Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) is back on top in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, replacing Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) at the top spot. WILLIAMS, the reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion, outperformed his French rival at the latest stage of the World Match Racing Tour in Korea to regain the world #1 spot he previously held for five months from May-September 2007.
WILLIAMS finished as runner up at the Korea Match Cup to Frenchman Sébastien COL (FRA); his best performance to date on this year's World Tour and one that has given him a big points lead in the World Championship standings as well as boosting him back to the top in the Rankings. RICHARD could only manage fifth overall in Korea, losing out to young Kiwi hotshot Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) in the quarter-finals, bringing to an end his run of six consecutive Ranking releases in the world #1 spot.
Behind the top two, Paolo CIAN (ITA) remains at #3, whilst COL moves up one place to #4 following his win in Korea. Peter WIBROE (DEN) is new into the world top ten, gaining three places up to #8, but the big mover is Adam MINOPRIO, climbing a massive 16 places to a career-best Ranking of #10. The 23 year old Kiwi, who first served notice of his talent two years ago by winning the fiercely contested Warren Jones Youth Regatta in Perth, has had a fantastic four-week spell, winning ISAF Grade 2 events in Austria and Italy before scoring his best-ever World Tour finish of third in Korea.
Another climber is Russia's Andrew ARBUZOV, who won on his home waters at the ISAF Grade 2 Sails of White Nights event in St Petersburg and gains two places to #13. ARBUZOV's win means he is now the top-placed Russian skipper on the Rankings.
Further down the Rankings, Keith SWINTON (AUS) climbs over 20 places from #53 to #29 following a victory at the ISAF Grade 3 Trofeo Match Race G. Marconi in Italy. Gavin BRADY (NZL) makes the biggest move amongst the top 100, gaining from #138 to #60 following his win at the ISAF Grade 1 Congressional Cup.
New events included in this Ranking release:
Grade 1 - Boat US Santa Maria Cup, USA
Grade 2 - Nordic Women's Match Tour Race 2, FIN
Grade 2 - European University Women Match Racing Cup, FRA
Claire LEROY (FRA) stays top of the Women's ISAF World Match Race Rankings for the 25th consecutive release. The French skipper is looking stronger than ever in the world #1 spot and is now over now over 1,000 Ranking points in front of Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN (DEN) at #2. Katie SPITHILL (AUS), Silke HAHLBROCK (GER) and Elizabeth BAYLIS (USA) are also all unmoved at #3, #4 and #5 respectively as the world top five remains unchanged in this release.
Sally BARKOW (USA) demonstrated her preparations for the Yngling event at this year's Olympic Sailing Competition haven't had any impact on her status as one of the most formidable skippers on the women's match racing circuit with a victory at the ISAF Grade 1 Boat US Santa Maria Cup. BARKOW's third Santa Maria Cup win keeps her amongst the world top ten at #8.
Other winners in this Ranking period were Martina KARLEMO (FIN) at the ISAF Grade 2 Nordic Women's Match Tour Race 2 in Helsinki, who rises from #51 to #27; and Charlotte LAWRENCE (GBR) at the ISAF Grade 2 European University Women Match Racing Cup in La Rochelle, who climbs up nearly 50 places from #101 to a career-best Ranking of #54.
ISAF World Match Race Rankings - www.sailing.org/mrrankings