The all important ISAF World Sailing Rankings release dates have been published on the ISAF website for a year, which, for the world's Olympic Class sailors, is the culmination of a period of intense hard work and dedication on the Olympic Circuit.
The ISAF Grade 1 Sail Melbourne regatta for Olympic and invited classes is currently underway in Australia, and is followed closely by the Rolex Miami OCR in North America. The first rankings of 2004 are to be released on 4 February, following Miami. Most of the impact to the position of sailors in that release will come from these two Grade 1 events in the first part of this year.
Leading up to the Olympic Games in Athens in August, all eyes will be on the movers and shakers as the form guide suggests what might happen in Greece.
At the end of 2003, as ISAF highlighted in 2003 - A Year in Review
, the dominance of Great Britain in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings from early in 2003 had been replaced by a resurgent France, who now have no fewer than 6 teams in the top three of the rankings across the 11 Olympic classes.
Will this be reflected as we build up to the ultimate challenge in Athens? With five ranking releases leading up to Athens, this will be a strong guide as to who might be where at the final challenge.
Here are the Olympic Ranking Dates for 2004 :-
||Up to and Including results from
||Rolex Miami OCR
||Tornado European Championship and Princess Sofia Trophy
||Semaine Olympique Francaise and Star World Championship
||2004 Olympic Regatta