Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Leroy and Iehl to Lead French Defence of Titles at ISAF Nations Cup

Damien Iehl leads the open challenge for the Nations Cup holders, France. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/World Match Racing Tour.

by ISAF and event media

Claire LEROY and Damien IEHL will lead the women's and open teams as France defends both titles at the Grand Final of the ISAF Nations Cup this week.

As the current holder of the ISAF Nations Cup, France earned an automatic entry to both open and women’s divisions at the Grand Final held in Porto Alegre, Brazil. In each division, France will compete against teams representing nine other nations in a bid to retain the titles they won in Ireland three years ago.

"This is a major objective for FFVoile," said Marc BOUET, coach of the French Match Racing Team. “The defence of the title will be difficult but everything has been done to try to repeat the double of 2006.”

Claire LEROY, two-time winner and current holder of the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship title, leads the women’s team. She was also the skipper for France in Ireland when they won the previous Nations Cup Grand Final three years ago.

LEROY revealed the crew line up will be the same with which she won the 2008 World title, "I'll race with my usual crew: always the same, we do not change a winning team! Marie RIOU in charge of tactics, Elodie BERTRAND, on trim, Claire PRUVOT, on the bow.”

After winning her first ISAF Gold Medal with her Nations Cup triumph in 2006, LEROY says the competition carries a special significance for her, “It’s a great race with a strong “Team French” ambience, as there is also the parallel race for the men. Last time this created a strong national feeling which we rarely see in other events. I have really fond memories of the 2006 edition.”

Damien IEHL will lead the French team in the Open division, aiming to repeat the success of the 2006 winner Mathieu RICHARD. IEHL is one of the top names on the open match racing circuit and with an ISAF World Match Race Ranking of #7, he is the top ranked Open skipper competing in Brazil.

Nations Cup

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