The choice of equipment for the ten events at the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, which will take place at the ISAF Annual Conference in Madrid this November, is the next milestone for those sailors with Olympic aspirations. Following that decision it will not take long for the Olympic sailing circuit to burst into life again and this time with a new annual series to sharpen the focus. Sail Melbourne, brought forward to 16-21 December this year, is the first of seven events of the newly launched ISAF Sailing World Cup. Following on from Melbourne, the series moves to Miami, then Palma, Hyeres, Medemblik, Kiel and finally Weymouth. Competitors combine points scored at each of the events of the World Cup series to decide their overall standings meaning Melbourne offers a perfect opportunity to establish an early lead and seize the initiative in the battle of the World Cup trophy.
For the Australian Sailing Team, Sail Melbourne also offers the chance to showcase the talent that has kept them at the forefront of the national standings in the Rankings for the past year. With two crews occupying #1 spots and two at #2, the Aussies tie with Spain as top nation in this Ranking release.
The British team are still waiting for their Olympic success to be reflected in the Rankings as some of their star performers continue to lag behind because of their limited appearances during the build up to the Games. At the recent Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta the focus was firmly on the future as the up-and-coming generation of British sailors pitted themselves against some young stars from around the world. The regatta, held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, has grown rapidly since its launch in 2006 and it's a trend that is set to continue with its status as 2012 Olympic venue and the inclusion of the 2009 event in ISAF Sailing World Cup.
Notable winners in Weymouth this year were Beijing bronze medallists Lijia XU (CHN) and Shahar ZUBARI (ISR) in the Laser Radial and Men's RS:X respectively, and two-time Men's 470 World Champions Nic ASHER and Elliot WILLIS (GBR). The British strength in depth in the Laser and Finn fleets - in which they have won five gold medals over the past three Olympic Games - was also in evidence. Nick THOMPSON (GBR) and Giles SCOTT (GBR), both former winners of the Boy's One Person Dinghy event at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, took the Laser and Finn titles in Weymouth respectively.
Along with Australia and Spain, the French sailing team also have plenty to celebrate in this Ranking release. Windsurfer and Olympic silver medallist Julien BONTEMPS (FRA) hits the top spot in the Men's RS:X Rankings, making him the first French sailor to hold a world #1 position since Xavier ROHART and Pascal RAMBEAU topped the Star Rankings back in August 2007.
BONTEMPS had previously held a world #1 ranking on the Mistral board back in 2004 and he now equals that performance on the new Olympic windsurfing equipment, the RS:X. After the disappointment of missing the Medal Race at the Worlds in Auckland at the start of this year, BONTEMPS stepped up the pace during the European season and strung together a series of podium finishes which culminated in his silver medal-winning performance at the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition in Qingdao.
Dutch brothers Sven COSTER and Kalle COSTER (NED) hit the top spot in the Men's 470 Rankings for the first time in their career. After two years spent as ever presents in the world top 10, the COSTER brothers finally knock Olympic gold medallists Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE (AUS) off the top of the World Rankings, largely thanks to their consistency over the course of this year's European season.
Beijing gold medallist Paul GOODISON (GBR) also slips from the top spot in the Laser Rankings as Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) regains the world #1 position. Despite his disastrous Olympic showing, SLINGSBY moves above GOODISON thanks largely to the string of regatta wins the Australian put together in 2007 and 2008.
World Ranking Leaders - 15 October 2008
Heavyweight Dinghy - Finn
Jonas HOEGH-CHRISTENSEN (DEN)
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA)
Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Tom SLINGSBY (AUS)
Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Sven COSTER and Kalle COSTER (NED)
Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Giulia CONTI and Giovanna MICOL (ITA)
Skiff - 49er
Iker MARTINEZ and Xabier FERNANDEZ (ESP)
Men's Keelboat - Star
Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ and Dominik ZYCKI (POL)
Women's Keelboat - Yngling
Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB and Pippa WILSON (GBR)
Multihull - Tornado
Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY (AUS)
Men's Windsurfer - RS:X
Julien BONTEMPS (FRA)
Women's Windsurfer - RS:X
Marina ALABAU (ESP)
The Star North American Championship in Michigan was the only ISAF Grade 1 event held over the latest Ranking period. Winners and new North American Champions John MACCAUSLAND and Kevin MURPHY (USA) gain one place in this Ranking release up to #19. Beijing Olympic gold medallists Iain PERCY and Andrew SIMPSON (GBR) also make a small gain in this release of the Star Rankings, climbing two places to re-enter the world top 10 at #9.
There was an impressive turn out for the International Finn Cup held in Malcesine, Italy at the start of this month. Austrian skipper Florian RAUDASCHL scored overall victory, recording his first-ever ISAF Graded event win, moving him one place up the Finn Rankings to #24.
In the Women's 470 Rankings, there are some moves amongst the top five due to the rolling points calculation. Japan's Ai KONDO and Naoko KAMATA move back up to #2, Ingrid PETITJEAN and Gwendolyn LEMAITRE (FRA) climb two places to #3 and Olympic gold medallists Elise RECHICHI and Tessa PARKINSON (AUS) also climb two places to record a career-best ranking of #4.
In the Men's RS:X Rankings, Przemyslaw MIARCZYNSKI (POL) drops to second behind BONTEMPS, whilst ZUBARI climbs five places to equal his best World Ranking of #5. Amongst the women, Finnish windsurfer Tuuli PETAJA is the highest climber at the top of the Rankings, gaining six places up to #12.
Next Ranking Release
The next release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings will next be on 10 December 2008.
Visit the ISAF World Sailing Rankings homepage at www.sailing.org/rankings for more on the latest Ranking release.
New Events Included
Results from the following events have been newly included in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings since their last release on 2 July 2008.
|Tornado||Tornado Torbole Trophy (3)|
|Star||Star North American Championship (1); Oktoberfest Regatta (2)|
|Laser||United 4 (lll) (3); Delta Lloyd Open Dutch Sailing Championship (3); Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta (3); Cork Fall Regatta (2); Laser Europa Cup - Portugal (3); KSSS Olympic Regatta|
|Finn||Delta Lloyd Open Dutch Sailing Championship (3); Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta (2); International Finn Cup (2)|
|Laser Radial||United 4 (lll) (3); Delta Lloyd Open Dutch Sailing Championship (3); Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta (3); KSSS Olympic Regatta (3)|
|49er||Delta Lloyd Open Dutch Sailing Championship (3); Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta (2)|
|470 men & women||Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta (2)|
|M-RSX & W-RSX||Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta M-RSX(2)|
Graded events which have not been included are listed below.
|Event||Classes not included:||Reason:|
|Balkan Games||Finn (3); Laser (3); M0470 (3)||Could not obtain results|
|Lipno Regatta||Laser (3); W-Laser (3); M-470 (3); W-470 (3); Finn (3)||Could not obtain results|
|Laser North East Brazilian Championship||Laser (3); W-Laser (3)||Could not obtain results|
|Centomiglia del Garda||W-Yngling (3); Star (3)||No Racing|
|United 4 (lll)||W-470 (3); M-470(3)||Not enough entrants|
|Delta Lloyd Open Dutch Sailing Championship||Star (3); W-Yngling (3); W-470 (3); M-470 (3)||Not enough entrants|
|Delta Lloyd Open Dutch Sailing Championship||Tornado (3)||No Racing|
|Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta||W-RSX (2)||Not eligible to enter|
|Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta||Tornado (2); W-Yngling (2)||No Racing|
|International Autumn Regatta Sofia||Laser (3); W-Laser (3)||Not enough entrants|
|Cork Fall Regatta||W-Laser (2)||Not eligible to enter as only one nationality|
|Cork Fall Regatta||49er (2)||Not enough entrants|
|Fall Dinghy Championship||W-Laser (3); Laser (3)||Could not obtain results|
|United 4 (lV)||Laser (3); W-470 (3); M-470 (3)||Not eligible to enter|
|United (lV)||W-Laser (3)||No Racing|
|Laser Europa Cup - Portugal||W-Laser (3)||Not enough entrants|
|KSSS Olympic Regatta||Star (3); Finn (3)||No Racing|
|KSSS Olympic Regatta||M-470 (3); W-470 (3)||Not eligible to enter|
|KSSS Olympic Regatta||49er (3)||Not enough entrants|
|470 South American Championship||M-470 (2); W-470 (2)||Not enough entrants|
|Laser North Coast Championships||Laser (3); W-Laser (3)||Not eligible to enter as only one nationality|
ISAF World Sailing Rankings - www.sailing.org/rankings