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30 January 2008, 01:00 pm
Match Race Rankings - 30 January 2008
Mathieu RICHARD at the 2007 Danish Open
Mathieu RICHARD holds on to the world #1 spot for the third consecutive Ranking release

ISAF World Match Race Rankings

France stays on top in the ISAF World Match Rankings, with Mathieu RICHARD and Claire LEROY holding on to the world #1 spots in the latest Rankings released on 30 January.
Since the conclusion of the 2007 World Tour and the crowning of the 2007 ISAF Match Racing World Champion it's been a relatively quite period in the match racing world with no new ISAF Grade WC or ISAF Grade 1 events counting in this release. Consequently both Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) and Claire LEROY (FRA) remain comfortably ahead at the top of the Open and Women's Rankings respectively, giving France a top-spot monopoly for the third consecutive Ranking release.

Open Rankings

New events included in this Ranking release:

Grade 2 - RYA Winter Challenge 2, ESP
For ISAF Grade 3-5 events included see www.sailing.org/regattasearch

Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) holds on to the world #1 spot as the top five remain unchanged in the Open Rankings. RICHARD has not competed in the latest Ranking period, but his solid points total keeps him well clear at the top. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), the 2007 ISAF Match Racing World Champion, ended 2007 on winning form with a victory at the ISAF Grade 2 RYA Winter Challenge 2, but remains at #2 in the Rankings, just over 100 points behind his French rival. Paolo CIAN (ITA) is at #3, whilst Sebastien COL (FRA) and Bjorn HANSEN (SWE) complete the world top five.

With no new World Tour or ISAF Grade 1 events counting in this Ranking release, there are no new entries into the world top ten or top 20.

Gian Luca PERRIS (MON) makes the most significant move near the top of the Rankings, gaining 29 places up from 66 to 37 after victory at the ISAF Grade 3 Finale du Championnat de Mediterranee in France. The USA's Dave PERRY is also a high climber, moving from 79 to 43 thanks to victories at ISAF Grade 3 events in Brazil and Argentina at the end of last year. Just ahead of him, India's Mahesh Ramchandran moves up five places to a Ranking-best position of #40 thanks to a third place finish at the ISAF Grade 3 Mumbai International Match Race. Argentina's Juan GRIMALDI, who finished runner up to PERRY at the Sudamericano de Match Race in Buenos Aires, also makes big gains from 114 to be the highest of seven new entries into the world top 100 at 52.

Kiwi youngster Phil ROBERTSON is also now knocking on the door of the world top 50. ROBERTSON scored victory for the second year running at the ISAF Grade 3 Youth Match Racing Championships in Auckland to move up to his best-ever Ranking of 58.

There's likely to be much more action at the top in the next release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings on 26 March, which will include results from the first event of the 2008 World Tour season, the Brazil Sailing Cup.

Women's Rankings

It's no surprise to see Claire LEROY (FRA) stay way ahead at the top of the Women's Rankings, as the women's circuit is yet to kick into gear in 2008. With no new women's events counting in this release, LEROY, the 2007 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of Year, maintains her massive points advantage and there are no changes in the rest of the world top ten. This leaves Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN (DEN) in the world #2 spot and Australia's Katie SPITHILL at #3.

Rita GONCALVES (POR) is the only major mover at the top of the Rankings, moving up four places to equal her best-ever Ranking of #19. A little further back, Italy's Lorenza MARIANI also gains four places to #25 after finishing second at the open ISAF Grade 4 Match Race 2007 in Italy.

The big question at the start of 2008 is can anyone topple LEROY from the world #1 spot? It's a position she's held now for almost two calendar years (since 4 May 2005). Although her points' advantage has fallen from its high point, it's still around the 300 mark and currently the French skipper looks almost certain of lining up in Auckland to defend her title at the 2008 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship this April as the world #1 skipper.

Before the Worlds arrive, the 2008 women's circuit gets up and running in Great Britain in February, with the ISAF Grade 2 RYA Women's Winter Challenge. The Brasil Women's Cup, schedule for the middle of March, is the first ISAF Grade 1 event of the year and will be included in the next release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings on 26 March.

ISAF World Match Race Rankings - www.sailing.org/mrrankings
Open Rankings - www.sailing.org/mrorankings
Women's Rankings - www.sailing.org/mrwrankings
ISAF Events & World Rankings homepage - www.sailing.org/events
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