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22 July 2009, 01:25 pm
World's Top Teams To Battle For ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship
Defending Champion Claire LEROY
Defending champion Claire LEROY competing at the 2009 Boat US Santa Maria Cup

ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship 2009
Lysekil, Sweden

The ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship in Lysekil is the most prestigious event in women's match racing. This year's championship has added interest, as it is the first in the four-year cycle which will culminate in the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition where Women's Match Racing will make it's debut on the Olympic programme.
"I don't think there is any competitor in this series that is easy. All of the competitors in this year's World Championships are to be watched, it is a great line up and will be a tough event for everyone", said Australian skipper Katie SPITHILL, currently ranked #2 on the Women's ISAF World Match Race Ranking list..

The reigning World Champion and number one on the Women's ISAF World Match Race Ranking list, Claire LEROY (FRA)will be defending the World Championship title for the second time in a row.

"The level of the 12 contestants is similar, so you can't make any mistakes if you want to win. The Scandinavian teams have some advantages, being more familiar with the Danish DS37 yacht and sailing in their home waters, but it seems that other countries have improved and are able to take the leadership, like Katie Spithill did in Match Cup Sweden a few weeks ago. I imagine, that we will have a lot of surprises at the World Championship and I look forward to exciting racing," said the reigning World Champion Claire Leroy.

Linda RAHM (SWE) has in July stepped down from second position on the World Ranking list to fourth. But she is familiar with her home waters. She will defend her two consecutive victories of last year and the previous year's events at Lysekil Women's Match.

Britain's Lucy MACGREGOR, ranked third in the world, is definitely the top rookie among the invited skippers. MacGregor, who previously was crew on several successful teams, has, as skipper, climbed the ranking list at impressive speed and is now a name to watch out for.

Australian Katie Spithill won the prestigious Match Cup Sweden regatta in Marstrand earlier this month, showing great form with strong, solid sailing in the DS 37, the same boat type to be used at the World Championship in Lysekil. SPITHILL, was ranked #7 on the Women's ISAF World Match Race Ranking list, and has now climbed to second position.

Twenty-five year old Swede Anna KJELLBERG has in one year climbed from 23 to 10 on the Women's ISAF World Match Race Ranking list. With stable results this last year KJELLBERG has proved that she belongs to the top elite. In the finals against Katie Spithill at Match Cup Sweden, KJELLBERG was tough opposition.

The event is inaugurated Monday 27 July. Racing starts Tuesday 28 July. The World Champion will be crowned Saturday 1 August.

ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship 2009 - Lysekil Women's Match (ISAF Ranking)
Competing skippers

Claire LEROY (FRA) - 1
Katie SPITHILL (AUS) - 2
Lucy MACGREGOR (GBR) - 3
Linda RAHM (SWE) - 4
Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN (DEN) - 5
Silke HAHLBROCK (GER) - 6
Sally BARKOW (USA) - 7
Nicole SOUTER (AUS) - 8
Anna KJELLBERG (SWE) - 10
Camilla ULRIKKEHOLM (DEN) - 13
Christelle PHILIPPE (FRA) - 19
Marie BJORLING (SWE) - 43 (wild card)

Lysekil Women's Match - www.lysekilwomensmatch.se

All the latest details on the 2009 Worlds, together with a full archive of results from previous championships is available on the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship microsite at www.sailing.org/wmatchworlds.

Josefine Ås
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