Match racing heirarchy lines up

For World Championship at Riva del Garda

Wednesday July 9th 2003, Author: Alessandra Ghezzi, Location: Italy
The match racing event of the year, that will select the new world champion, is coming up.

With the publication of the latest ranking list, released yesterday by ISAF, the invitations have been sent out to the skippers who will fight for the world title in Riva del Garda on 24-30 August 2003.

Twelve skippers are included:
- the top nine skippers of the ISAF World Match Race Ranking list.
- the two finalists of the XXXI America's Cup (Russell Coutts and Dean Barker).
- the defending ISAF Match Racing World Champion (Karol Jablonski, Poland).

Defending world champion Karol Jablonski also leads the ranking list, therefore the invitation has been extended to the top ten skippers as follows:

1. Karol Jablonski, Poland
2. Jesper Radich, Denmark
3. Jes Gram-Hansen, Denmark
4. James Spithill, USA
5. Ed Baird, USA
6. Magnus Holmberg, Sweden
7. Bjorn Hansen, Sweden
8. Mathieu Richard, France
9. Paolo Cian, Italy
10. Staffan Lindberg, Finland

The Italian colours will be defended by Paolo Cian, skipper of the Mascalzone Latino team in the last America's Cup, who recently collaborated to the production of the new BLUSail 24 Sport, official one design boat chosen for the match racing worlds. An evolution of the existing BLUSail 24, the new Sport version features a very spacious cockpit to the advantage of the crew's manoeuvres, new deck gear and lay-out, reinforced bow and moveable bulb and keel to facilitate transport.

The event, organised by Fraglia Vela Riva in conjunction with the Italian Sailing Federation (FIV) and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), will run with a double round robin where all skippers sail each other twice, and a best-of-three semifinal, petit final and final.

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