When the wind built on the final day of the Marseille International Match Race, the first ISAF Grade one event of 2003, the four teams in the final and petit final eventually took to the water at midday.
Organised by the Yacht Club Pointe Rouge in Marseille, 10 of the top ranked match racers in the world from 8 different countries competed in the first running of this event, with the recent America's Cup announcement adding to the excitement and competitive nature of this European hosted international competition.
Sailed in J80's, the men's keelboat class at the ISAF World Sailing Games in Marseille last year,
The final was fought out between no. 1 in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings Karol Jablonski (POL), and ISAF Men's Keelboat World champion, and recent addition to the K-Challenge America's Cup syndicate, Francois Brenac (FRA).
Brenac took the lead and held on to victory in the first race of the three race final, before being overtaken by Jablonski in the second to necessitate a third and final race. Jablonski demonstrated why he is the ISAF World ranked number one by taking the final race and with it the first grade one title of 2003.
The petite final was between ISAF World Ranked number 6 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) and Frenchman Phillippe Presti, member of Le Defi Areva in the 2002 Louis Vuitton Cup. It was eventually Phillippe Presti who took third place in the event.
1 - Karol JABLONSKI (POL)
2 - François BRENAC (FRA)
3 - Philippe PRESTI (FRA)
4 - Bjorn HANSEN (SWE)
5 - Mikael LINDQVIST (SWE)
6 -Andrew ARBUZOV (RUS)
7 - Jes GRAM HANSEN (DEN)
8 - Luc PILLOT (FRA)
9 - Lars NORDJBERG (DEN)
10 - Mathieu RICHARD (FRA)