|Year||Volvo Trophy Winner|
With five of the twelve races remaining, the Volvo Trophy is currently being led by eight time winners France. The Trophy is based on a points scoring system that rewards nations who perform consistently across the events.
A race win gets a nation ten points, a second place nine points, a third place eight, through until tenth place which scores a single point. Finishes outside the top ten do not contribute points towards the Volvo Trophy.
After one race across all the seven events a nation's four best race results form it's points total for that round of the Trophy. For example, in race one French sailors finishing first in the Hobie, 15th in the 420 boys, first in the 420 girls, fourth in the Laser, tenth in the Laser Radial, fifth in the Mistral boys and third in the Mistral boys. Taking their four best scores, two firsts (10+10), a third (8) and a fourth (7) they then score a total of 35 points for race one.
Last year France won the Volvo Trophy with a total points score of 395 giving them an average of 32.9 points for each of the twelve races. So far after seven races they have a score of 227, a 32.4 points average. Meanwhile last year's runners up in the Volvo Trophy, Great Britain scored 372 points in 2004 at an average of 31 points per race. In Busan, they lie level on 194 points with the USA in second place, scoring at an average of 27.7 points per race. So although the French may not quite be matching their performance of 2004, they are significantly outperforming their closest challengers of last year. However, in race seven Britain posted a perfect score of 40 points giving their team confidence that their best is yet to come.
The USA have been the most improved team of the Championship. Despite having one fewer entrant than last year and competing in only five of the seven events their average race score of 27.7 is almost double their average of last year. All of the American sailors lie within the top six places and after just seven races they have already surpassed their 2004 points total.
Where the USA have prospered, both Australia and New Zealand have suffered. Neither nation currently has a sailor in a gold medal position and both are well down on their Volvo Trophy points average from 2004. After winning in 2003, last year Australia finished third in the Volvo Trophy standings, scoring an average of 28.8 points per race, which has this year dropped to 19.2 points and sees them outside of the top five nations. For New Zealand the news is even worse, as their 2004 average of 19.3 falls to just 9.9 this year.
France, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand have been the dominant nations at recent ISAF Youth Worlds and are the only four winners of the Volvo Trophy. Neither the USA, nor Spain in fourth place, are out of the running to add their names to that exclusive list. However just below these teams is the encouraging sight of China and Singapore, currently at numbers seven and eight in the Volvo Trophy standings. Not only do they lie above New Zealand, Poland and Germany, but China are just five points behind the Australians, as the Asian challenge begins to make itself felt in Busan.
Volvo Trophy Top 20 After Seven Races