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Rankings provide grade for North American Olympic programs

Published on October 20th, 2014

The latest release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings on October 20, 2014 provides an update on the progress of sailors that compete within the ten Olympic sailing events. The calculated formula counts each competitor’s best six qualifying results over the previous 12 months. It also grades the events, providing more points to international competitions.

The system works best when all the top competitors have six results, and have competed at the events that offer the most points. However, there are instances where the rankings do not reflect actual event performance when this has not occurred.

For each Olympic quadrennial, the ISAF World Sailing Ranking system is adjusted to improve its accuracy. The factor that needs review at this point is the event count, as six events appears to be one too many. If the rankings were based on a competitor’s best five events, the glaring anomalies would be removed.

While they don’t award Olympic medals based on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, here is what the rankings indicate at this point for the North American programs:

Canada: Typically strongest in the singlehanded events, Claire Merry is 16th in the Laser Radial with Lee Parkhill 22nd in the Laser. In the new Nacra 17 event, Luke Ramsay and Nikola Girke lead the continent, ranked 25th.

Mexico: This program’s strength is in the RS:X boardsailing events. In the women’s division, Demita Vega De Lille is ranked 12th with only five qualifying events while David Mier Y Teran is ranked 33rd in the men’s division with only four qualifying events.

USA: The doublehanded 470 dinghy has been generating the best results, with Anne Haeger and Briana Provanch as the women’s 2nd ranked team with Stu McNay and David Hughes in 4th among the men. Also lurking in the Finn is Caleb Paine (5th), Charlie Buckingham in the Laser (8th), and Brad Funk and Trevor Burd in the 49er (11th).

Observation: A lack of depth in all three programs will continue to hold back development and progress. An example is the new women’s doublehanded skiff event, 49erFX. While other countries were able to promote youth into the event, or move in teams from other events, the North American programs are still climbing the learning curve.

Here are the top ranked competitors in each of the 10 Olympic events…

Tom Burton (AUS) retained World #1 in the Laser after a tremendous fight back at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao where he picked up bronze. The Australia had a tough opening day, finishing down the pack in both races but as the week progressed he worked his way up and sealed bronze on the final day to keep hold of World #1.

Qingdao gold medallist Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) is just 21 points behind Burton at World #3 with Robert Scheidt (BRA) sandwiched in the middle, eight points off the World #1.

Stipanovic (CRO) was in fine form in Qingdao to seal gold for the second consecutive year ahead of Pavlos Kontides (CYP) who was made to settle for silver again. Kontides sits at World #4, ten points off the Croatian.

Wannes Van Laer (BEL) is one of the big movers from Qingdao after his fourth place finish. The Belgian progresses up to World #20 from World #31 and also received an ISAF Sailing World Cup Final invitation from his fourth place in Qingdao.

There were four other graded Laser regattas in the current period, all worth 50 points.

Juan Igancio Maegli (GUA) won gold at Semana de Buenos Aires in Argentina and moves up one spot to World #33. KSSS Olympic Class Regatta victor Kaarle Tapper (FIN) moves up to World #49. Laser Europa Cup Portugal winner Martis Pajarskas (LTU) is at World #78 and Sail Qatar winner Haakon Haakonsen (NOR) enters the rankings at World #361.

Laser Radial
The final day at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao saw a shootout between Dongshuang Zhang (CHN), Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR), Sara Winther (NZL) and Tina Mihelic (CRO) for the podium spots.

Zhang took the honours at the 2013 edition and made sure of victory once again, finishing ahead of her rivals. Counting four regattas to her point’s total Zhang sits at World #12.

Mihelic (CRO) came up from fourth to second on the final day with a strong showing. The Croatian progresses up to World #5 from World #9. Bronze medallist Winther is the biggest Qingdao mover, coming up from World #27 to World #18. She also booked herself an invitation to the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final this November.

Drozdovskaya finished last in the Qingdao Medal Race and dropped out of the podium places. She remains at World #3. 2014 Laser Radial World Champion Marit Bouwmeester (NED) stays at World #1 with Evi Van Acker (BEL) World #2.

There were three 50-point Laser Radial regattas in the current period. Josefin Olsson (SWE) took gold at the KSSS Olympic Class Regatta and is positioned at World #22. Carolina Joao (POR) came out on top at the Laser Europa Cup Portugal and as a result moves up from World #183 to World #139, a personal best. Semana de Buenos Aires gold went to Lucia Falasca (ARG) and she moves up 12 spots to World #47.

Men’s RS:X
Byron Kokkalanis (GRE) jumps up to World #1 in the Men’s RS:X following victory at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao. The Greek sailor was dominant in Qingdao, sealing victory with a day to spare to take the full 200-points on offer. He reaped the rewards and climbs from World #8 to World #1 for the first time in his career.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao silver and bronze medallists Aichen Wang (CHN) and Max Oberemko (RUS) took a good haul of points and progress into top spots in the Men’s RS:X Rankings. Wang sits at World #8 whilst Oberemko is at World #3.

Women’s RS:X
With just ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao as the only ranked regatta in the current period, Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) retains World #1 with Byrony Shaw (GBR) at World #2 and Laura Linares (ITA) at World #3.

Qingdao gold medallist Jiali Sun (CHN) took maximum points at the 200-point ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta in the Chinese city and advances up the rankings. The 23-year-old moves from World #23 to a personal best of World #11.

Olga Maslivets (RUS) finished second in Qingdao and as a result sits at World #37. Bronze medallist Hongmei Shi (CHN) climbs to World #53 but only counts one result in her point’s total.

Men’s 470
Men’s 470 rising youngsters Jordi Xammar and Joan Herp (ESP) continue to impress in the fleet and took their first ISAF Sailing World Cup title in Qingdao, China. The 2013 and 2014 junior world champions have had a great year and by taking their first significant senior title in Qingdao they advance up the World Rankings.

Picking up 200-points from Qingdao the duo climb from World #17 to a personal best of World #10 and head into the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, UAE brimming full of confidence.

Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) finished behind the Spaniards in Qingdao. With a good points haul they move up one spot to World #2. Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) completed the Qingdao podium and also advance up the rankings. They go from World #14 to World #8.

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) remain at World #1, counting six excellent results to their point’s total of 985.

Women’s 470
China’s Mengxi Wei and Yani Xu re-enter the rankings at World #47 having dominated the fleet at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao. The Chinese pair were strong in Qingdao’s big breeze and big waves and rampant in the light tricky breeze, amassing consistent top results that gave them a convincing win and the full 200 ranking points.

Xiaomei Xu and Ping Zhang (CHN) finished behind their compatriots in Qingdao and as a result pick up a good haul of points that sees them rise to World #13 from World #29.

Shasha Chen and Haiyan Gao (CHN) completed the Qingdao podium and sit firmly at World #8, the leading Chinese duo in the rankings.

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) drop a regatta from their points total and slip from World #1 to World #4. Camille Lecointre and Helene Defrance (FRA) advance to World #1.

Nacra 17
There were no Nacra 17 regattas in the current period which ensures there is no change in the top three. Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) top the billing and are followed by Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis (AUS) and Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT).

2013 and 2014 Nacra 17 World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) are at World #9 but only count five regattas to their point’s total.

With the ISAF World Sailing Rankings on a 12-month rolling cycle, Giles Scott (GBR) has dropped from World #1 to World #3 as he now counts five regattas to his point’s total. As a result Bjorn Allansson (SWE) moves up to World #1 and Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) moves to World #2 with both sailors counting point’s from six regattas.

The 50-point International Finn Regatta in Malescine, Italy was the single regatta held in the current ranking period. Giorgio Poggi (ITA) claimed the title and sits at World #16.

The KSSS Olympic Class Regatta was the single 49er event in the ranking period. Top honours and the full 50-points available went to Sweden’s Carl Sylvan and Otto Hamel. The Swedes continue to sit steady at World #13.

World #1 stays the same with Jonas Warrer and Anders Thomsen (DEN) holding steady. They continue to be trailed by John Pink and Stuart Bithell (GBR) and Julien D’ortoli and Noe Delpech (FRA).

Just like the 49er, the KSSS Olympic Class Regatta was the only 49erFX regatta in this period. Lisa Ericson and Hanna Klinga (SWE) came out on top to pick up 50-points from the regatta. As a result they move up four places to World #14, a personal best for the Swedish team.

There is no change at the top of the rankings with ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year nominees Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) sitting pretty at World #1. Ida Marie Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN) follow.

Events Included
For more details on the new events included and events not included in this Ranking release, click on this link:

The full ISAF World Sailing Ranking lists, results from all ISAF Graded events, lists of Graded events throughout the year, Ranking release dates and the method of calculation for the Rankings can be found on the ISAF website at

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