As the ISAF Grade 1, Swedish Match Cup in Marstrand draws to a close there are one or two skippers for whom a good result may mean more than just prize money.
Three skippers in with a real chance of winning the event are currently lying in precarious world ranking positions just outside the invitation list for the ISAF Match Racing World Championship. The current ISAF graded event is their last chance.
For Italian skipper Paulo CIAN, and Swedish skippers Johnie BERNTSSON and Mattias RAHM, the difference between winning and second could mean the difference between an automatic entry when the new world rankings come out next Wednesday, and an agonising wait on the reserve list.
Cian, currently in 12 on the rankings, will qualify for an invitation if he finishes better than third in Sweden, and set himself up quite nicely going into today's matches - a 3/4 win/loss record saw him facing Peter GILMOUR (USA) in the face off for the quarter-final positions. Alas, this year isn't his, a 3-0 loss seeing Cian out of the competition.
To be in with a chance of qualifying for the World Championship, both Johnie BERNTSSON and Mattias RAHM need to win in Sweden in order to push them into the top ten in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings. RAHM can do no wrong at the moment, currently mastering the conditions, boats and his opponents to storm directly into the last eight, along with the only other direct qualifier for the quarter final, the on fire James SPITHILL (AUS). However, that may not be enough as it will depend on where others finish as to whether he jumps into the top ten or not.
BERNTSSON is currently facing defending World Champion Karol JABLONSKI (POL) in the knockout stages and as we go to press it is 2 races apiece in this best of five match.
ISAF will bring you the latest on World Championship qualifiers and the Swedish Match Cup on the ISAF Website over the weekend.
Full and latest results are on the event website at the address below.