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26 June 2003, 02:47 pm
Latest Rankings - Movers and Shakers
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Malin Millbourn (SWE)

ISAF World Match Race Rankings

The latest ISAF World Match Race Rankings are released today following a number of ISAF Grade 1 and 2 events as well as the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship.
This release reflects the results of the ISAF Women's World Match Racing Championship, an event that saw the best female skippers in the world do battle on the waters of Sundsvall, Sweden. In terms of rankings, the results of the World Championship have seen little actual movement at the top, but some interesting changes a little further down.

The Open Match Racing World Rankings provide a useful guide as to who will be receiving invitations to the ISAF World Match Racing Championship, in Riva del Garda, Italy from 24-31 August 2003, following the next rankings release on 8 July. The proximity of these releases leads us to make a good guess as to the final skippers line-up in Riva del Garda.

Open Rankings

Karol JABLONSKI, the seemingly undefeatable Pole, has been watching his hold on the rankings slip slowly over the last few months, and today's release will see him holding his breath in anticipation of defending his World Championship title. Less than 1000 points separate the top 5 and there are some familiar names returning to the foray.

Veteran Ed BAIRD (USA), the new voice of the America's Cup commentary, has stopped talking and started doing, and as a result jumps from 13 to fifth in the world, proving experience matters when it comes to one-on-one racing.

From one end of the spectrum to the other, and although only 24 years old but with two America's Cup skippers jobs under his belt, Australian James SPITHILL has battered his way into not only the top ten, but the top five. Following a victory at the ISAF Grade 1 Cento Cup and the ISAF Grade 2 Nations Cup, James is a sure thing for an invite to the ISAF Worlds, and not a long shot for the title himself. A good job really as James would never make it as a mathematician - only a few days ago he thought he had no chance of getting an invite to Italy!

Winning the ACI HT Mobile Cup last month, Jesper RADICH (DEN) has leapfrogged fellow Dane Jes GRAM-HANSEN into second place, and now challenges JABLONSKI for the top spot. Meanwhile, Mikael LINDQVIST (SWE) has had a quiet few months and as a result drops from fourth to seventh position, but is still in the running and possibly a dark horse for the Worlds?

The biggest jump into the world's top twenty is reserved for Magnus HOLMBERG (SWE). Having spent much of 2002 in the top five, he took time off to sail in the America's Cup but is now back with a vengeance. A first, second and third in the ISAF Graded Trofeo Locman, Nations Cup and ACI HT Mobile Cup respectively have seen him amass a phenomenal 4847 points to pop in just below the 10000 point mark behind Ed BAIRD.

With the return of such big names, there are bound to be some disappointments as people drop out of the top ten. Three skippers still fighting for an invitation to Italy, include the young Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), who at the last count looked pretty good for a World's spot, but now has it all to do.

Top Ten

Pos. Skipper Nation Events Prev. Points
1 Karol JABLONSKI POLAND 8 1 11087
2 Jesper RADICH DENMARK 8 3 11002
4 James SPITHILL USA 8 15 10528
5 Ed BAIRD USA 8 13 10100
6 Magnus HOLMBERG SWEDEN 8 22 9646
7 Mikael LINDQVIST SWEDEN 8 4 9169
8 Bjorn HANSEN SWEDEN 8 6 9035
9 Mathieu RICHARD FRANCE 8 8 8958
10 Staffan LINDBERG FINLAND 8 7 8902

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(Click on the chart to view a larger version)

Women's Rankings

The ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship has just finished in Sweden and was classed as a fantastic event by all that attended. It was won by Malin MILLBOURN (SWE), who as a result has jumped from third to second and now challenges the dominance of Marie BJORLING, her countryman who still resides nearly 600 points ahead.

Marie FAURE (FRA) drops from second to fourth following what must be a disappointing seventh place for her at the World Championship, her lowest position since October last year, when she resided in fifth briefly. However, based on past performance I am convinced that she will bounce back to challenge the dominance of the Scandinavian skippers before too long.

Liz BAYLIS (USA), the 2002 ISAF Women's Match Racing Champion and recent winner of the ISAF Grade 1 Boat US Santa Maria Cup did enough finishing fourth at this year's World Championship to jump from 13 in the rankings to sixth, reaffirming herself as a force to be reckoned with on the women's tour. Having only contested seven graded events over the last 2 years, she must count all of these and as a result will improve once there are more scores on the board.

James SPITHILL's sister Katie currently rounds off what must be the most successful family in match racing. Currently Australia's number one and ranked 13 on the ISAF World Rankings, she is firmly embedded in the top twenty in the world and great things are expected of her.

Top Ten

Pos. Skipper Nation Events Prev. Points
1 Marie BJORLING SWEDEN 8 1 10112
2 Malin MILLBOURN SWEDEN 8 3 9571
4 Marie FAURE FRANCE 7 2 8132
6 Liz BAYLIS USA 7 13 7692
7 Giulia CONTI ITALY 8 4 7410
8 Betsy ALLISON USA 5 6 6684
10 Sabrina GURIOLI ITALY 8 8 6023

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(Click on the chart to view a larger version)

The next ranking release is scheduled for 8 July 2003, to confirm those skippers who will be invited to the 2003 ISAF Match Racing World Championships.

Subscribe to receive the Rankings
You can now receive the ISAF World Match Rankings direct to your inbox on the day of release via ISAF Sailor. Go to ISAF Sailor and click on Email Services on the left hand menu. You can then click to receive either the top 20 of the Open and Women's rankings or the top 200 of each one separately.

If you are not already registered as an ISAF Sailor then complete the straightforward registration process.

ISAF welcomes reproduction of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, with due credit to ISAF.
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