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7 March 2007, 12:00 pm
Rankings Released 7 March 2007
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ISAF World Sailing Rankings

Changes abound as six new crews hit the top spots in the latest release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings on 7 February. Unmoved despite the reshuffle are the Brits, who retain all three of their Ranking leaders and are still the top performing nation, but they now have Australia and Germany right behind them.

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It is no surprise to see Great Britain hold onto their place as the top nation in the Rankings. The GBR team completed one of their most successful years ever on the Olympic Classes circuit in 2006 and then began 2007 with five medals at the ISAF Grade 1 Rolex Miami OCR in the USA.

Even though there have been major changes in virtually every class, Paul GOODISON (GBR), Christina BASSADONE and Saskia CLARK (GBR) and Nick DEMPSEY (GBR) all managed to maintain their world #1 status in the Laser, Womens 470 and Men's RS:X Rankings. To add emphasis to this success, GOODISON and BASSADONE and CLARK now jointly hold the honour of being the longest leaders on the Rankings, having occupied the top spots since 31 May 2006.

Australia And Germany Shine

Behind the Brits, it is a terrific Ranking release for both Australia and Germany. Neither nation had one Ranking leader throughout the entirety of 2006, but now each have two. Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY (AUS) predictably take the Tornado top spot after building on a sensational year in the multihull with a win in Miami. More of a surprise are new leaders Mathew BELCHER and Nick BEHRENS (AUS) in the Mens 470, Jan-Peter PECKOLT and Hannes PECKOLT (GER) in the 49er and Ulrike SCHUEMANN, Ute HOEPFNER and Julia BECK (GER) in the Yngling. These three crews gain the top spots after two years of finishing consistently around or amongst the medals in some of their class toughest fleets.

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With Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN) and Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA (BRA) unmoved as the world #1s in the Finn and Star Rankings respectively, the other new leaders come from Spain and Belgium. Twenty-one year old Marina ALABAU (ESP) is back as the world #1 in the Womens RS:X after recovering from Medal Race heartbreak at the Worlds last year to secure the OCR title with a bullet in Miami. Another 21 year old hits the summit in the Laser Radial, with European Champion Evi VAN ACKER (BEL) gaining the world #1 spot for the first time.

Coming Up

Next up for the Olympic Classes is the ISAF Grade 1 Singapore Airlines Sail Auckland, which begins in New Zealand this Friday 9 February. The windsurfing line up looks particularly strong, highlighted by long-time Olympic rivals Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) and Barbara KENDALL (NZL) facing off in the RS:X. The Laser and Laser Radial fleets are also packed with talent and will give the Kiwis a chance to catch up with their Australian rivals in the Rankings.

With lots of chopping and changing in the Laser and Laser Radial Rankings, the ISAF Grade 1 Laser Midwinters East is also set stir up plenty of interest towards the end of February.

About The Rankings

The ISAF World Sailing Rankings rate skippers based on their performances over the last two years. Skippers score points by competing in ISAF Graded events. The top finishers at all ISAF Graded events score Rankings points, with the highest points awarded to the event winner and then decreasing down relative to position. The most points are up for grabs at World Championship events, followed by ISAF Grade C1 events, Grade 1, Grade 2 etc. For more on how the Rankings work CLICK HERE.

The tables on the right hand side show the new events included in this Ranking release. The next Rankings release will be on 18 April 2007, following the ISAF Grade 2 Princess Sofia Trophy.

  1. Men's Windsurfer - RS:X
  2. Women's Windsurfer - RS:X
  3. Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
  4. Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
  5. Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
  6. Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
  7. Skiff - 49er
  8. Heavyweight Dinghy - Finn
  9. Multihull - Tornado
  10. Women's Keelboat - Yngling
  11. Men's Keelboat - Star

1. Men's Windsurfer - RS:X

ISAF Grade Nation Event
Grade C1 BRA RS:X South Americans
Grade 1 NZL Sail Auckland
Grade 2 GRE Athens Eurolymp Week
Grade 3 ESP Andalusian Olympic
Week
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Przeymslaw MIARCZYNSKI
was the form sailor in Miami
Dan Nerney/Rolex

Nick DEMPSEY (GBR) completes his third Ranking release in the Mens RS:X world #1 spot, whilst there is plenty of movement in the remaining top 10. Behind the British Athens bronze medallist, Nicolas LE GAL (FRA) moves up to #2 after strong finishes at the ISAF Grade C1 RS:X North Americans and ISAF Grade 1 Rolex Miami OCR. Top five finishes in both Miami competitions give former #1 Ivan PASTOR (ESP) a boost up to #3 from #6.

The form sailor of the past month has been Przemyslaw MIARCZYNSKI (POL). After winning the bronze medal at the RS:X Worlds last year, the 27 year old Pole won both the North Americans and Miami OCR by a considerable margin to mark himself out as an early challenger for DEMPSEYs world #1 spot. Another name to look out for is Athens gold medallist Gal FRIDMAN (ISR), who won the ISAF Grade 3 New Year International Regatta before going on to finish tenth at the Miami OCR. Still only counting six of a possible seven events, FRIDMAN moves up from #42 to #28.

Just behind FRIDMAN, Makoto TOMIZAWA (JPN) is also on the rise, gaining five places to #35 after winning the ISAF Grade 1 Sail Melbourne. Young Dutch windsurfer Dorian VAN RIJSSELBERGE (NED) also makes impressive gains, moving up from #89 to #42 after the 18 year old came in fifth at the North Americans and 12th at the Miami OCR.

Men's Windsurfer ISAF World Sailing Rankings

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2. Women's Windsurfer - RS:X

ISAF Grade Nation Event
Grade C1 BRA RS:X South Americans
Grade 3 ESP Andalusian Olympic
Week
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World #1 Marina ALABAU
Dan Nerney/Rolex

Marina ALABAU (ESP) is back in the world #1 spot after a Medal Race bullet won her the title at the ISAF Grade 1 Rolex Miami OCR. The 21 year old Spanish star enjoyed a fantastic couple of weeks in Miami, taking the silver medal at the ISAF Grade C1 RS:X North Americans before picking up the Miami OCR crown a week later. With previous leader Olga MASLIVETS (UKR) in New Zealand preparing for Sail Auckland, ALABAU, who came within a whisker of winning the inaugural World Championship title last year, leaps up into the top spot.

Behind her Miami runner up Bryony SHAW (GBR) moves up two places to #2, whilst Lisa VIDAL (FRA) climbs up from #10 to #3. A new look world top 5 is completed by Marta HLAVATY (POL) and Romy KINZL (GER).

HLAVATY is not the only Polish windsurfer on the rise. Four-time ISAF Youth World Champion Zofia KLEPACKA (POL) gains eight places to #9 after winning the North Americans, whilst Anna GALECKA (POL) and Malgorzata BIALECKA (POL) are both new entries into the top 20, at #11 and #12 respectively.

Competing against MASLIVETS at Sail Auckland will be World Champion and triple Olympic medallists Alessandra SENSINI (ITA). The Italy windsurfing legend has been on top form so far down under, winning the ISAF Grade 2 Sail Melbourne and the New Zealand nationals. Still with just two events counting in her Ranking points total, she lies at #48.

Women's Windsurfer ISAF World Sailing Rankings

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3. Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser

ISAF Grade Nation Event
Grade 1 NZL Sail Auckland
USA Laser Midwinters East
Grade 2 NZL Laser New Zealand
Championships
Grade 3 ARG Semana de Mar del Plata
ESP Andalusian Olympic
Week
GRE Alexander the Great Cup
GRE Athens Eurolymp Week
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Tom SLINGSBY hits a
career-best world #2 spot
Dan Nerney/Rolex

Paul GOODISON (GBR) holds on to the top spot in the Laser Rankings, but behind him Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) closes the gap on the leader as he moves up to a career-best world #2 Ranking. The 22 year old Australian ended 2006 with his fourth ISAF Grade 1 victory of the season at the Sydney International Regatta and second place at the ISAF Grade 1 Laser Australians, before gaining second again at the ISAF Grade 1 Rolex Miami OCR. GOODISON was less active, racing to a solid fifth place in Miami, and consequently the gap between the top two has narrowed to just 66 points.

SLINGSBYs run of form has been mirrored by his fellow Australian, the reigning World Champion Michael BLACKBURN (AUS). The 36 year old beat SLINGSBY to gold at the Laser Australians and then came in third at Miami to make a massive climb up the World Rankings from #45 to #8. Gustavo LIMA (POR) lies just ahead of BLACKBURN having moved up two places to #6 after victory in Miami, amazingly his first victory in an ISAF Grade 1 event since winning the ISAF Worlds in 2003.

Another Australian, Ashley BRUNNING is the highest new entry into the top 100, moving up from #119 to #75 after top 10 finishes at the ISAF Grade 1 Sail Melbourne and Laser Australians. Melbourne winner Kristian RUTH (NOR) also shoots up, gaining over 100 places as he moves from #205 to #94.

Men's One Person Dinghy ISAF World Sailing Rankings

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4. Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial

ISAF Grade Nation Event
Grade 1 NZL Sail Auckland
USA Laser Midwinters East
Grade 2 NZL Laser New Zealand
Championships
Grade 3 GRE Alexander the Great Cup
GRE Athens Eurolymp Week
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New world #1 Evi VAN ACKER
Evi Van Acker

European Champion Evi VAN ACKER (BEL) hits the world #1 spot for the first time after a major reshuffle at the top of Laser Radial Rankings. Behind the Belgium, 2006 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Paige RAILEY (USA) drops out of the world top 10 for the first time following on from her triple yellow flag infringement at the ISAF Grade 1 Rolex Miami OCR.

VAN ACKER hits the top spot after a bronze medal performance in Miami and a superb 2006, where she never once finished outside the top six in the eight ISAF Graded events she entered, four of which ended in victory for the 21 year old. Mexicos Tania ELIAS CALLES hits a career best Ranking of #2 following sixth places in Miami and at Fort Lauderdale a week later in the ISAF Grade C1 Laser Radial North Americans.

Former world #1 Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA) drops two places to #3, whilst two new entries both posting career-best Rankings make complete a new-look top 5. Katarlyna SZOTYNSKA (POL) won the Worlds three times before the Laser Radial became Olympic equipment and is also a former ISAF Youth Worlds Champion in the class. After an inconsistent 2005, she stepped up a gear last year and a fourth at the North Americans moves her up into the world #4 slot.

After finishing in fourth place in the Europe at the Athens Olympic Games, Sarah BLANCK (AUS) has made the switch to the Radial, in which she faces a tough battle for Beijing with Krystal WEIR (AUS). The two traded blows over the summer season down under, with BLANCK winning the ISAF Grade 1 Sydney International Regatta, but the ISAF Grade 1 Laser Australians going to WEIR. BLANCKs trip to Miami proved the crucial difference, with her 11th place giving her sufficient Ranking points to climb from #11 to #5, whilst WEIR drops from #3 to #7.

Another former Europe star on the move up, climbing from #19 to #11, is Sari MULTALA (FIN), whose dominant win in Miami and second place at the North Americans is an ominous sign for the rest of the Radial fleet.

Women's One Person Dinghy ISAF World Sailing Rankings

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5. Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470

ISAF Grade Nation Event
Grade 1 NZL Sail Auckland
Grade C2 CHI 470 South Americans
Grade 2 GRE Athens Eurolymp Week
Grade 3 CHI Andalusian Olympic
Week
Grade 3 ESP Alexander the Great Cup
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New world #1s Mathew
BELCHER and Nick BEHRENS
Dan Nerney/Rolex

Mathew BELCHER and Nick BEHRENS (AUS) hold their top spot in the Mens 470 Rankings, with the world top 10 unchanged in this release. Gidi KLIGER and Udi GAL (ISR) at #2 are sandwiched by another Australia crew Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE (AUS).

Whilst there are no changes of note at the top of the Rankings, further back there are some interesting moves. Geoff WOOLLEY and Mark OVERINGTON (NZL) climb six places up to 24 following victory at the ISAF Grade 1 Sail Auckland. The Kiwi crew won in Auckland thanks to a brilliant comeback in the Medal Race having been pushed all the way by 16 year olds Carl EVANS and Peter BURLING (NZL). After back-to-back 420 World Championship titles, EVANS and BURLING seemed untroubled by the step up to the 470, and despite narrowly missing up on the title in Auckland, they still finished above the top Ranked Kiwi team of Stephen KEEN and Philip KEEN (NZL). The second places sees EVANS and BURLING debut at #134.

Following on from the ISAF Grade C2 470 South Americans, won emphatically by Matias BUHLER and Marcos LAMAS (ARG), five Chilean, one Argentinean and one Uruguayan team make their debut on the 470 Rankings. Alberto GONZLEZ and Diego GONZLEZ (CHI) were the best of the rest in Via de Mar and enter the Rankings at #137.

In a Greek-dominated fleet at the ISAF Grade 2 Athens Eurolymp, Panagiotis MANTIS and Theodoros POLYCHRONIDIS (GRE) came out top of the pile, although they remain unchanged at #23.

Men's Two Person Dinghy ISAF World Sailing Rankings

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6. Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470

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Marcelien DE KONING
and Lobke BERKHOUT pile
the pressure on the 470
leaders
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Christina BASSADONE and Saskia CLARK (GBR) are closing in on a year at the top of the Womens 470 Rankings, with the consistent Brits once more untouched in the world #1 spot. With the world top 20 completely unchanged, double World Champions Marcelien DE KONING and Lobke BERKHOUT (NED) remain at #2 followed by Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadege DOUROUX (FRA).

With the ISAF Sailing World Championships and Olympic Qualification heading coming ever closer, the strength of Womens 470 sailing across the world is demonstrated with crews from 15 different nations in the world top 20.

Europe occupy the top five places, but the strong challengers are also emerging from elsewhere. 2004 ISAF Youth World Champions Elsie RECHICHI and Tessa PARKINSON (AUS) have eased themselves into the senior circuit with an impressive string of results over the past two years, whilst Ai KONDO and Naoko KAMATA (JPN) made remarkable progress last year, ending on a massive high with the silver medal at the Worlds. Currently at #23 in the Rankings, the Japanese crew look certain to break into the world top 20 latter in the year.

Another name to watch is the talented 19 year old Adi GILBOA (ISR), sailing with the more experienced Vered BOUSKILA (ISR). In their first year together the pair put together some terrific results, including a victory at Hyres.

Women's Two Person Dinghy ISAF World Sailing Rankings

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7. Skiff - 49er

Morgan LARSON and Pete
SPAULDING surge up the 49er
Rankings
Dan Nerney/Rolex

Jan-Peter PECKOLT and Hannes PECKOLT (GER) give Germany their first top spot in the Rankings for over as year as they move up to become the world #1 crew in the 49er. The German brothers consistency has taken them to the world summit and was typified by recent sixth and third places at the ISAF Grade 1 Rolex Miami OCR and ISAF Grade C1 49er North Americans respectively.

Former leaders Pietro SIBELLO and Gianfranco SIBELLO (ITA) fall back one place to #2, whilst Marcus BAUR Hannes BAUMANN (GER) climb three to give Germany two crews in the world top 3.

After a fantastic couple weeks in Miami, it is no surprise to see Morgan LARSON and Pete SPAULDING (USA) rocket up the Rankings from #29 to #10. Wins in both the Miami OCR and North Americans means the pair are now the top Ranked of the seven USA teams on the 49er Rankings.

A young team to watch for the future are Nathan OUTTERIDGE and Ben AUSTIN (AUS). Twenty-one year old triple ISAF Youth Worlds gold medallist (in the 420 and 29er) OUTTERIDGE teamed up with AUSTIN last year and the pair have been making big strides ever since. A 16th at the OCR followed by a tenth in Miami helps them climb up five places to enter the world top 20 for the first time.

Skiff ISAF World Sailing Rankings

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8. Heavyweight Dinghy - Finn

ISAF Grade Nation Event
Grade 2 FRA Semaine Internationale
Cannes
GRE Athens Eurolymp Week
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Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN
dominated the Finn Midwinters
Dan Nerney/Rolex

Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN) stays top of the pile in the Finn Rankings, as the top sailors consolidate their positions in the latest release. Dan SLATER (NZL) and Ed WRIGHT (GBR) are unmoved in the #2 and #3 spots respectively, as are the rest of the world top 20.

Despite the lack of movement, there were some early pointers to form before the European season hits top gear, with ISAF Grade 2 events in both France and Greece. Gasper VINCEC (SLO) won the Semaine Internationale Cannes, whilst the Athens Eurolymp title went to home favourite Emilios PAPATHANASIOU (GRE).

Further back a third place in Athens sees Alexandros DRAGOUTSIS (GRE) move up eight places to become the second Greek in the world top 50, whilst the young Frenchman Pierre-Alexis PONSOT also climbs eight places to #72 thanks to a third in Cannes.

Looking ahead to the European season and the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, Portugal, HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN currently appears to have a firm grasp on the Finn fleet, and is looking in a strong position as Palma approaches.

Heavyweight Dinghy ISAF World Sailing Rankings

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9. Multihull - Tornado

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World Champs and world #1s
Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn
ASHBY
Dan Nerney/Rolex

Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY (AUS) remain top of the Tornado Rankings, with the World Champs set to take their world #1 status into the European Championships in Palma.

Although there are no new events counting in the latest release of the Tornado Rankings, the Australian pair further added to their reputation as the top team on two hulls with a hard-fought win at the F18 Worlds in Australia.

Fernando ECHAVARRI and Anton PAZ (ESP) go to the Europeans on their home waters in the world #2 spot, with the Spanish crew working their way out of a lean spell and starting to look more like the team that took World and European honours in 2005.

In the world #3 spot, the German crew of Johannes POLGAR and Florian SPATZEHOLZ (GER) have proved themselves one of the most consistent Tornado crews over the past two years.

Multihull ISAF World Sailing Rankings

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10. Women's Keelboat - Yngling

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The Yngling Medal Race gets
away in Miami
Dan Nerney/Rolex

It is a case of as you were in the Yngling World Rankings, with the world top 20 completely unchanged in the latest release. Ulrike SCHUEMANN, Ute HOEPFNER and Julia BLECK (GER) will go into the European season in the world #1 spot, closely followed by the Russian teams of Vlada ILIENKO, Nina SHTROMERGER and Ekaterina KOVALENKO and Anna BASALKINA, Ekaterina MAXIMOVA and Vlada UKRAINSTSERA.

With little movement in the Rankings and no new events counting in the latest release, March provides an ideal moment to take a look outside the top places and identify some names to watch in the coming months.

Mandy MULDER (NED) and her Dutch team excelled in Qingdao last year to win the Olympic Test Event, but missed out on Miami in January. The Dutch have three boats entered for Palma, and it will be interesting to see if MULDER gets the helm again or they continue with their previous policy of rotation. Another name to watch in Palma will be Xiaqun SONG (CHN), who will helm one of two Chinese Yngling crews. Having made the switch from the 470, SONG provided one of the surprise performances at the Olympic Test Event last year, beating off a host of the class top names to win the bronze medal.

Silja LEHTINEN (FIN) only started her Yngling campaign last year, but has already made quick strides in the class, moving up to #24 in the Rankings, despite having only competed in three events. Other newcomers to the Yngling fleet are Athens gold medallists in the 470 and Europe respectively, Sofia BEKATOROU (GRE) and Siren SUNDBY (NOR).

Last, but by no means least is Yngling gold medal winning helm from Athens Shirley ROBERTSON (GBR), currently propping up the Rankings at #54. Expect to she her shoot up the Rankings as the year progresses, with her new crew Annie LUSH and Lucy MACGREGOR already proving their ability with a silver medal finish helmed by Helena LUCAS (GBR) in Qingdao. In their one event together as a team, ROBERTSON took gold ahead of MULDER and British rival and former crew, Sarah AYTON.

Women's Keelboat ISAF World Sailing Rankings

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11. Men's Keelboat - Star

Fredrik LOOF and Anders
EKSTROM are back in the
world top 5
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World Champion Hamish PEPPER (NZL) hits the top spot in the Star Rankings along with coach and stand-in crew Dave GILES. Since PEPPER transferred from the Laser and teamed up with Carl WILLIAMS in 2006, the Kiwi Star team has gone from nowhere to World domination.

After a strong series of results in Europe last year, PEPPER and WILLIAMS scored a fourth place at the Europeans, then a surprise win at the Star Worlds in the USA, won the North Americans shortly after, before PEPPER and GILES placed second in Miami. That string of results sees them displace Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA (BRA) in the top spot and underline their position as the team to beat in the Star fleet.

Although no new events are counting in this release, there are several more changes at the top of the Rankings, with Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ and Dominik ZYCKI (POL) moving into the #3 spot behind Xavier ROHART and Pascal RAMBEAU (FRA).

Also climbing up from #9 to #6 are Diego NEGRI and Luigi VIALE (ITA), the European Champions, and Mark MENDELBLATT and Mark STRUBE (USA), who become the third American team in the world top 10.

Men's Keelboat ISAF World Sailing Rankings

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The next Rankings release will be on 18 April 2007, following the ISAF Grade 2 Princess Sofia Trophy.

To take a look at all of the Rankings' releases of the past twelve months CLICK HERE.

ISAF. Image, Mathew BELCHER and Nick BEHRENS rise to the top in a great Rankings for the Aussies:© Jeff Crow, Sport the Library at Sail Melbourne
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