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16 May 2003, 04:33 pm
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2003 ISAF Womens Match Racing World Championship

Being held in the Scandinavian match racing mecca of Sundsvall, in Sweden this premier event, running from 17-21 June will see 12 of the best women match racing skippers compete for the ultimate prize.
The event will be sailed in provided J/80 keelboats, the boat used as the men's keelboat for the ISAF World Sailing Games in Marseille last year, invitations were sent out to potential competitors following the release of the ISAF Women's World Match Race Rankings on 20 February.

All of the top five skippers accepted their invitations, which has developed an entry list that includes the likes of Nina BRAESTRUP (DEN), runner up in the recent ISAF Grade 1 Criterium Match Race in Calpe, Spain., and ranked fifth on the rankings. Also present will be both of the Swedish pair that top the latest rankings, Marie BJORLING and Malin MILLBOURN, who following a fantastic win in Calpe, will be hoping to add the title of World Champion to her quiver of top results.

Liz BAYLIS (USA), ranked eighth 2002 World Champion will be returning to defend the title she won in a thrilling final with Marie BJORLING, which the American eventually won 2-1. Baylis makes up half of a pair of skippers from USA, which includes Betsy ALISON, ranked ninth, and the 2002 US National Champion. That win in the US Nationals did wonders to garauntee her invitation to the worlds, launching her four places up the rankings as a direct result, all in the nick of time.

Betsy is one of a handful of top match racing skippers who also actively campaign the women's Olympic keelboat, the Yngling, and at the last ISAF World Sailing Rankings, was leading the fleet by 140 points.

Linda Rahm (SWE) takes the home wildcard entry and ranked 17 in the world, is no stranger to top class events.

All in all, when battle commences in Sweden on 17 June, with no clear favourite looming, it will be one of the closest fought events of the year, any one of the sailors at this year's worlds could come away with the World Championship title.
ISAF News Editor
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