• Jorge Zarif takes out the Finn Gold Cup. Photo Robert Deaves.
    Jorge Zarif takes out the Finn Gold Cup. Photo Robert Deaves.

ISAF has released its rankings for September 2 just a week after the Finn Gold Cup, and that class alone shows how nonsensical the current ISAF ranking formula is.

The media release trumpets that the new Finn World Champion, Jorge Zarif, has moved up to 33rd position! He's the Finn Gold Cup champion and he's ranked 33rd?

Meanwhile, Australia's Brendan Casey, who placed 46th at the Finn Gold Cup and didn't make the medal race at the Olympic Games, has dropped - wait for it - to third spot after holding the #1 position for three ranking periods. Brendan is a nice guy and a good sailor, but he would be the first to admit he is not, and has never been, the best Finn sailor in the world. He just sailed a lot more qualifying events than anyone else.

ISAF would probably argue that if the sailors don't sail events that count towards the rankings then they don't deserve to earn points. I would argue that if the sailors don't sail the events that count towards the rankings - then it is time ISAF changed the qualifying events to include those the sailors do sail. This is about the sailors, not about ISAF.

Including the Gold Cup, Jorge Zarif has sailed just three qualifying events. But you can't tell me that he could win a world championship in such a competitive class if he hadn't been sailing in other regattas. So the regattas he DID sail in should count.

The problem with the current ranking system is that it rewards quantity not quality. Sail all the World Cups like Brendan Casey did and you go to the top of the tree, regardless of the fact that he didn't beat many, if any, of the top 10 sailors along the way.

The ranking system needs to include a whole lot more events, with points allocated based on the number of the class's top 20 sailors who are present. Sail at the Gold Cup where all 20 are sailing and you get 100% of the points. Sail at a World Cup where only five of the top twenty are present and you get 25% of the points. And the most recent world championship results must ALWAYS be included in every rating period.

There you go ISAF, I have solved the problem for you. Now all it will take is 27 meetings and 15 resolutions and we should have it up and running by about 2035. 

Please share this article with all your sailing friends if you agree with my sentiments, and send it to your ISAF delegate too. They can't just keep pumping out rankings that have no meaning and expect people to take any notice of them.

- Roger McMillan

In case there is any trickle of interest, here is the ISAF media release with links to the rankings:

  • Finn Gold Cup Champion Jorge Zarif up to World #33
  • Serbia's Dany Stanisic climbs 357 in the Laser
  • Austrians retain World #1 in Nacra 17 after inaugural European Championship
  • Canadian Laser and Radial shuffle after 100-point Cork OCR in Kingston, Canada

2013 Finn Gold Cup Champion Jorge Zarif moves up to World #33 having taken the full 200-points at the event in Tallinn, Estonia. Zarif only counts three regattas in his point's total and alongside his Finn Gold Cup success he counts a third at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and a 36th at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma.
Caleb Paine (USA) keeps his spot at World #1 despite finishing 23rd at the Finn Gold Cup. Andrew Mills (GBR) held an early lead in Tallinn but slipped down to tenth which was enough to see him move up one spot to World #2.
Ed Wright (GBR) moves back into the top 25 this month after taking a silver medal in Estonia. Wright has finished on the podium at the last four Finn Gold Cups and with more performances like that he will swiftly move back up the rankings.
Josh Junior continues to impress in the Finn and after a ninth in Estonia moves from World #27 to World #15.
Laser Radial
There is no change atop of the Laser Radial Rankings with Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) remaining at World #1 followed by Chloe Martin (GBR) and Canada's Isabella Bertold.
Bertold's compatriot Claire Merry took gold at the 100-point Cork OCR in Kingston, Canada in August to advance back up the rankings. Merry makes the climb up to World #61 from World #109 and counts three events in her rankings points' total. Her best ranking of World #34 came in February 2012.
Brenda Bowskill (CAN) finished as runner up for the third time in as many years in Kingston and solidifies her spot at World #16.
Taking the honours at the 50-point Serbia Europa Cup in Donji Milanovac, Serbia was Maja Knezevic. The victory promotes the Serbian from World #279 to World #163.
David Wright (CAN) won gold at the 100-point Cork OCR and counting six regattas in his 659 point total he moves from World #29 to World #18.
Trinidad and Tobago's Andrew Lewis finished seventh in Kingston but the result promotes him up to a personal best of World #28 from World #52. Finishing ahead of Lewis by one place in Cork was Cy Thompson (ISV) but the U.S. Virgin Islands sailor trails him in the rankings sitting at World #152 having moved up from World #219.
Making a huge leap up the rankings from World #556 to #199 is Serbian sailor Dany Stanisic. Top honours at the Serbia Europa Cup in Donji Milanovac ensured a full 50-points for Stanisic in his 123 point total.
Nacra 17
Mandy Mulder and Coen De Koning took gold at the inaugural Nacra 17 European Championship on Lake Como, Italy. The result at the 100-point regatta pushes them up two spots to World #15.
Runners up in Italy Moana Vaireaux and Manon Audinet (FRA) move to a personal best of World #2 from World #4.
Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT) retain their spot as World #1 following a fourth in Italy.
Women's RS:X
Bryony Shaw (GBR), Blanca Manchon (ESP) and Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) remain in the top three spots in the world in the Women's RS:X.
Men's RS:X
Ivan Pastor (ESP) holds onto World #1 in the Men's RS:X for the fifth rankings release. Ricardo Santos (BRA) and Nick Dempsey (GBR) continue to trail him in the rankings.
Men's 470
After a busy run of regattas and 17 straight victories Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) enjoy a break from racing comfortably bedded in at World #1. There is no movement behind them in the rankings.
Women's 470
Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT) remain one point clear of Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luizaq Barbachan (BRA) at the top of the Women's 470 Rankings with no movement in the top 25 this month.
Croatia's Pavle Kostov and Petar Cupac are World #1 in the 49er for the second consecutive rankings release. Julien D'ortoli and Noe Delpech (FRA) follow with Germany's Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel at World #3.
Sitting at World #1 for the fourth consecutive release in the 49erFX is Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL). The Kiwis count five regattas to their points total compared to the six that World #2 Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) and World #3 Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich (ITA) count.

Visit the ISAF World Sailing Rankings homepage at www.sailing.org/rankings for more on the latest Ranking release and dates for all Ranking releases.

Events Included

For more details on the new events included and events not included in this Ranking release please click on the link below.

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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 www.sailing.org/rankings

ISAF World Sailing Rankings - www.sailing.org/rankings

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