Asgarstrand) 5-7 September
French Championship (Lorient) 23-26 September
North American Championship (Detroit, MI) 24-26 September