Faustine MERRET has taken the Mistral class by storm over the last twelve months and has not finished off the podium at any of the ISAF Graded Events she has entered. In September 2003, Faustine won the bronze medal at the ISAF World Championship and stood at number 20 on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings.
She matched her bronze medal in 2003 at the 2004 Mistral World Championship in April 2004 and then pulled out all the stops in one of the most tightly contested fleets to claim the gold medal in the windsurfer women event at the 2004 Olympic Sailing Competition. In doing so, Faustine became the first French woman to win an Olympic sailing medal.
Faustine won two of the three ISAF Grade 1 events she entered during the nomination period. This catalogue of successes also propelled her up the ISAF World Sailing Rankings to claim the top spot in June 2004.
ISAF World Sailing Ranking at the end of the nomination period (3 August 2004) - 1
Current ISAF World Sailing Ranking (2 September 2004) - 1
1st - Olympic Sailing Competition, Grade W - August 2004
3rd - Mistral European Championship, Grade 1 - June 2004
1st - SPA Regatta, Grade 1 - May 2004
3rd - Mistral World Championship, Grade W - April 2004
2nd - Athens Eurolymp, Grade 2 - February 2004
1st - Sail Melbourne Olympic and Invited Classes Regatta, Grade 1 - January 2004
3rd - ISAF World Championship, Grade W - September 2003
||Faustine MERRET (FRA)
|Date of Birth
||Faustine MERRET (FRA)
|Place of Birth
|ISAF Sailor ID
|Age started sailing
|First boat sailed
|Age started racing
|First boat raced
||Tiga Aloha Windsurfer
|What inspired you to take up sailing?
||Water sport and practice with a friend
|How did you buy your first boat?
||My father won it in a running competition
|Which was your first sailing club?
||Crocodiles de l'Elorn
|First Event competed in and Year
||Tiga Aloha in 1993
|First Event won and Year
||Tiga Aloha Youth Worlds in 1993
||Managed to prepare an Olympic campaign in the same time as keeping in touch with studies. Building an Olympic campaign in four years: look after the best persons to work with, always looking in the way of progress, accept all the sacrifices you have to do, the choices you have made, try not to let place for any doubts. And realise that it was the way to achieve the best result you could imagine - winning the gold medal.
|Detail the personal highlights of your sailing career to date
||Missing the trials in 2000 by nothing accentuated my determinationfor Athens 2004. Staying in the top 3 of the World Championship since 1998 helped build my self-confidence. Winning the trials for Athens at the Worlds in April freed myself from any complex of winning a race.
|What are your future sailing aspirations?
||Build another Olympic campaign for 2008.
|Briefly state what sailing means to you
||A useful skill for your life.
|Who has had the greatest impact or inspiration in your sailing career and why?
||My mother - after she disappear, she gave me the mental determination.
|What other sports do you participate in outside of sailing?
||Mountain biking, athletics, roller skating and surfing
|Who do you consider to be the greatest sailor in the World and why?
||Alessandra SENSINI for giving all these years at the top level for windsurf
|Briefly state what being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award 2004 means to you
||It's good that windsurfing is represented at the ISAF World Sailor this year again.
|If voted as the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2004, briefly say what will this mean to you?
||Second time windsurfing had a winner after Lee Lai SHAN. I would be proud to be nominated and appeard in the short list of such important people in the world of sailing.