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19 November 2003, 11:12 am
Latest Rankings Released
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Malin MILLBOURN (SWE)

ISAF World Match Race Rankings

The delayed rankings released on 31 October 2003 are now available on the ISAF website and include, both for the Open and Women's rankings, the King Edward VII Gold Cup, held in Bermuda, in the calculated skippers points.
This ISAF Grade One event, held between 18-26 October in Hamilton harbour, is one of the top grade events to include a qualifying event immediately prior to the actual event, encouraging many unseeded skippers to travel to the event and have a chance at immediately competing against some of the world's best invited teams, for the coveted prize of the King Edward VII Gold Cup.

This year the lucky six to proceed to the final rounds were Kiwi Cameron DUNN (NZL), Staffan LINDBERG (FIN), Ed BAIRD (USA), Peter BROMBY (BER) and Bill HARDESTY (USA). With this progression, each skipper had the enviable chance to pick up valuable ranking points.

In the Women's event, the Grade One Bermuda International Women's Match Racing Championship, the top two would progress to the First round of the Bermuda Gold Cup, and with a 3-2 victory over Jenny AXHEDE (SWE), Paula LEWIN (BER), ensured local talent was well represented. Both went through to the Open event.

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To see details of Olympic sailors and Match Race skippers, or to upload your own profile, be sure to visit ISAF Sailor by following the link above.

Open

Despite losing the ISAF World Match Racing Championship title, Karol JABLONSKI (POL) still retains his position at the front of the rankings with a superb run of consistent form. Behind him however, the resurgent Ed BAIRD (USA), recently crowned World Champion, has popped into second position in the rankings, swapping his previous third place with Danish skipper Jesper RADICH.

Baird's jump into second comes after a fantastic year so far following the culmination of the America's Cup in February. Only getting back onto the scene after being the television voice for the cup, Baird has put in top three finishes in the Trofeo Locman, Match Race Germany and the Cento cup. This, added to winning the 2003 ISAF Match Racing World Championship, sees Baird with his eyes firmly on Jablonski's top spot.

The movers are not limited to the top of the rankings. The nature of the Bermuda Gold Cup has given rise to some big jumps up the rankings. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN) got to the last 14 on Hamilton harbour by finishing in the top six in the qualifier. He eventually finished ninth in the final stages, and his phenomenal amount of results have given him a bunny hop up to sixth from 14 overall.

But by far the largest leap of the period is that of Peter GILMOUR (USA), who is currently lining up to compete in the ISAF Grade One Nippon Cup, which starts over the next couple of days in Japan. After his victory in the Bermuda Gold Cup Gilmour, like many America's Cup skippers, has returned to the tour, and has as a result sailed around, won some events, and seen his ranking jump this time from 52 to 28. This is a jump of exactly 100 places on his position in June 2003.

The next event on the open tour is the Nippon Cup, which starts in a couple of days in Japan.

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Women

Not much change at the top of the Women's rankings as Marie BJORLING (SWE) still leads fellow countrywoman, ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year nominee, and ISAF Women's Match Racing World Champion Malin MILLBOURN.

One big mover into the top twenty, following her creditable second place finish at the ISAF Grade One, Bermuda International Women's Match Racing Championship is Swedish skipper Jenny AXHEDE. Jenny, who usually trims and occasionally helms for the hugely successful Panorama Sailing Team that includes World Number One Marie BJORLING, is now gaining respect as a skipper in her own right after taking over the job for Bermuda.

Jenny's other results include a fourth at the Trentino Match Race, and a second in the Scandinavian Championship, and as her number of events build up she will no doubt challenge her role of understudy to the World number one.

Paula LEWIN is ranked both in the Women's Match Racing and the Keelboat Women's Rankings and her position in the match racing rankings is rapidly catching up with her current sixth in the Yngling. The victory she scored at the Bermuda International Women's Match Racing Championship certainly did her no harm at all and she has jumped from 17 to 11 in the rankings.

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The next rankings will be released on 27 November for both the Open and Women's tour.

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To see details of Olympic sailors and Match Race skippers, or to upload your own profile, be sure to visit ISAF Sailor by following the link above.
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