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1 February 2007, 12:00 pm
Rankings Released 1 February 2007
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The Women's Rankings hits a landmark 200 skippers
Sean Downey

ISAF World Match Race Rankings

The Women's ISAF World Match Race Rankings hit 200 skippers in the latest release on 1 February. Claire LEROY (FRA) remains a clear leader as the Women's Rankings reach a new landmark, whilst Sébastien COL (FRA) stays top in the Open Rankings to make it a French clean sweep for the fifth Ranking release in a row.

How The Rankings Work

The ISAF World Match Race Rankings rate skippers based on their performances over the last two years. Skippers score points by competing in ISAF Graded events. Each skipper can count a maximum of four events in each of the two most recent years, which are calculated over a rolling 24 months. The most points are up for grabs at World Championship events, followed by ISAF Grade 1 events, Grade 2 etc.

The tables show the new events included in this Ranking release.

The next Rankings release will be on 21 March 2007 following on from the ISAF Grade 1 Marseille International Match Race in France. This will be the second release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings in 2007.

ISAF World Match Race Rankings - Open

ISAF
Grade
Nation Event
Grade 1 NZL Auckland Match
Racing Cup
Grade 2 BRA Match Race Brasil
GBR Winter Challenge 3
Grade 3 ITA Christmas J24 Match
Race
GBR Winter Challenge 4
SLO Slovenian Match Race
GBR Winter Challenge 5
Grade 4 ITA Xmas Races
JPN Christmas Match in
Hayama
ITA Campionato Zonale V
FRA Championnat de Bassin
Mediterranee
FRA Selective de Zone Brest
FRA Selective de Zone
Normandie
FRA Championnat de Bassin
Mediterranee II
FRA Selective de Zone
St Quay
FRA Match Race des Clubs
FRA Selective de Zone
Granville
Grade 5 NED Dutch Winter Series 3
USA Hudson River Match Race
USA New Year's Match Race
USA Frostbite Match Race 1

Sébastien COL (FRA) makes it five-in-a-row at the top of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, with the top four skippers unchanged in this Ranking release. The 29 year old AREVA Challenge skipper has now held the world #1 spot since 24 August 2006 after an outstanding run of form during the European spring/summer.

Behind COL, Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) holds on to his career-best world #2 spot and actually closes the points gap on the leader following his second place at the ISAF Grade 1 Auckland Match Racing Cup and victory at the ISAF Grade 2 JPMorgan Asset Management Winter Challenge 3. WILLIAMS beat world #3 Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) in the semi-finals in Auckland, but the French winner of last year's ISAF Nations Cup still remains right behind the Brit, 45 Ranking points back.

Dean BARKER's win in
Auckland pushes him closer
to the world top 20
© Ivor Wilkins/Offshore Images

Cup Skippers Looking Good

Team Shosholoza's Paolo CIAN (ITA) is also unmoved in fourth, whilst reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion Peter GILMOUR (AUS) moves back into the world top 5 at the expense of BMW ORACLE Racing skipper Chris DICKSON (NZL).

Another America's Cup skipper, Jesper BANK (DEN) of United Internet Team Germany is the one new entry into the world top 10. The Danish star climbs up two places to 9 after victory at the ISAF Grade 2 Match Race Brasil. Luna Rossa's James SPITHILL (AUS) just misses out on the top 10 place, climbing from 27 to 11 after finishing runner up in Brazil.

High Risers

Further down the Rankings, Jure OREL (SLO) climbs ten places to 30 after being crowned Slovenian National Champion. Fellow Slovenian Jon BRECELJ (SLO) is one of the biggest climbers, gaining over 250 places as he goes from 446 to 187 thanks to third place finishes at the nationals and the ISAF Grade 3 Christmas J24 Match Race.

Other moves of note come from Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean BARKER (NZL), who just misses out on the top 20 after winning his second Auckland Match Racing Cup, whilst young Kiwi star Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) hits a career-best 33 after making the last four on Waitemata Harbour.

ISAF World Match Race Rankings - Open

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ISAF World Match Race Rankings - Women

ISAF
Grade
Nation Event
Grade 4 USA Portuguese Women's
Match Race

Claire LEROY (FRA) remains way out ahead of the rest of the women's match racing world and, with a 1,000+ point lead, looks odds on to make it two unbroken years in the world #1 spot. Meanwhile the continued popularity of women's match racing is demonstrated as the Women's ISAF World Match Race Rankings grows to hit the 200 skipper mark.

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Tiffany KOO was amongst
the female skippers to make
headlines in the match racing
world last year
© World Tour/Guido Cantini

LEROY has headed up the Women's Rankings since 4 May 2005, and with a lead over second place of 1,160 points, she looks all set to hold the top spot for a good deal longer. Behind the French skipper the rest of the world top 10 remains unchanged, leaving Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN (DEN) and Klaartje ZUIDERBAAN (NED) in the world #2 and #3 spots respectively.

All the significant moves in this release come following the ISAF Grade 4 Portuguese Women's Match Racing Championship won by Maria RAMIRES (POR). She moves up from 79 to 55 in the Rankings, 11 places behind the top Ranked Portuguese skipper Rita GONCALVES.

200 Skippers

Whilst there is little movement amongst the major players in this release, the whole world of women's match racing can celebrate the ISAF World Match Race Rankings reaching the 200 skipper mark for the first time. The number of skippers on the Women's Rankings has grown steadily over the last few years, reflecting the appeal and accessibility of women's match racing.

The number of ISAF Graded Women's Match Racing events grew from 24 in 2004, to 32 in 2005 to a record 40 in 2006, and similarly the number of skippers on the World Rankings has increased from 126 in December 2003 to 151 in December 2004, 185 in December 2005 and 196 in December 2006. With the ISAF Nations Cup helping to take match racing around the globe, skippers like MELDGAARD PEDERSEN and Tiffany KOO (MAS) achieving notable scalps on the World Match Racing Tour and now 200 skippers on the World Rankings, the women's match racing world can celebrate together and look forward with anticipation to another terrific year out on the water.

ISAF World Match Race Rankings - Women

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The next Rankings release will be on 21 March 2007 following on from the ISAF Grade 1 Marseille International Match Race in France.

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