Mathieu RICHARD (FRA) remains at the top of the tree for the fifth consecutive release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings. Ian WILLIAMS (GBR) remains at #2, picking up another win at the ISAF Grade 3 GKSS Icebreaker. The defeated finalist in Sweden was Mattias RAHM (SWE) who subsequently takes a giant stride back up the rankings, climbing from #253 up to # 156. Geared up for the Tour opener in Brazil, RAHM, whose lifetime best ranking position is #10, can be expected to soon be back in the top ranks before too long.
The only ISAF Grade 1 event to take place in this ranking period was the V Open de Espana and it was Paolo CIAN (ITA) who picked up the victory in Calpe. CIAN remains at #3 and goes to Brazil a strong contender.
The rest of the top 20 skippers are also unchanged due to the small number of top level events that have taken place since the previous ranking on 26 March.
The ISAF Grade 3 Championnat de France Open de Match Racing was won by Alexis Alexis LITTOZ BARITEL (FRA) and his ranking position subsequently improves by 16 places as he climbs to #31, a lifetime best. The defeated finalist in Pornichet was Christian PONTHIEU (FRA) and he also takes strides up the rankings, 14 places up to #35.
As the 2008 Match Racing season gets warmed up there are early signs of the return to the circuit of stars from the America's Cup, such as Bertrand PACE (FRA), from BMW Oracle Racing. Seventh place at the V Open de Espana sees the previous #1 ranked skipper take a giant leap up the rankings from 149 up to 95.
New events included in this Ranking release:
Grade WC - ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship, NZL
Grade 3 - Rolex Women's Match, USA
Grade 3 - Marinassess Women's Match Racing Regatta, AUS
Grade 3 - Spring Cup in St Quay, FRA
Grade 4 - Sichtung DSV
Grade 4 - Selez Campionato Nazionale Femminile, ITA
Claire LEROY (FRA) just gets stronger, another World Championship title and another Ranking release at the #1 spot she makes it 23 consecutive releases and extends her lead over world #2 Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN (DEN) to nearly 700 points.
MELDGAARD PEDERSEN remains in the #2 position with Katie SPITHILL (AUS) at #3. The experienced Danish skipper has three World Championship medals to her name but was not quite on form in Auckland finishing in tenth place whilst SPHITHILL came in fifth.
Competing at her first ever Match Racing World Championship, it was a talented young Finnish sailor who also was also making the headlines. Silja LEHTINEN. , a versatile sailor with a 29er world championship title to her name and a 2008 Beijing Olympics contender in the Yngling, was leading after the first two days of racing. Defeated in the semi-finals by the experienced Elizabeth BAYLIS (USA), LEHTINEN despatched Josephine GIBSON(GBR) in the petit-final and picked up the bronze medal. Today, she can celebrate again as she moves up four places in the rankings to a lifetime best at #4. The silver medallist in Auckland was Liz BAYLIS and she too makes a move up the rankings, just behind LEHTINEN at #5, a climb of six places.
The venue of the 2007 Women's Worlds was the host for the Spring Cup in St Quay, an ISAF Grade 3 event which was won by Julie BOSSARD (FRA) and she climbs four places to a lifetime best position of #18.
There are several new entries to the women's rankings but the highest is Celine LIORZOU (FRA) who finished first at the ISAF Grade 3 Spring Cup in St Quay.
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