Next Stop… ISAF Sailing World Cup
The ISAF Grade 1 Sydney International Regatta was the major ISAF Graded event in the latest Rankings period with many sailors using the event on Sydney Harbour to fine-tune their preparations ahead of Melbourne next week. Amongst the star names lining up for the first event of the ISAF Sailing World Cup is Beijing Olympic gold medallist and world #1 skipper in the Laser Radial Rankings Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA).
Another gold medallist from the recent Olympic Games, Men's 470 crew Malcolm PAGE (AUS), is also set to launch his campaign for London 2012 in Melbourne. After seven highly successful years with Nathan WILMOT, PAGE has teamed up with Mat BELCHER (AUS). BELCHER currently lies at #22 in the Men's 470 Rankings, although has previously led the World Rankings with crew Nick BEHRENS (AUS) back at the start of 2007. The new Australian combination will be looking to get their campaign off to a flying start with a big score at their first ISAF Sailing World Cup event.
Scoring in the World Cup is simple: the top 20 boats at the end of the regatta receive points, starting with 20 points for first place overall, 19 for second and so on. The ISAF Sailing World Cup standings are worked out by totalling a team's score from every event - all seven ISAF Sailing World Cup events count towards the standings score with no discards. So with 20 points up for grabs and an opportunity to pull out an early advantage in the World Cup standings, there's a big incentive for the teams in Melbourne.
A New Quadrennium
The final release of the ISAF Sailing World Rankings in 2008 marks a turning point for the Olympic sailing world. From 2009 onwards, the Rankings will change to reflect the new slate of Olympic events and equipment to be used at London 2012, meaning an end to the Tornado and Yngling Rankings and a new emphasis on the Women's Match Race Rankings.
Darren BUNDOCK and Glenn ASHBY (AUS), two-time World Champions together and Olympic silver medallists at Beijing, hold the world #1 spot in the final Tornado Rankings, just ahead of Beijing gold medallists Fernando ECHAVARRI and Antón PAZ (ESP). In the Yngling Rankings, the dominant British team of Sarah AYTON, Sarah WEBB and Pippa WILSON, double World Champions and Beijing gold medallists, finish on top of the pile.
The first ISAF World Sailing Rankings of 2009 will be released on Wednesday 4 February. A full list of all the Ranking release dates for 2009 will be published on the ISAF website www.sailing.org shortly.
World Ranking Leaders - 10 December 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)
All the top three teams remain unchanged in this Rankings release. In the Laser Rankings, Michael LEIGH (CAN) showed he's in good form by scoring victory at Sydney and maintains his world #4 Ranking. Spanish Olympian Javier HERNANDEZ came in second behind LEIGH and improves his Ranking by two places up to #7. Australian youngster Ashley BRUNNING (AUS) was an impressive fourth place in Sydney, helping him gain five places to #49 and enter the world top 50 for the first time. Also on the up is China's Xiaojing LI, who climbs from #279 to #251 after winning the Laser competition at the Asian Sailing Championships in Bali.
Along with BRUNNING, another Australian young gun who put in a strong performance at Sydney was Gabrielle KING, a two-time winner of the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship. In a tight finish KING, narrowly missed out to Alison YOUNG (GBR), but nevertheless improves her Ranking by five places to #56. For her victory, YOUNG gains nine places in this Ranking release up to #63.
In the Men's RS:X Rankings, Chi Ho HO (HKG) won a very closely contested battle at the Asian Sailing Championships and holds on to his position at #32 in the Rankings.
The next release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings will be on 4 February 2009.
Visit the ISAF World Sailing Rankings homepage at www.sailing.org/rankings for more on the latest Ranking release.
ISAF World Sailing Rankings - www.sailing.org/rankings