Spain takes no1 spot
The top stars from the Olympic sailing world were out in force for event five of the 2008-09 ISAF Sailing World Cup at the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, with results having a major influence at the top of the new Rankings lists published today.
Rafa Trujillo (ESP) narrowly missed out on winning his first ISAF Sailing World Cup medal at Medemblik, but another top-five finish propels the consistent Spaniard up to the top of the pile in the latest Ranking release. It's the first time Trujillo has held the world #1 Ranking spot since May 2005 and helps lift Spain to the top of the national standings in this Ranking release, with two skippers in world #1 position and one at #3.
The other new Ranking leader comes as little surprise with Beijing Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison (GBR) returning to the top of the Laser Rankings. Goodison took a short break following his success in Qingdao last August, but has returned to the Laser fleet in sensational form, winning both of the World Cup events he has competed in at Hyeres and last week in Medemblik. In contrast, former world #1 Tom Slingsby (AUS) has struggled on his return from a disappointing Olympic Games. He finished way down in 59th place at Hyeres, bounced back with a dominating win at the ISAF Grade 2 Expert Olympic Garda, but struggled again at the Delta Lloyd Regatta, although his 13th place earned the Aussie his first World Cup points of the season.
Amongst the other Rankings leaders, May was a bumper month for Brazilian Star pairing Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada who scored wins at Garda and Medemblik along with a second place at the Star Eastern Hemisphere Championship held in Hyeres, France. Italian brothers and 49er pairing Pietro Sibello and Gianfranco Sibello have also enjoyed some top performances, winning at Garda and then picking up a silver medal at the Delta Lloyd Regatta. Men's 470 world #1 crew Sven Coster and Kalle Coster (NED) also put in a strong performance at Medemblik to earn a silver medal.
For the top Olympic sailors there is a new challenge in 2009, with the ISAF Sailing World Cup linking together seven of the world's premier events to form a new series. Points are awarded in Grand Prix-style to the top 20 at each event, with first overall scoring 20 points, second 19 points etc., down to 1 point for twentieth place. (In contrast the World Rankings are based over a 24-month period with a more complicated set of calculations involving the Grading of an event, the number of competitors taking part, the Ranking of those competitors etc.) After five of the seven World Cup events, US Laser Radial skipper and Beijing gold medallist Anna Tunnicliffe is the only sailor to hold the double honour of a world #1 Ranking and top position in the World Cup Standings.
World Ranking Leaders - 3 June 2009
Heavyweight Dinghy - Finn
Rafa Trujillo (ESP)
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Paul Goodison (GBR)
Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Sven Coster and Kalle Coster (NED)
Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Ingrid Petitjean and Nadège Douroux (FRA)
Skiff - 49er
Pietro Sibello and Gianfranco Sibello (ITA)
Men's Keelboat - Star
Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA)
Men's Windsurfer - RS:X
Julien Bontemps (FRA)
Women's Windsurfer - RS:X
Marina Alabau (ESP)
Movers and Shakers
The new Australian 470 crew of Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page made a return to the World Cup series at Medemblik with a strong sixth place finish helping them climb 16 places in this Ranking up to #24. In the Laser Rankings, Canadian David Wright makes similarly impressive gains after a top 10 finish at the fifth World Cup event, moving from #51 to #36.
In the Star Rankings, the new French pairing of Xavier Rohart and Pierre-Alexis Ponsot already have the lead in the World Cup Standings and also break into the top five of the Rankings this month, gaining five places up to #4. Ireland's Peter O'Leary and Tim Goodbody are even higher climbers, moving up from #18 to #9 after winning the Eastern Hemisphere Championship and then making the Medal Race at Medemblik.
Croatians Pavle Kostov and Petar Cupac, who lent their boat to the eventual gold medallists Jonas Warrer and Martin Kirketerp Ibsen (DEN) during the 49er Medal Race at the Beijing Olympic Games, have started their new Olympic campaign strongly. After finishing 11th at Hyeres they improved to seventh at Medemblik and gain three places in this Ranking to a best-ever position of #15.
Also scoring best-ever Ranking places are Zach Railey (USA) and Tapio Nirkko (FIN) in the Finn fleet. Both skippers impressed with top 10 finishes at Medemblik to move up four places to #6 and #7 respectively. Britain's Giles Scott is another Finn sailor on the rise. After winning in Palma earlier in the year he came within a whisker of another World Cup gold medal in Medemblik, just missing out in the Medal Race to team mate Ed Wright (GBR). Scott's performances this year have marked him out as a name to watch in the London 2012 campaign and he climbs up seven places in this Ranking to a career best of #17.
Tatiana Drozdovskaya of Belarus is another sailor to achieve a career-best Ranking this month. After winning the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Cascais, the Belarusian had flattered to deceive on the international stage but suddenly found her form again in Medemblik, winning a closely fought Medal Race to earn her first World Cup gold medal. She gains four places in this Ranking to #7.
Like Drozdovskaya, Ricardo Santos (BRA) also won gold at the 2007 ISAF Worlds, but unlike the Belarusian, the Brazilian windsurfer has rarely been off the pace at the front of the RS:X fleet since. After a run of three top-five World Cup finishes at Palma, Hyeres and Medemblik he moves up four places to equal his career-best Ranking of #2.
The next release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings will be on 29 July 2009 following on from Kieler Woche, event six of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, the Finn Gold Cup and 49er World Championship.