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Claire LEROY (FRA)

LeroyClaire LEROY has been competing on the ISAF Graded match racing circuit for more than five years, and her results in 2004/2005 illustrate that she has progressed to the very top of the game. Claire has won four of the eight ISAF Graded women's events she has entered and has only twice not made the final. Her results saw her reach the top spot of the ISAF Women's World Match Race Rankings in May 2005 and she has held firm in pole position since.

She can also be found racing on the open circuit and is no stranger to victory there either, ranked at 96 and with the accolade of being the highest ranked female skipper on the Open Rankings.

ISAF Women's World Match Race Ranking at the end of the nomination period (24 August 2005) - 1

ISAF Open World Match Race Ranking at the end of the nomination period (24 August 2005) - 96

Claire LEROY (FRA) ISAF 2005 Rankings

7th - Bermuda Women's International Match Race Championship, October 2004 - ISAF Grade 1 (Women)
1st - Rolex Osprey Cup, October 2004 - ISAF Grade 1 (Women)
7th - Championnat de France Espoirs de Match Race, November 2004 - ISAF Grade 3 (Open)
1st - Selective de Ligue St Quay, January 2005 - ISAF Grade 4 (Open)
2nd - Finale de Zone Manche St Quay, February 2005 - ISAF Grade 4 (Open)
1st - JPMorgan Fleming Women's Challenge, February 2005 - ISAF Grade 3 (Women)
10th - JPMorgan Fleming Winter Challenge Final, March 2005 - ISAF Grade 2 (Open)
11th - Championnat de France de Match Racing 2005, March 2005 - ISAF Grade 3 (Open)
6th - April in Antibes, April 2005 - ISAF Grade 3 (Open)
1st - Spring Cup in Quay, April 2005 - ISAF Grade 3 (Women)
2nd - International Women Match Race Criterium, April 2005 - ISAF Grade 1 (Women)
2nd - BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup, June 2005 - ISAF Grade 1 (Women)
1st - Women's Antibes Cup, June 2005 - ISAF Grade 2 (Women)
3rd - Swedish Match Cup, July 2005 - ISAF Grade 1 (Women)

Name: Claire LEROY (FRA)
Place of Birth: Nantes, FRA
Date of Birth: 29289
Profession: Consultant - Marketing/Operations Management
What inspired you to take up sailing? In my family, we have been sailors for many generations. For my father, my grandfather and my great grandfather sailing has always been a passion. Our family comes from the northern coast of Brittany and we've always had sailboats and sailors in our family. I discovered the pleasure of sailing before I could even walk. Our family vacations and our family reunions all revolved around sailing. I spent many days with my cousins learning to sail and to play with the elements that have always been the backdrop of my life…the wind and the ocean. Competitive sailing came much later, around the age of 10.
What was the first boat you sailed? It was called l'Equipe or 'the team' in English at the age of 10
How did you buy your first boat and what was it? My parents bought it. It was a double-handed dinghy
Name your first sailing club: Sailing School of Port Blanc in Brittany, France
What was the first event you competed in? Grand Prix de l'Armistice, Maubuisson, France in 1990
What was the first event you won? Grand Prix de l'Armistice, Maubuisson, France in 1990
What are the main achievements/personal highlights of your sailing career? The last two seasons of match racing because they allowed us to create a team that is stable and motivated by the high level of competition, high technical and human capacities and because they allowed us to make great strides towards our objectives for the coming years.
What are you future sailing goals? The ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship in 2005

Build a viable project to participate in open sea yacht racing
What does sailing mean to you? The pleasure of being at sea. The enjoyment of competition and the delight of victory. The sensation of strength and serenity that comes with being in a highly motivated team, united in a common desire to win and to reach our goals.
Who has had the greatest impact on your sailing career and why? Two people have played and continue to play important roles in my sporting career.

My father. He has always been a sailing enthusiast. Thanks to him, I started sailing as a child. We sailed often as a brother, my mother, all of my family. With his help, I have been able to sail under the best conditions and with good logistic support and boat.

Laurent BRÉGEON: the director of the Training Centre of Saint Quay Portrieux. He is an excellent coach, who has dedicated his life to finding and training young talented Bretons. With his help, I have been able to participate in international sailboat racing.

I would also like to thank Mr Marc BOUET, the French national coach, who gave me the confidence in my ability to compete in high level competitions and who has both encouraged me and given me precious advice.
Who is your sailing hero? Peter BLAKE: For me, he is a truly great leader, a charismatic skipper, who respects his team members and through a combination of enthusiasm and rigor, brings together the combined talents of his team to win.

He is a great sailor and more important, a great manager that is always accessible for his team. He is for me the model of sports management...he wins by making all of his team members and partners winners.
What other sports do you enjoy? Volleyball - a collective sport in which in order to win, the captain of the team must combine the talents and energies of all his players, give them the desire to do their best and push them to the limits of their potential. It is a team sport where solidarity, humility and personal abnegation are the keys to victory and everyone contributes to winning the match by focusing and transmitting as best as they can the ball.
What does being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2005 mean to you? I am, at the same time, pleasantly surprised and very proud to have been chosen. It is an honour for me and for my team to participate in the 2005 Awards and be recognized by the elite of our sport.

It means that all the work that we have done to build this team over the years has been fruitful.

It is a recognition of the work and values that has allowed us to build lasting relationships based on loyalty and trust with our partners, our trainers and our sponsors the French Federation …and of course within the team.

It is also recognition of a value which I follow : respect.

Respect for one's team mates, one's partners, and one's obligations. It is also means respect for the accomplishments of women and their ability to construct projects with the same professionalism as men at a high level of competition of sailing.
If you were voted as the winner, what would this mean to you? It would reward the high level of performance that my team and I have achieved over the years. It would also be a great reward for the pleasure and complicity that our team has shared since we began sailing together.

It would be an honour for my country, for the French Federation and for my club.

I would also be very proud to have been chosen among and by the best of the sailing world.

It would represent for our future projects a good foundation for our ambitions and a strong signal of our determination to obtain our objectives. It would communicate to our present and future partners our current level of professionalism and our desire to maintain the high level of professionalism necessary for our success.

Winning the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2005, would honour our performance and our team. It would be an important step towards creating a real opportunity to communicate to others our desire to pursue our projects in match racing and in open sea yacht racing.
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