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4 August 2005, 04:03 pm
RICHARD Set To Defend His Crown
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Internationaux de France de Match Racing 2005
Pornichet, France

Number three in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings Mathieu RICHARD is lining up to defend the Manu Minard Trophy as the ISAF Grade 1 Internationaux de France de Match Racing gets underway in Pornichet, France.
RICHARD is one of four skippers from the top ten of the Rankings to contest the title in France and starts the event as a hot favourite. He enters the fourth edition of the event having scored a podium position in each of the previous three culminating with his victory over Sebastian COL (FRA) last year. RICHARD also has a victory in Pornichet under his belt this year having one the ISAF Grade 4 Finale Bassin Atlantique back in March. He followed that win up with another excellent performance in France, finishing as the runner up to ISAF Match Racing World Champion, Ed BAIRD (USA) at the ISAF Grade 1 Marseille International Match Race. After competing in the USA and across Europe RICHARD is now back on his favoured home waters.

COL is also back this year looking to go one better on his 2004 performance, as is last year's third place finisher and the winner of the inaugural event in 2002, Sweden's Johnnie BERNTSSON. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) and Bjorn HANSEN (SWE), at numbers nine and ten in the Rankings, are also sure to offer RICHARD a stiff challenge, along with Russia's Eugeniy NEUGODNIKOV and Italy's Matteo SIMONCELLI.

Three challengers come from Oceania. Two time Australian Youth Match Racing Champion, Seve JARVIN put in a great performance to finish the ISAF Grade 1 Albaria Cento Cup in Italy in fifth, only just missing out on the semi finals and will be looking to get one over on Australia Match Racing Champion, Michael DUNSTAN (AUS). For New Zealand's Laurie JURY this will be his biggest regatta to date and a great test of his ability against some of match racing's biggest names. France's third entrant, Loïck PEYRON and South Africa's Ian AINSLIE are the other names in the field of twelve.

Internationaux de France de Match Racing Entrants
(ISAF World Match Race Ranking)

ISAF. RICHARD in action in Germany earlier in the year:© Guido Cantini/Sea&See
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