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4 July 2005, 11:35 am
LEROY and BJÖRLING Set For Battle
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Swedish Match Cup 2005
Marstrand, Sweden

The women's competition at the ISAF Grade 1 Swedish Match Cup in Marstrand begins today with the top two in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, Claire LEROY (FRA) and Marie BJÖRLING (SWE) going head to head in flight three.
Eight competitors line up for the women's round robin today. The open competition begins tomorrow with the likes of defending champion, Russell COUTTS (NZL), World Champion, Ed BAIRD (USA) and number one in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, Peter GILMOUR (AUS) amongst the 16 strong list of competitors.

In the women's competition, world number two Marie BJÖRLING (SWE) is aiming for her fourth title in a row and enters the event on excellent form having won the ISAF Grade 1 BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup in Annapolis, USA a little under a month ago. Number one sailor in the Rankings Claire LEROY (FRA), also starts on a high, having won the recent ISAF Grade 2 Women's Antibes Cup in France. There she defeated world number three, Nina BRAESTRUP (DEN) in the final, and the pair line up for a rematch in flight two today.

Numbers eight and ten in the Rankings, Christelle PHILLIPPE (FRA) and Lotte MELGAARD-PEDERSEN (DEN) add further French and Danish representation to the competition, whilst Linda RAHM (SWE) and 2003 World Champion Malin MILLBOURN (SWE), who comes in to replace Malin KÄLLSTRÖM (SWE), add to the Swedish challenge. America's Sandy HAYES (USA) completes the line up and she has the unenviable task of facing defending champion, BJÖRLING in the first flight.

The women's round robin concludes tomorrow and then moves on to the semi finals on Wednesday with the final and petit final on Saturday.

The men are split into two groups. GILMOUR heads group A along with Philippe PRESTI (FRA), Staffan LINDBERG (FIN), Magnus HOLMBERG (SWE), Lars NORDBJERG (DEN), Bertrand PACÉ (FRA), Peter HOLMBERG (ISV) and Jesper RADICH (DEN). In group BAIRD and COUTTS are joined by Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), Björn HANSEN (SWE), Johnie BERNTSSON (SWE), Dean BARKER (NZL), Kelvin HARRAP (NZL) and Iain PERCY (GBR).

Each group sails a round robin with group A starting tomorrow and finishing on Wednesday and group B taking up Thursday. The two top teams progress through to the quarter finals whilst the two bottom placed finishers are eliminated. The six remaining teams in each group go on to the second stage knockout series on Friday where the first team to win two points will advance to the quarter finals. The quarter finals are again best of three matches and are scheduled to start on Saturday with the best of five semi finals, petit final and final on Sunday.

Women's Competition Round Robin
Line ups for first four flights

Flight One

Match 1 Linda RAHM (SWE) vs Nina BRAESTRUP (DEN)
Match 3 Sandy HAYES (USA) vs Marie BJÖRLING (SWE)
Match 4 Christelle PHILIPPE (FRA) vs Malin MILLBOURN (SWE)

Flight Two

Match 2 Marie BJÖRLING (SWE) vs Christelle PHILIPPE (FRA)
Match 3 Claire LEROY (FRA) vs Nina BRAESTRUP (DEN)
Match 4 Sandy HAYES (USA) vs Malin MILLBOURN (SWE)

Flight Three

Match 1 Claire LEROY (FRA) vs Marie BJÖRLING (SWE)
Match 2 Nina BRAESTRUP (DEN) vs Christelle PHILIPPE (FRA)
Match 3 Malin MILLBOURN (SWE) vs Linda RAHM (SWE)

Flight Four

Match 1 Malin MILLBOURN (SWE) vs Claire LEROY (FRA)
Match 2 Sandy HAYES (USA) vs Nina BRAESTRUP (DEN)
Match 4 Marie BJÖRLING (SWE) vs Linda RAHM (SWE)

ISAF (Source: McNeill). Image, Sandy HAYES prepares for her opening match against defending champion Marie BJÖRLING:© Event Media
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