Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) regains the top spot in the Open ISAF World Match Race Rankings, knocking his long time rival Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) back to #2. Following seven months in the world #1 spot, Richard was knocked off the top of the Rankings last month by Williams, but bounced back strongly at the latest World Tour stage in Sweden. Whilst the French skipper made it through to the semi-finals and eventually finished fourth, Williams, the reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion and leader of this year's World Championship standings, had his worst performance of the year, missing out on the knockout stages completely and finishing ninth. Thanks to their contrasting fortunes in Sweden, Richard is back in the world #1 spot in the Rankings, with Williams dropping down to #2.
Paolo CIAN (ITA) stays at #3, although like Williams failed to impress in Sweden. Sébastien COL (FRA) is also unmoved at #4, whilst Damien IEHL (FRA) climbs one place to #5, giving the French Match Racing Team an incredible three skippers in the world top five.
Just behind the Europeans, two young stars from Oceania continue to make rapid progress up the World Rankings. In Sweden, Torvar MIRSKY (AUS) gave the perfect illustration of the talent that has led many commentators to tip him as the next Australian match racing super star following the likes of James SPITHILL (AUS) and Peter GILMOUR (AUS). In fact, the young Australian skipper beat four-time World Champion Gilmour on his way to finishing as runner up at Marstrand, his best finish yet at a World Tour event which also solidifies his World Ranking at #7. Just behind Mirsky, 23 year old New Zealand skipper Adam MINOPRIO climbs up two places to a career-best Ranking of #8. Following on from an impressive third place on the World Tour in Korea during May, Minoprio scored his first ISAF Grade 1 event victory at the Toyota Sopot Match Race in Poland.
Outside of the world top 20, the biggest move comes from Mattias RAHM (SWE), winner at the GKSS Match Cup Sweden. Victory for Rahm moves him up from #65 to #39 in the latest Rankings. Another high riser is young New Zealand match racer and Laser sailor Josh JUNIOR. Junior won the World University Match Racing Championship in Poland this month to help him climb up 40 places in the latest Rankings to #68.
New events included in this Ranking release:
Grade 1 - Match Cup Sweden, SWE
Grade 2 - Mayor's Cup, USA
Grade 2 - Caixanova Women's Match Racing, ESP
Grade 2 - Kieler Woche Woman Match Race, GER
Grade 3 - Campionato Italiano Femminile Match Race, ITA
Claire LEROY (FRA) remains untouchable at the top of the Women's ISAF World Match Race Rankings and extends her massive lead over the chasing pack yet again. Leroy won out amongst a high quality fleet in the women's event at Match Cup Sweden to complete her fifth ISAF Graded event victory of what has already proved to be a very lucrative year. Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN (DEN) continues to hold on to the world #2 spot but was again somewhat off the pace in Sweden as she struggles to find her best form.
Germany's Silke HAHLBROCK (GER) climbs one place to equal her best-ever Ranking of #3 thanks to her victory at the match racing event held at this year's Kieler Woche. Americans Liz BAYLIS, winner of the Mayor's Cup in Long Beach, and Sally BARKOW complete the world top five.
Following on from Match Cup Sweden, there are some impressive Swedish performances in the latest Ranking release. Linda RAHM, third in Marstrand, moves up two places to regain her spot in the world top ten at #9, whilst Anna KJELLBERG gains five places to a career-best #15 after finishing as runner up to Leroy. Other climbers include Anne-claire LE BERRE (FRA), up six places to #32 after winning the ISAF Grade 2 Caixanova Women's Match Racing in Spain, and Samantha OSBORNE (NZL) up from #72 to #35 following top five finishes at Kiel and Long Beach.
ISAF World Match Race Rankings - www.sailing.org/mrrankings