by Craig Heydon
The Australian Sailing Team’s 470 men’s crew of Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page, and Laser sailor Tom Slingsby sit at the top of their respective classes following the latest release of world rankings overnight.
Tom Slingsby in the Laser class in Weymouth - Weymouth and Portland International Regatta 2011
While Belcher, Page and Slingsby continue to lead the way for Australia a number of their teammates and countrymen are working their way up the rankings as the prepare for the upcoming Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships in December.
Belcher and Page’s stranglehold on the 470 men’s number one position stretches back to the middle of last year with their most recent results of a Gold medal at the 2011 European Championships and then Silver at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, the test event for the London 2012 Olympic Games, ensuring that they remain unchallenged at number one. Tom Slingsby has retaken the number one position in the Laser class, after briefly sitting second in the last release of rankings.
The three-time Laser World Champion is still undefeated in Weymouth, following his win at the London 2012 Olympic Games test event in August.
Australia’s 49er crew of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen are hot on the heels of Belcher, Page and Slingsby, and ended the last ranking cycle second overall. Outteridge and Jensen are also undefeated in Weymouth, winning the test event by the narrowest of margins, on a count back after the final medal race, and also claimed the 49er European Championship this year.
Krystal Weir has moved up to sixth overall in the Laser Radial rankings after being 11th in the last release and is continuing her push towards her second Olympic Games appearance in 2012.
In the RS:X women’s class Jessica Crisp is ninth, while Brendan Casey is 13th in the Finn rankings. Laser sailor Tom Burton has jumped up to 12th, his best ever ranking, after being 27th in the last list.
A number of Australian Sailing Squad members are being rewarded for their hard work on and off the water, moving up the ranking list following a successful European season.
Will and Sam Phillips are the highest ranked Squad members and are currently eighth in the 49er fleet, following a number of strong European events highlighted with a fourth place finish at the ISAF Sailing World Cup round in Weymouth in June. 470 sailors Sam Kivell and Will Ryan have worked their way into the top 10 and are currently ninth overall, up from 13th.
Ryan Palk has risen 14 places in the Laser class, to be 10th, his best ever ranking. With Palk alongside Slingsby and Burton, Australia now has three Laser sailors in the top 12.
The Women’s Match Racing world rankings work on a different cycle and will next be updated on 12 October 2012.
470 sailors Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page
Australian Sailing Team website