France Retain ISAF Nations Cup Trophy In Both Open And Women's Divisions

Skippers Damien IEHL and Claire LEROY led the French teams to repeat success as they triumphed in Porto Alegre, Brazil to win the 2009 ISAF Nations Cup in both Open and Women's divisions.

France have again proved themselves a nation of match racing excellence as the teams of Damien IEHL (FRA) and Claire LEROY (FRA) both came back from 1-0 deficits to repeat the double success at the last Nations Cup in 2006. The world's top match racing nations have been put to the test through a series of Regional Finals held around the globe and this week’s Grand Final in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and again it is the French who have prevailed in both competitions.

IEHL and his team started the final day of the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final 1-0 down to home favourite Henrique HADDAD of Brazil, and that soon became 2-0 as the Brazilians won the first tie of the day. However the French skipper, ranked #7 in the world, turned the tie around to triumph 3-2.

IEHL, ranked 73 places above HADDAD in the World Rankings, had nothing but praise for his fellow finalist, "the Brazilian crew is young, but are excellent sailors," said the French skipper.

Despite the disappointment of losing after taking a 2-0 advantage, HADDAD and the Brazilian team stood out for their massive achievement in reaching the final. HADDAD, from Rio, paid tribute to the role the home supporters played in their success, "We lack experience, but achieved a good result. My crew showed great determination and the support of fans was important to us," he said.

In the women’s final, LEROY, also the reigning World Champion and world #1 ranked women’s skipper, was defending the Nations Cup title she won in 2006. Although she also went into Saturday 1-0 down in her final with Lucy MACGREGOR of Great Britain, LEROY turned things around, winning the 2009 ISAF Nations Cup Women’s title by a 3-1 scoreline.

In the two petit finals, Denmark took the bronze medal in the Open division as Mads EBLER defeated Alvaro MARINHO (POR) 2-1. Bronze in the Women’s division went to the USA as Beijing Olympic gold medallist Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA) overcame Giulia CONTI of Italy 2-0.

Date Added - 30-Mar-2009

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