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14 December 2005, 05:00 pm
Part 5: October To December
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2005 - ISAF Year In Review

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As well as the elite level competition right at the top of the sport, during August and September sailing also demonstrated it's truly worldwide appeal, and the diversity that exists within the sport. Regattas in places like the FYRo Macedonia and Carriacou in the Caribbean were examples of the ever expanding sailing world, whilst World Championships across the globe filled up a packed calendar, and continued to illustrate the popularity of the sport outside of the Olympic and America's Cup spheres.

Sailing The World Over
Disabled Sailing Worlds Head To Denmark
CAYARD Leads Pirates Into Battle
LUTZ Becomes Third Female Optimist World Champion
World Sailor Race Heats Up


SPITHILL On Top Of The World
AINSLIE, SCHIEDT And ECHABVARRI And PAZ Do European And World Double

Follow the blue links and click on the pictures for more on each story

SPITHILL On Top Of The World

Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) started the month in great style, overcoming Eugeniy NEUGODNIKOV (RUS) in the final of the ISAF Grade 1 Internationaux de France de Match Racing. The next stop for the circuit was Denmark, where local hero Jesper BANK (DEN) won the ninth ISAF Grade 1 Danish Open. On 17 August the line up for the ISAF Match Racing World Championship was confirmed, with a top notch field, looking to put an end to Ed BAIRD's (USA) two year winning streak. However the American looked at his best in Switzerland, taking the honours in the ISAF Grade 1 St. Moritz Match Race with a 3-0 final victory.

James SPITHILL and his team lifted the ISAF Match Racing
World Trophy whilst the ISAF Team Worlds came to New York
Yacht Club
© Matthew Cohen and Nico Martinez

However BAIRD's win was not enough to knock Peter GILMOUR (AUS) off the top of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings released on 24 August, with Claire LEROY (FRA) also staying put at the top of the women.

At the end of August, the America's Cup teams swung back into action in Malmö, Sweden with Alinghi maintaining their perfect match racing record for 2005 at the Louis Vuitton Act 6, then following up with more success in the fleet racing of Act 7. Moving into September and the women were back on the water, with LEROY proving why she is World number one with a victory at the ISAF Grade 1 Women Trentino Match Race. However in France shortly after 2004 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Champion Sally BARKOW (USA) got the better of her French rival to take the honours at the ISAF Grade 1 St. Quay Women Match Racing. Over in Brazil, Torben GRAEL (BRA) took second place in the final match of the series to take overall victory in the Match Race Brasil.

Ian WILLIAMS was back to winning ways at the ISAF Grade 1 Sopot Match Race, taking the honours in the final ISAF Grade 1 event before the Worlds in Calpe.

In mid-September twelve of the world's best match racers gathered in Spain to contest the ISAF Match Racing World Championship Trophy. Italian Paolo CIAN (ITA) won his first three matches on day one and remained unbeaten after the second and third days racing, whilst the defending champion BAIRD and World number one GILMOUR were struggling and in danger of missing out on the knock out rounds.

'In our first World Championship,
we got to the finals and BAIRD
beat us, so we wanted revenge'

Winning the World title was satifying in more ways than one
for James SPITHILL

On day four of the Championship perfect conditions finally allowed the round robin to be decided and finished with the two semi finals looking all but decided. James SPITHILL (AUS) and BAIRD produced the two performances of the day, winning all their matches to progress through to the finals and then take 2-0 leads against Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) and CIAN respectively. The final day of the Championship saw the Aussie and the American quickly add the extra victory they needed, buy then a storm struck to frustratingly wipe out any chance of a final. For SPITHILL though, the frustration was short lived as the young Australian lifted the ISAF Match Racing World Championship Trophy with crew Andy FETHERS (AUS), Joe NEWTON (AUS) and Michele IVALDI (ITA), thanks to his victory over BAIRD in the round robin.

Following his runners up spot at the Worlds and GILMOUR's disappointing showing, BAIRD took back the top spot in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings released 22 September. Meanwhile Claire LEROY made five consecutive top spots in the Women's Rankings.

The end of September saw match racing take a back seat to the tactical game of chess on the water that is team racing, with the ISAF Team Racing World Championship set for New York Yacht Club in the USA. A big breeze got racing off to a flying and spectacular start on day one, with the first match between the two British entries seeing victory go to GBR 1 on day two. GBR 2 were again on the losing end of an exciting match on the third day in Newport, this time with USA 2 getting the better of the Brits. On day four the AUS 1 team, featuring the youngest competitor, 15 year old Michael SORRELL-SAUNDERS, were showing good form as the Championship heading into it's deciding races at the start of October…

AINSLIE, SCHIEDT And ECHABVARRI And PAZ Do European And World Double

Ben AINSLIE was unbeatable in the Finn as was Robert
SCHEIDT in the Laser
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© Pep Portas and

The ISAF World Sailing Rankings released 3 August, saw ISAF Youth Worlds Champion Paige RAILEY (USA) move to the top of the Laser Radial Rankings, Ekaterina SKOUDINA, Diana KRUTSKIKH and Tatian LARSTEVA (RUS) move to number one in the Yngling and Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) back on top of the Laser pile.

In the opening fortnight of August a host of European Championships saw top level Olympic Class sailing across the continent. Iain PERCY and Steve MITCHELL (GBR) were the first victors, taking the Star Europeans in Sweden, victory for Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) at the Laser Europeans in Spain followed shortly whilst Paige RAILEY (USA) came up with a dominant display in Croatia to take gold at the Laser Radial Europeans. Fernando ECHAVARRI and Anton PAZ (ESP) united the World title with their respective Continental one, after victory at the Tornado Europeans in Sweden, and Sweden again were hosts as Ben AINSLIE (GBR) won the Finn Europeans. There was more British success at the 49er Europeans, thanks to World number ones Chris DRAPER and Simon HISCOCKS.

The focus then shifted to the USA, where George SZABO and Eric MONROE (USA) defied an innocuous start to win the ISAF Grade C1 Keane Star North American Championship. Then the 470 Worlds and Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE (AUS) retained their title whilst Marcelian DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT (NED) took the women's honours. Moving a little further north, victories went to Canadians Bernard LUTTMER and Lisa ROSS at the ISAF Grade 1 CORK Regatta in Canada.

'I am going just to keep my
hand in. I don't have any

Ben AINSLIE before winning five out of seven
races to take the Finn Europeans by 25 points

The spotlight then shifted to Russia, where Olympic silver medallists Rodion LUKA and George LEONCHUK (UKR) won the 49er World Championship. Meanwhile over in China, the first RS:X Regatta took place in Rizhao. Russia was again centre of attention, as AINSLIE took a record fourth consecutive Finn Gold Cup, winning a tight battle with Greece's Emilios PAPATHANASIOU.

AINSLIE's old Laser rival Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) scored his eighth World Championship victory to great support on his home waters in Brazil.

Sailing The World Over

Jan VON DER BANK (GER) took the Contender World title as July turned into August, the German giving the home fans plenty to celebrate at the Travemünder Woche. Meanwhile over in Poland, Hielke DIJKSTRA (NED) finished with back to back bullets to win the Splash World Championship on countback. Whilst Augie DIAZ and Pamela KELLY (USA) successfully defended their Snipe World title in Japan, Dietrich GRUENAU, Alba BATZILL and Eddy EICH (GER) won the 6 Metre World Cup in Sweden. There was more German success at the Flying Junior World Championship with Peter WANDERS and Gisa WORTBERG winning on their home waters.

The next set of World Championships came after the 420's contested their title in France, with Tomas O DA SILVA and Francisco GOMES (POR) and Maria Stella TURIZIO and Maria Carolina RENDANO (ITA) taking the honours in the men's and women's fleets respectively.

Over the months of August and September a huge swathe of regattas
once again proved sailing's popularity around the world whilst
plenty of glitz and glamour was on display in events like the Maxi
Yacht Rolex Cup and Breitling MEDCUP
© Kurto Arrigio/Rolex and Jorge Andreu - MEDCUP

Meanwhile over in Great Britain, Skandia Cowes Week once again saw boats and sailors in their thousands flock to the Isle of Wight, whilst at the Copa del Rey in Spain saw some of sailing's biggest stars battling in the Breitling MEDCUP, won in Palma de Mallorca by the Lexus team including Russell COUTTS (NZL), Mark REYNOLDS (USA) and Peter ISLER (USA). Over in Macedonia, the Ilindenska Regatta Ohrid saw sailors young and old take to the water. Over in the USA later in the month Julien QUINTEL (FRA) thrashed the field to win the Formula Experience Worlds. Over in Lativa, the Micro World title went to the Polish team helmed by Piotr TARNACKI.

After breaking the women's outright speed record earlier in the year, Karin JAGGI (SUI) showed her ability against more than just the clock, winning the Funboard Freestyle World Championship in Switzerland. Meanwhile over in South American, nearly 50 sailors met at the XV Juegos Bolivarianos in Columbia. Another World title was up for grabs in Great Britain, with Chips HOWARTH and Vyv TOWNEND (GBR) lifting the Fireball crown. Over in Germany at the Rolex Baltic Week movistar took the IMS 600 World Championship title, whilst Jorgen SCHÖNHERR (DEN) and Bernd ZEIGER (GER) won the Dragon Worlds. Meanwhile in Canada, the Laser II World Championship went to Trevor MCEWEN and Ian MCEWEN (CAN). Over in China, the home sailors dominated the Europe Worlds, with Shen XIAOYING coming out on top.

In Italy, the glitz and glamour of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup ended with a picture perfect day in Porto Cervo, where the attention soon shifted to the Rolex Settimana Delle Bocche.

Over in Hungary the Danish team of Jörgen and Jacob BOYSEN-MOELLER lifted the Practical Flying Dutchman World Championship, whilst in the USA Edgar CATO and his Hissar team won the 12 Metre Worlds. In Great Britain, the J/24 Worlds went to Anthony KOTOUN and the crew from Jigalo, representing the US Virgin Islands, whilst Christian SCHÄFER and Frank WEIGELT (GER) won the Tempest Worlds in Austria.

Over in the USA, Sally BARKOW, Carrie HOWE, Debbie CAPOZZI and Annie LUSH were comfortable winners at the Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship. Back in Europe, the first ever Topcat K1 World Championship was decided on Lake Garda, Italy with the spoils going to Australia's Andrew LANDENBURGER and Felix EGNER. There was also Aussie success at the One Metre Worlds thanks to Craig SMITH. Meanwhile in the British Virgin Islands the Colombian Emeralds Caribbean Ladies Championships drew competitors from four different nations.

The IFDS Worlds saw the Sonar
team of John ROBERTSON claim
victory on the final day
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Disabled Sailing Worlds Head To Denmark

August got off to a winning start for Karen MITCHELL and Kerry GRUSON (USA) and Nick SCANDONE (USA) at the U.S. Independence Cup/North American Challenge Cup, with victories in the Freedom 20s and 2.4 Metre respectively. Later in August, the International Committee for Fair Play (CIFP) honoured Betsy ALISON (USA), Keith BURHANS (USA) and Paul McCARTHY (IRL) with 2004 Fair Play Awards.

On 23 August Hilary LISTER (GBR) become the first quadriplegic sailor to cross the English Channel and in so doing completed the longest sail ever by a quadriplegic. At the start of September the IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship in Denmark was to prove one of the highlights of the disabled sailing calendar, with Damien SEGUIN (FRA) dominant in the 2.4 Metre and Britain's John ROBERTSON, Hannah STODEL and Stephen THOMAS winning gold in the Sonar on the last day.

A few weeks later in Italy, the USA's Nick SCANDONE took the 2.4 Metre World title. Over in Cowes, Great Britain, the Sonar Worlds headed into their final day with the title still up for grabs.

Maixmus and Iromiguy proved to be the stars of the Rolex
Fastnet Race
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© Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex and Daniel Forster/ROLEX

CAYARD Leads Pirates Into Battle

Maximus added to her list of successes with line honours at the Rolex Fastnet Race in a time that for a while looked set to prove good enough for an unlikely correct time win as well. However the westerly wind picked up again to hand the advantage back to the smaller boats with Jean-Yves CHATEAU (FRA) seizing the moment on Iromiguy to win on corrected time.

Over in Spain, Gildas MORVAN (FRA), on Cercle Vert, won leg one of the La Solitaire Afflelou Le Figaro. Meanwhile the Volvo Ocean Race gained an exciting new addition with the Volvo Extreme 40 catamarans set to race during the In Port stopovers of the race. Paul CAYARD (USA) again joined the famous round the world race as the skipper for the American entry Pirates of the Caribbean aligned with the film of the same name and by the start of September had decided on the crew who would accompany him around the globe.

'Every year I go to the French
boat show and I say I must buy
a new boat, but every year I find
myself sailing this one '

Iromiguy owner Jean-Yves CHATEAU explains how the careful art
of equipment selection is key to success in the Fastnet Race

Michael LIDDY (IRL) became the latest of the 2005 record breakers, setting a new Round Ireland record in September. Whilst on 18 September the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race got underway in Liverpool, Great Britain.

LUTZ Becomes Third Female Optimist World Champion

Over in Switzerland, the Argentinean team regained the Optimist Team Racing World title, whilst Tina LUTZ (GER) became only the third girl to win the Optimist Word Championship. Over in Russia former Optimist World Champion Sime FANTELA and crew Igor MARENIC (CRO) crushed the opposition at the 470 Junior World Championship. Midway through the month the U.S. Junior Championships were decided and the winners were named as the U.S. Youth Sailing Team who would compete at the 2006 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Weymouth, Great Britain.

Tina LUTZ showed herself as a
star of the future in the Optimist
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© Tim Wilkes
Meanwhile at the Laser 4.7 World Championship Joaquin Blanco ALBALAT (ESP) waltzed away with the honours, as did Ireland's Ross KEARNEY and Adam MCCULLOUGH at the Mirror Worlds.

On the match racing scene, Michael DUNSTAN (AUS) proved his mettle at the ISAF Grade 3 Skandia Cowes Youth Week in Great Britain, whilst in windsurfing Zofia KLEPACKA (POL) gave the standout performance at the Mistral Youth & Junior Worlds. Over in the Caribbean, the Carriacou Regatta brought together young sailors from Grenada and Carriacou. By the end of August, the African Optimist Championship was decided with four bullets helping Egypt's Ahmed RAGAB to victory.

Meanwhile over in France and Belgium the Fête du Nautisme enjoyed another successful year and demonstrated what can be achieved by sailing schemes working at the grass roots level focused on throughout 2005 by Connect to Sailing.

World Sailor Race Heats Up

Yachting Australia cast an eye back over the past twelve months of sailing at the Australian Yachting Awards, with 2004 Mumm 30 World Champion and 2005 Rolex Farr 40 World Champion Richard PERINI named Male Sailor of the Year and Cheyenne navigator Adrienne CAHALAN Female Sailor of the Year.

The Race for the ISAF Rolex
World Sailor of the Year
Awards intensified with the
announcement of the nominees

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© Jonathan Drake/Getty Images

For Race Officials the inaugural International Race Officers Conference was announced for March 2006 in Southampton, Great Britain, whilst an ISAF Race Management Clinic took place in Colombia.

Dr Balazs HAJDU (HUN) was elected President of the International Finn Class Association, whilst former Olympic Champion Rex SELLERS became president of Yachting New Zealand.

On the 26 September the 4 female and 6 male nominees for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards were announced, with the winners to be voted by the ISAF MNAs and announced in November.

Part 5 of the ISAF Year In Review will be published Friday 30 December. Subscribe at ISAF Sailor.

ISAF. Image, :© Nico Martinez
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