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26 February 2004, 01:12 pm
Line-Up Confirmed
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BoatUS ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship
Eastport Yacht Club, Annapolis

The 16 skippers to compete at the 2004 Boat US ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship have now been confirmed.
Included in the sixteen skippers are 9 of the world's top 10 skippers, with the remaining seven helms ranked within the world's top 22.

However, unable to defend her title is the 2003 World Champion and nominee for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2003, Malin MILLBOURN (SWE) This will leave the field open and with such an impressive line-up the result could go anyway.

Mario BJORLING (SWE) has been in the second seat many years running, and no doubt will wish to convert this status to a clear win at the 2004 Worlds. Ranked number 1 on the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, a position she has held for more than two years, she will for sure be a hot favourite.

Fresh from her victory at last week's US SAILING Olympic Trials Carol CRONIN, who was selected for the women's keelboat event, will no doubt wish to continue her winning streak. However, Betsy ALISON (USA) who was up against Carol in the US Trials, will want to show her dominance in the match racing arena and take a victory over her. But ahead of them both in the world rankings and with the 2002 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship to her name is fellow American Liz BAYLIS.

Another Olympic sailor in the line-up is Bermuda's Paula LEWIN, who will be in Athens in August contesting the Yngling fleet. Paula has been absent from the Match Racing World's start line for several years, last competing in 2000, but with a high ranking and some excellent results recently she is on the way up.

Another sailor back, after an absence of two year, is Katie SPITHILL (AUS). The highest ranked Australian sailor, Katie will be after a win and has put together a a top team, including world ranked number 21 Nicky SOUTER (AUS).

Confirmed Skippers - detailing results from previous ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championships
Skipper ISAF World Ranking ISAF Sailor ID 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998
Marie BJORLING (SWE) 1 3 2 2 2
Nina BRAESTRUP (DEN) 3 DENNB1 6
Lotte MELDGAARED-PEDERSEN (DEN) 4 2 8 3
Liz BAYLIS (USA) 5 USAEB4 4 1
Marie FAURE (FRA) 6 7
Betsy ALISON (USA) 7 USAEA1 5 3 2 1
Paula LEWIN (BER) 8 BERPL1 8 10 5
Sabrina GURIOLI (ITA) 9 ITASG1 10 7 6 22
Claire LEROY (FRA) 10 13
Christelle PHILIPPE (FRA) 12 16
Katie SPITHILL (AUS) 14 AUSKS1 4 7 19
Deb WILLITS (USA) 16 USADW5 9
Carol CRONIN (USA) 17 USACC4
Jenny AXHEDE (SWE) 18
Elizabeth KRATZIG (USA) 19
Sally BARKOW (USA) 22 USASB12

The World Championship is being hosted by the Eastport Yacht Club, Annapolis, USA and will be contested in J/22 keelboats. Racing gets underway on Sunday 6 June 2004, culminating with the semi-finals, finals and Closing Ceremony on Sunday 12 June.

Chief Umpire, Sally BURNETT (GBR), will be heading up the fourteen strong Umpire team. Amongst other credits, Sally who has been an International Umpire since 1998, was on the 2002 Louis Vuitton Umpire Team.

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