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12 September 2003, 07:56 am
Movers and Shakers
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ISAF World Sailing Rankings

This is the last ISAF World Sailing Rankings to be released before the epic ISAF World Championships start here in Cadiz tomorrow. Many sailors are into their final preparations for the event and will take little notice of any big movement at this stage.
As well as our recent series on runners and riders, this release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings provides a perfect guide as to who is where in the world at this moment. Who is coming on form, stable at the top or consolidating a position will be apparent from any big movements.

Most of the World's top ranked sailors are now in or around the Bay of Cadiz, and we await their performances in this latest test of their competitive ability on the world stage in the build up to Athens 2004.

Windsurfer Men - Mistral

Maxim OBEREMKO from the Ukraine continues to lead the field ahead of Jon-Paul TOBIN (NZL). Both tipped for the top they have made and consolidated their position at the top since last year's Mistral World Championship, held less than 8 months ago in Pattaya, Thailand.

In those championships they finished the other way around to their current world ranking, and down in 13 and 14 place. Those world's were won by Gal FRIDMAN (ISR), who since the last ranking release has dropped from third to 7. He has appeared, like many of the world's best sailors, to have turned his attention to venue acclimatisation against physical competition as his build up to this event, and this is reflected in the rankings.

Another drop in the rankings is the position of former Olympic and World Champion Nikos KAKLAMANAKIS (GRE). Traditionally, he tends to work hard at particular venues and as such has spent a considerable time training in Athens. This paid off recently with his total dominance of the tricky conditions at the Athens Regatta 2003, which he won easily. Nevertheless he now lies in 15 in the rankings, dropping 8 places from the last release.

Dom TIDEY (GBR), with a solid season so far, is proving himself at the top and now moves into third place in the rankings for Great Britain, whilst Joao RODRIGUES (POR)is another big mover, up 6 places to sixth overall.

Two recent additions to the top twenty are Samuel LAUNAY (FRA), who pops up from 21 to 19, and adds to the other four French windsurfers in the top twenty, and Michael LANCEY (AUS) into 20 position.

Windsurfer Women - Mistral

Because of the formula with which the ISAF World Sailing Rankings are worked out, some sailors can find that all of a sudden their best results, which have often resulted in meteoric rises in ranking position, drop out of inclusion. This can be because of the two-year rolling timescale meaning that an athlete may be counting a minimal number of events, or one event result can be superseded by another result. Take Faustine MERRET (FRA) as an example. An often featured top five ranking sailor, and with a third place finish in last year's Worlds still counting, she has dropped from fourth to twentieth. Amelie LUX (GER) is almost an even bigger surprise, a seventh place at last year's Worlds, she has resided in second place for a period of time and has now, in this latest ranking release, dropped out of the top twenty and lies in 23 place overall.

Both will be featuring at the World Championships in Cadiz, and will be definite contenders, no doubt looking for an opportunity to boost their ranking position over the coming two weeks.

Lise VIDAL (FRA)
continues to lead from another British Windsurfer, Bryony SHAW, who has been steadily climbing the rankings whilst fellow team mate Natasha STURGES, has dropped from seventh to 13.

Alison SHREEVE (AUS) represents the highest placed sailor from the southern hemisphere and rises seven places in the rankings up to seventh overall. There are now eight nations represented in the top ten in the World, with only France and Poland being represented twice.

Single-handed Dinghy Women - Europe

Not a vast change in the rankings for this release, although the top two have done a little swapping manoeuvre. It is tight at the top but going into the World Championship for 2003, Sari MULTALA (FIN) has popped up ahead of Siren SUNDBY (NOR) in the calculations this time around. The pair are always close and it will be interesting to see who has the edge here in Cadiz.

One of the big movers in today's release is the only new entry into the top twenty in the world. Tatiana DROZDOVSKAJA (BLR) is now returning to somewhere near where she was in April 2002 at 14. This is a trend we may see in the coming months over all the classes as sailors begin their final countdown to the Olympic Games in Athens.

Single-handed Dinghy Open - Laser

The Laser fleet has the most number of graded regattas included in their rankings at this release. Much of these events were either outside of Europe or ISAF Grade 3 events, which although are an important asset in the calculation of the worldwide rankings, tend not to produce the rollercoaster changes in the top twenty or forty.

As a result of this many of the changes experienced within the rankings have occurred because of the two-year rolling inclusion of events, with some athletes results dropping off the bottom and being replaced with results giving them fewer points.

That said Paul GOODISON (GBR) still leads the field with an amassed 4812 points, nearly 400 ahead of supreme Robert SCHEIDT (BRA). Both are present here in Cadiz and yet again, should produce some fantastic battles from Elcano.

There is some movement in and out of the top twenty. Since 30 April last year Tom SLINGSBY (AUS) has risen steadily up the rankings and now holds his highest position in the world's best at 20.

Double-handed Dinghy Men - 470

With only the Saronikus Gulf Regatta counting towards this rankings release there is but one minor change in the top twenty with Johan MOLUND and Martin ANDERSSEN (SWE) replacing the Portuguese pair of Alvaro MARINHO and Miguel NUNES in third position, the latter pair having dropped to fourth.

So Andreas KOSMATOPOLOUS and Kostas TRIGONIS still hold a slim lead from Australians Nathan WILMOT and Malcolm PAGE. How will that change over the next two weeks? We shall have to wait and see.

Double-handed Dinghy Women - 470

Again a similar story to the men, with the entire top ten of this fleet remaining as it was at the last ranking release. Natalia VIA DUFRESNE and Sandra AZON (ESP) leading from Stefanie ROTHWEILER and Monika LEU (GER).

All is to play for at this event and we will see how the top ranked sailors get on in the big fleets of Rota.

Double-handed Dinghy Open - 49er

Very little change in the top twenty in this fleet as, along the same lines as other classes, only the Saronikos Gulf Regatta has counted in the rankings.

The fleet is led by Rodion LUKA and George LEONCHUK (UKR) still lead the rankings from the top British pairing of Chris DRAPER and Simon HISCOCKS. The British pair have spent much of their year training in the Bay of Cadiz and as such are looking forward to the challenge of the World Championships.

On form sailors, the Sibello brothers from Italy are in tenth position and local Spanish sailors and Ex. World no 1 Iker MARTINEZ and Xavier FERNANDEZ are in third, just behind Draper and Hiscocks.

Single-handed Dinghy Men - Finn

There is no change in the Finn top twenty this month and Sebastian GODEFROID (BEL) still leads the charge from Mateusz KUSNIEREWICZ (POL) and winner of the Athens Regatta 2003 Ben AINSLIE (GBR).

The forthcoming ISAF World Championship could well see some big changes in the rankings as the on-form sailors develop their form and the newbies or late chargers come through. Now is beginning a crucial period for those aspiring to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and we wait and see who will lead the fight.

Multihull Open - Tornado

Again with few graded results popping into the ranking positions there are only a small number of changes amongst the top sailors. Xavier REVIL and Laurent GUILLEMETTE (FRA) still lead the charge from Hugh STYLES and Adam MAY (GBR).

Mitch BOOTH with his Dutch Nationality and Herbert DERCKSSON have moved slightly ahead of Santiago LANGE and Carlos ESPINOLA (ARG) after they were tied in the last rankings.

Keelboat Women - Yngling

Betsy ALISON and her crew of Suzy LEECH and Lee ICYDA are steadily having their dominant lead in the rankings reduced by the chasing pack. Ulrike SCHUEMANN (GER), Winnie LIPPERT and Wibke BUELL are steadily reeling her in.

Jody SWANSON (USA) and her crew have made the best gains in the top of the rankings, boosting their position from 15 to ninth after the latest set of calculations were done. Highlighting their momentary drop to fifteenth was purely a blip in the grand scheme of Olympic sailing.

There are no exits or entries into the top twenty as a whole, which goes to show that the general ranking of the fleet is starting to settle down as the crews develop themselves and their boats towards the ultimate goal of Olympic success.

Keelboat Men - Star

The Star fleet are generally a well travelled bunch with a vast number of big name, competitive sailors. Past Olympic Champions and America's Cup skippers and crews mix it up in a fleet that always provides a lot of drama.

It is no different in this release. The ISAF Grade 1 European Championship has just finished, and was won by a South American, none other than Torben GRAEL (BRA) himself.

But as has been said that ranking progression is a hard slog and single events rarely influence the overall top placings in the regatta, except for a World Championship graded event, such as Cadiz.

So Torben, including his result from Cascais last week, actually dropped two places to 20 on the rankings, but only has seven events to his credit. Once this has built up to eight or more, the rankings will start to pull up the best eight scores. What this means in essence, is that it is all about being consistent over a period, a good result here and no doubt Torben will be making an attendance in the top ten.

The rankings are still lead by Freddie LOOF, but a good result at the Europeans from Peter BROMBY (BER) saw one of his less good results dropped off the bottom, and saw him boosted to second overall.

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As a new feature for this and future ranking releases, ISAF is taking the top three positions in any release and giving three points for first, two for second and one for third. That gives us a table overall of the top performing nation on two counts.

First of all as above - by the most points and secondly, ignoring the position weighting, by the number of sailors in the top three.

Meanwhile, the next ranking release date will be 1 October, and will include the largest World Championship for Olympic Classes event held.

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The ISAF Rankings online application will allow you to search for sailors by ranking, nationality, class, range of rankings. You can also view the events that constitute a sailor's rankings and his/her rankings career history/progression. Go to www.sailing.org/rankings, select an event and then click on the sailor's name for his/her career history and the sailor's points for the events that constitute his/her ranking.

ISAF encourages the reproduction of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings - the Official Rankings for Olympic Classes with due credit to ISAF.

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