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13 July 2005, 11:17 am
Rankings Released 13 July 2005
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ISAF World Match Race Rankings

Peter GILMOUR (AUS) and Claire LEROY (FRA) have kept their top spots in this release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, whilst Björn HANSEN's busy July has secured him an invite to the ISAF Match Racing World Championship 2005.

ISAF World Match Race Rankings - Open

Events Included

  • ISAF Grade 1 Events - Trofeo Challenge Roberto Trombini, Italy; Swedish Match Cup, Sweden
  • ISAF Grade 3 Events - Polish 470 Match Race, Poland
  • ISAF Grade 4 Events - Summer Match Race Trophy, Italy; All Marine Youth Match Racing Series - June, Australia
  • ISAF Grade 5 Events - Bermuda J-24 MR Championship, Bermuda

The top ten highest placed sailors in this Rankings' release will all receive invites to the ISAF Match Racing World Championship 2005 taking place in Calpe, Spain from 12-17 September. The 2004 World Champion Ed BAIRD (USA) at number two automatically receiving an invitation to defend his title, so effectively all skippers in the top eleven places will receive invites. The twelfth competitor at the ISAF Worlds is selected by the host MNA Real Federación Española de Vela, the host club Real Club Náutico de Calpe and ISAF and is Santiago LOPEZ-VAZQUEZ (ESP).

The major loser in this month's Rankings' release is Russia's Eugeniy NEUGODNIKOV. He climbed into the World's top ten in the last release of the Rankings thanks to a win at the ISAF Grade 2 Match Race Lugano in Swizerland. However a lack of competition since then sees NEUGODNIKOV drop two places to an agonizing number twelve. His loss is Björn HANSEN's (SWE) gain. He looks set for his fourth straight appearance at the ISAF Worlds thanks to a second place in the ISAF Grade 1 Trofeo Challenge Roberto Trombini in Marina de Ravenna, Italy. That result sees him rise up from 15 to ten in the Rankings.

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Björn HANSEN has earnt
himself an invite to the
ISAF Worlds
© Dan Ljungsvik
The winner in Italy, Paolo CIAN (ITA), also makes a jump of five places up the Rankings climbing up to his best position for well over a year at number six. CIAN's rise comes at the expensive of the sailor he beat in the semi final, James SPITHILL (AUS). The Australian ended the Italian event in third, but his failure to repeat the win he had there last year helps him take a tumble down the Rankings from four to eight. The rest of the top five in Italy remain relatively stable in this Rankings' release with Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) dropping one place to nine and Sebastien COL (FRA) a non-mover at number seven.

With the exception of World number three, Mathieu RICHARD (FRA), the top five in this Rankings' release all faced each other last week at the ISAF Grade 1 Swedish Match Cup in Marstrand. Peter GILMOUR (AUS) continued his remarkable run this year, securing his third straight victory in an ISAF Grade 1 event to ensure he keeps the spot at the top of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings for at least another six weeks. In the quarter finals in Marstrand the Australian knocked out his nearest rival, BAIRD for the second event in a row giving him a solid points lead in this Rankings' release. Russell COUTTS (NZL) was the defending champion at the Swedish Match Cup, but lost out in the quarter final stage. However with SPITHILL falling, COUTTS climbs up one place to number four in the Rankings and is still counting one event fewer than the sailors around him. Philippe PRESTI (FRA) also benefits from the falling SPITHILL, moving into the top five of the Rankings, a major improvement on the Ranking of 22 he held around this time last year.

Just outside the top eleven, neither Matteo SIMONCELLI (ITA) nor Bertrand PACÉ (FRA) could score the high placed finishes they needed to secure themselves an invite to the ISAF Worlds.

Further down the Rankings, Michele SAPONARA (ITA) is one of the highest climbers, gaining almost 100 places after finishing second at the ISAF Grade 4 Summer Match Race Trophy in Ostia Rome, Italy. The Italian moves up from 233 to 136 in the Rankings. The real risers come from Poland though after the ISAF Grade 3 Polish 470 Match Race in Gizycko. Winner, Tomasz JANUSZEWSKI in only his second ISAF Graded event, beat competitors ranked over 450 places higher than him, and consequently climbs from 498 to 226.

Jamie WOODS (AUS) also makes massive gains this month following his second place at the ISAF Grade 4 All Marine Youth Match Racing Series - June, in Sydney, Australia. The Australian entered the Rankings last month at 607 and this time round climbs up to 318. However not even WOODS' rise can match that of Bermuda's John NICHOLS. After finishing runner up to Pete RAMSDALE (BER) in the ISAF Grade 5 Bermuda J-24 Class MR Championship in Hamilton he climbs a massive 643 places from 1196 to 553.

The next release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings will be on 24 August.

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Invites for the ISAF Match Racing World Championship 2005 will be sent to the following sailors:

Sailors have until 3 August to confirm their attendance. If any invites are not accepted then they will be passed on to the next highest sailor in the Rankings.

ISAF World Match Race Rankings - Women

Events Included

  • ISAF Grade 1 Events - Swedish Match Cup, Sweden
  • ISAF Grade 3 Events - Polish 470 Match Race, Poland
Malin MILLBOURN's win
in Marstrand sees her back in
the World top 20
© Dan Ljungsvik

For the third Rankings' release in a row Claire LEROY (FRA) maintains her position in the number one spot and she now looks like a dominant leader with almost 2,000 points separating her from second place.

Former number one, Maire BJÖRLING (SWE) beat LEROY in the semi finals of the ISAF Grade 1 Swedish Match Cup in Marstrand but failed to defend her title when 2003 World Champion Malin MILLBOURN (SWE) beat her 3-0 in the final. That loss combined with BJÖRLING's break from match racing last year sees her drop to third place, as she is now only counting seven events in her points total.

Nina BRAESTRUP (DEN) finished a disappointing seventh in Marstrand, but as BJÖRLING drops points she moves up to reclaim the second place in the Rankings she held in September last year.

Jenny AXHEDE (SWE) and Klaartje ZUIDERBAAN (NED) remain stationary at numbers four and five with neither competing as skippers since the last Rankings' release. Aside from some minor shuffling of positions due to the rotating ranking calculation, the major change at the head of the Rankings sees MILLBOURN climb back into the World's top 20 for the first time in almost a year at number 15. The Swedish Match Cup winner will now be aiming to climb back towards the number two slot she held for several months at the end of 2003/beginning of 2004.

Australia's Jacqui BONNITCHA also makes a significant climb this month after carrying over the Rankings' points from her win in the open ISAF Grade 4 All Marine Youth Match Racing Series in Sydney, Australia. She moves up ten places and is Australia's third highest ranked sailor at number 28.

Aside from the Swedish Match Cup the other event in the latest Rankings' period was the ISAF Grade 3 Polish 470 Match Race in Gizycko. Katarzyna TYLINSKA is Poland's highest placed sailor in the 470 ISAF World Sailing Rankings and proved her ability in the match racing scene in Gizycko to take her second victory there. She consequently rises from 59 to 38 in the Rankings to overtake Agata SIERPINA and also become Poland's best placed sailor in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings. As runner up in Gizycko, Marta PETRASZ (POL) is one of the highest climbers, jumping from 102 straight into the top fifty at 49.

The next release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings will be on 24 August.

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ISAF. Image, Peter GILMOUR and his crew have another win and another spell at the top of the World Rankings to celebrate:© Guido Cantini
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