Olympic rankings crawl closer to reality

Published on April 29th, 2014

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) updated and enhanced its ISAF Sailing World Rankings system for fleet racing after the 2012 Olympics, launching the new system in September 2012. The key changes were…

– A one year rolling system
– Sailors can count points from a maximum of six regattas
– Regattas would be classified in three categories: 200-pointers, 100-pointers or 50-pointers
– Simplified calculation formula
– Olympic Games and Test Events will not be graded regattas.

While there are no Olympic medals awarded to top ranked sailors, a ranking system in sport does incite conversation and curiosity… as long as the system has some validity. A formula-based calculated ranking system is by far the easiest to administer, and the least likely to face political conflict.

But because it has no subjective element, nor does it give more weight to recent results, the rankings can’t be corrected when the formula does not mirror reality.

The current ranking system is an improvement over the system used in the previous Olympic quadrennial, and with the latest ranking release (April 28, 2014), it does appear to be crawling closer to what’s happening on the water.

The key is for the top sailors to have six quality regattas to maximize their score. It is expected that by the time this new ranking system is two years old, it should finally reflect the performance on the water.

Here are the latest rankings in each of the 10 Olympic events, along with their finish position in the recent ISAF Sailing World Cup events in Mallorca (ESP) and Hyeres (FRA).

Men’s 470

1. Mathew Belcher (AUS), William Ryan; 3-1
2. Sime Fantela (CRO), Igor Marenic; 1-7
3. Sofian Bouvet (FRA), Jeremie Mion; 25-3

Women’s 470
1. Jo Aleh (NZL), Polly Powrie; 1-1
2. Camille Lecointre (FRA), Mathilde Geron/Hélène Defrance; 4-2
3. Sophie Weguelin (GBR), Eilidh Mcintyre; DNC-2

49er Men
1. Jonas Warrer (DEN), Peter Lang; 2-9
2. John Pink (GBR), Simon Wheeler/Stuart Bithell; 7-5
3. Julien D’ortoli (FRA), Noé Delpech; 10-16
Note: Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) should be ranked 1st but are 16th because they have only 4 events

49erFX Women
1. Martine Soffiatti Grael (BRA), Kahena Kunze; 1-1
2. Ida Marie Baad Nielsen (DEN), Marie Thusgaard Olsen; 3-2
3. Frances Peters (GBR), Nicola Groves; 14-12
Note: Dutch or Kiwi teams should be in third position but lack 6 events

Laser Men
1. Tonci Stipanović (CRO); 3-7
2. Tom Burton (AUS); 1-1
3. Bruno Fontes (BRA); 17-8

Laser Radial Women
1. Marit Bouwmeester (NED); 1-3
2. Evi Van Acker (BEL); 4-1
3. Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR); 14-2

1. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO); 9-2
2. Oliver Tweddell (AUS); 35-19
3. Thomas Le Breton (FRA); 2-3
Note: Giles Scott (GBR) should be ranked 1st but is 32nd because he has only 3 events

Nacra 17 Mixed
1. Vittorio Bissaro (ITA), Silvia Sicouri; 2-1
2. Ben Saxton (GBR), Hannah Diamond; 6-6
3. Thomas Zajac (AUT), Tanja Chiara Frank; 4-7
Note: French or Aussie teams should be in top three but lack 6 events

RS:X Men
1. Ho Tsun Leung (HKG); 11-12
2. Ricardo Santos (BRA); 7-8
3. Tom Squires (GBR); 24-11
Note: Many top sailors lack 6 events

RS:X Women
1. Flavia Tartaglini (ITA); 6-5
2. Bryony Shaw (GBR); 4-DNC
3. Laura Linares (ITA); 11-18
Note: Many top sailors lack 6 events

Click here for latest rankings and calculation information.

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