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Sailing - 22. September 2008.

ISAF World Match Race Rankings

Wednesday 17 September 2008

Claire Leroy (FRA) continues to look formidable at the top of the Women's Rankings, with nobody looking set to challenge the world #1 standing of the French skipper for some time yet. In contrast, Mathieu Richard (FRA) leads the Open Rankings by a very narrow margin, with Ian Williams (GBR), the reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion, snapping at his heels.

The focus of the match racing world is set to shift to a national perspective over the coming weeks, with the first of the Regional Finals for the ISAF Nations Cup. The action begins with the start of the Europe 1 Regional Final in Brindisi, Italy tomorrow, shortly followed by the Oceania Regional Final, starting in Auckland next week.

The next release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings will be on 29 October 2008.

Open Rankings

New events included in this Ranking release:

Grade W - St Moritz Match Race, SUI
Grade W - Danish Open, DEN
Grade 1 - Eurosaf European Match Race Championship Yava Trophy, RUS
Grade 1 - Internationaux de France de Match Racing, FRA
Grade 2 - WASA Match, FIN
Grade 2 - Knickerbocker Cup, USA
For ISAF Grade 3-5 events included see www.sailing.org/regattasearch

Women's Rankings

New events included in this Ranking release:

Grade 1 - Eurosaf European Women's Match Racing Championship, FRA
Grade 1 - Trentino Women's Match Race, ITA
Grade 1 - Lysekil Women's Match, SWE
Grade 3 - German Championship Women's Match Race, GER
Grade 3 - US Women's Match Racing Championship, USA
Grade 3 - Damen Match Race, GER
Grade 4 - Northern Lights Cup, USA

Claire Leroy (FRA) stays top in the Women's ISAF World Match Race Rankings, but behind her there are some major changes in the world top 10. LEROY lost out to world #9 Linda Rahm (SWE) in the final of the ISAF Grade 1 Lysekil Women's Match - contested at the venue at which she will defend her ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship title at next July - but nevertheless remains well clear of the chasing pack in the Rankings.

Behind the French skipper, Germany's Silke Hahlbrock replaces Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen (DEN) in the world #2 slot which the Dane had held since October 2006. Whilst Hahlbrock was not at her best with a sixth place finish at the recent Europeans, the runners up spot she secured at the ISAF Grade 1 Trentino Women's Match helps her achieve a career-best Ranking. Meldgaard Pedersen drops back one place to #3, with Liz Baylis (USA), third at the recent US Women's Match Racing Championship, unchanged at #4. Australia's Katie Spithill moves up one place in this release to complete the world top five.

The biggest mover at the top is Italy's Sabrina Gurioli who climbs up six places to a best-ever Ranking of #6. A third place finish at Trentino followed by a silver medal performance at the Europeans mark out the Italian as one of the form skippers on the circuit.

Lucy Macgregor (GBR), the newly crowned Eurosaf European Champion also makes big gains this month. After a spell with Shirley Robertson's (GBR) Yngling team in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt at gaining selection for the British squad for the Beijing Olympic Games, Macgregor is back on the match racing circuit where she first made her name. Her impressive victory in France helps the young British skipper gain nine places in this release up to a career-best Ranking of #12. Like MACGREGOR, Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA) has also shifted her attentions from the Yngling to match racing. After securing semi-final spots at both Trentino and the Europeans she climbs up from #32 to #16 to the latest Rankings.

Another fleet racer to successfully turn her hand to match racing is American Anna Tunnicliffe. Following her gold medal success in the Laser Radial dinghy at the Beijing Olympic Games, Tunnicliffe beat off strong competition in Rochester to win the US Women's Match Racing Championship. That victory lifts her up seven places in this Ranking release to #43.

ISAF World Match Race Rankings - www.sailing.org/mrrankings

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