New Zealand. Top world rankings for Kiwi sailors announced
Friday, 10 February 2006
he Kiwis are on the charge in the latest release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, with Jon-Paul TOBIN (NZL) grabbing the first ever top spot in the Men’s RS:X and Sharon FERRIS (NZL) leading her crew to the number one place in the Yngling.
Tobin is delighted, and wants to hold onto the top ranking.
“It is a great start to the year,” says Tobin speaking about today’s announcement from ISAF. “I wasn’t sure exactly which regattas they would include for the rankings. So it is one of my goals to keep that top spot, so going to Europe and doing well there continues to be a big priority.”
The first ever ranking list for the RS:X is based on four recent regattas three of which took place in Australia or New Zealand. The Mens RS:X rankings feature New Zealand sailors in the top three spots. The kiwis, including JP Tobin, Tom Ashley, David Robertson and Mathew McCormack make up half of the top twelve in the list announced overnight by ISAF.
“Nowhere is the promise of 2006 better illustrated than in the new windsurfer Rankings.” ISAF states in their announcement. “The new Olympic equipment, the NP RS:X begins its run on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings in this release and has already met with a terrific response. Well over 100 sailors competed in four regattas in the first Rankings period, and with the first ISAF Graded RS:X European regatta kicking off in a few weeks time, the class looks set to grow and grow.”
Ferris sailing with crew Raynor Smeal and Ashley Holtum move from a ranking of fourth up into the top spot after solid performances over a period of time.
With ISAF Grade 1 regattas and Continental Championships taking place in Australia and the USA over the latest Rankings period, their has been plenty of opportunities for the non-European sailors to make up ground on their rivals.
A number of other kiwis have improved from their previous position. Andrew Murdoch has moved from a previous Laser ranking of 22 up to 11th spot, while Dan Slater jumped 13 points in the Finn rankings up to 17th. Jo Aleh improved five placings and is currently ranked 20th in the Laser Radial.
While New Zealand have had a great month picking up two number one spots in the Rankings, Great Britain remain the team to beat. Along with new Women’s RS:X leader Shaw, Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks (GBR) in the 49er and Ben Ainslie (GBR) hold on to their number one spots and Britain have six other sailors in the top three positions.
France are their nearest challengers, with long time Women’s 470 leaders Ingrid Petitjean and Nadege Doroux spearheading a group of five sailors in top three positions. New Zealand and Spain follow with fours crews apiece in the top three, followed by Austria with two. However it is only these five nations which manage more than one crew in a top three position, indicating the strength in depth across the fleets around the world.
The ISAF World Sailing Rankings rate skippers based on their performances over the last two years. Skippers score points by competing in ISAF Graded events. The top finishers at all ISAF Graded events score Rankings points, with the highest points awarded to the event winner and then decreasing down relative to position. The most points are up for grabs at World Championship events, followed by ISAF Grade C1 events, Grade 1, Grade 2 etc.
In addition to this bonus points are scored for success in events featuring particularly competitive fields which host the top ranked skippers on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings.
The points scored at events counts towards a skipper’s Ranking points total which decides his Ranking position. Each skipper can count a maximum of seven events, with those which have taken place within the last twelve months holding a bonus percentage weighting.
Full ranking lists and more information are available on the ISAF website. www.sailing.org
Last Updated ( Friday, 10 February 2006 )