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23 Sep 2010

Greek Team Achieves Personal Best

After their outstanding win at the 470 European Championships, Panagiotis Mantis and Paul Kagialis (GRE) have been rewarded again with a personal best ranking accolade as they secure the world number 3 position in the 470 Men on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings which were released on 22 September 2010.

Continuing their dominance at the head of the women's 470 fleet are Ingrid Petitjean and Nadege Douroux (FRA), although their points margin over the next ranked crew has been virtually halved by Emmanuelle Rol and Helene DeFrance who have moved up into second in the world after their Gold Medal at the 470 European Championships in Istanbul.

470 Men

Holding firm as the world's number 1 are the Aussie golden boys, Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page, who secured their number one position on the last release of the World Rankings after their win at the 2010 470 World Championships, which was followed up with their win of the 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup. Belcher and Page were the only team across the Olympic events to win the ISAF World Cup with an event to spare. It has definitely been an Aussie year to remember.

Also retaining their position as the world's number 2 are Gideon Kliger and Eran Sela (ISR). The team have secured top ten finishes at all the events they have contested this year, including a silver medal double of a second place at the 470 World Championships and the 470 European Championships.

The newly crowned world number 3 helm, Panagiotis Mantis first entered the ISAF Sailing World Rankings back in October 2001, and after a year mixing it up in the world's top 20, has put in some excellent performances this year with crew Kagialis  to make the break into the top three. The pair won the 2010 470 European Championships and took a fifth at the 2010 470 World Championships, alongside top 20 finishes at each of the ISAF World Cup Events they have contested, including a fourth at Kieler Woche and seventh at Miami OCR. Their win at the Europeans was toughly fought, but they revelled in the breezy conditions and sealed their Championship gold with a win in the medal race. It is not surprising to see Panagiotis delivering at this level, as his pedigree includes being a two-time 470 Junior World Champion.

Greece has a long tradition of sailing and supporting the 470, evidenced strongly this year with a national record of sending 13 teams to the 470 Worlds, with a combination of young talent and more experienced crews, demonstrating the strength of the current and future sailors.

Within the rest of the world's top ten there are no newcomers, just a shuffle around of the previous existing top ten teams.

Following the Greeks up the pecking order are the young British team of Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell who have also had a phenomenal year, and find themselves ranked number 4 in the world. The duo claimed the bronze medal at the recent 470 Europeans, with a scoreline including three bullets from one day's racing. This was preceded by another bronze at Skandia Sail for Gold on their home waters. Their massive improvement in form started from the 2009 470 Worlds, where they claimed silver and from there they have just climbed up the fleet to secure top positions and move up the world rankings.

A notable move drop in the top ten, down six places to number ten, are brothers Sven and Kalle Coster (NED). Whilst number ten is a significantly impressive world ranking for many, for this pair it is not a position they are used to. Only once in the previous five years have they found themselves in a double-digit ranking - back in May 2006 when they were ranked 11.

Another Greek team, Panagiotis Kambouridis and Gerasimos Orologas have also made a massive break up the world rankings, up to 24 from 87. Their fourth place at the 470 Europeans has helped propel them upwards, but also the team had assigned themselves multiple ISAF Sailor ID's which meant their results were split across each of these ID's. With their results now allocated to one ISAF Sailor ID, their full achievements are reflected on the world rankings.

Eleven new teams make their way onto the World Rankings from Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Malaysia, Romania, Turkey and the Ukraine for a total of 305 teams.

470 Women

Ingrid Petitjean and Nadege Douroux's dominance is really starting to be challenged, particularly by their team-mates Emmanuelle Rol and Helene DeFrance, recently crowned 2010 470 European Champions, who have moved up to second in the rankings.

Other French teams are also making a move, with Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron achieving a world ranking personal best as they climb up to fourth in the world, from eleventh after their fourth place at the 470 Europeans.

Also moving up are Denmark's Henriette Koch and Lene Sommer, who so nearly had the European Championship in their hands during the early part of the race series. Despite losing the yellow jersey in the day before the medal race and dropping out of medal contention, they went on to win the medal race in style. They move up to fifth, but have a bit more work to do to get back into a fourth on the rankings where they were in July 2010. This is another young pair who have really made an impression at the front of the 470 fleet over the past year. They broke into the world's top 10 a year ago, and have remained solid in the top 50% of that group, achieved through top 10 finishes at 6 of the 9 ranked events they have contested in 2010.

Russia, who support a significant team of 470 sailors, will be pleased with the drive up the rankings achieved by Vlada Ilienko and Elena Khryukina, up 20 places to 47 in the world – a personal best – driven by some consistent results at events this year, including a seventeenth at the 470 Europeans.

Thirteen different nations feature in the world's top 20, representing four continents, a clear picture of the depth of women's 470 sailing around the world. Three new teams, from Greece and the Ukraine, join the world rankings for a total of 139 women's teams.

More Information:
470 Women's Rankings
470 Men's Rankings

Images: Panagiotis Mantis and Paul Kagialis (GRE) © Thom Touw. Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell (GBR) © Coskun Aydin. Ingrid Petitjean and Nadege Douroux (FRA), Emmanuelle Roll and Helene DeFrance (FRA) © Thom Touw