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Sailor Murdoch ranked second in world


Sailor Murdoch ranked second in world

Fast-rising Kiwi sailor Andrew Murdoch, currently competing in Europe, has leapt to second in the world rankings.

The talented Kerikeri 23-year-old jumped numerous places in the Olympic Laser class, in tables just released by the world body ISAF.

Murdoch, one of the first sailors confirmed in Yachting New Zealand’s Olympic Squad towards the Beijing Olympics, is now putting pressure on top-ranked English veteran Paul Goodison.

He is one of the first two athletes inducted into the Pinnacle programme, the Hyundai-backed mentor scheme which prepares young New Zealand sportspeople for world championship contention.

“I haven’t been paying much attention to the world rankings,” commented Murdoch from Switzerland where he is preparing for the big Kiel Week regatta in the Baltic later this month.

“I have been sailing reasonably well and picking up some good results, but mainly I’m just concentrating right now on achieving consistency.

“It was almost a shock when I saw the ranking, I had been as low as 16th and last time I looked I was 11th then I crept up to 7th.

“But thinking about it, my placings have been quite solid while the top European sailors have been a little bit up and down.

“Mostly it’s just a good confidence-booster to see my name up there …. I remember when I was first sailing internationally the top ten seemed a long way off.”

With 4506 ranking points, Murdoch is 289 behind Goodison, and 108 ahead of third-placed Slovenian Vasilij Zbogar. Europeans round out the top five and the highest Australian is outside the top ten.

Murdoch, based in Auckland during the New Zealand summer, is contesting a number of top European regattas as he builds to the Olympic test event in Qingdao this August. His next big target is next year’s world championships as a stepping stone to the 2008 Olympics.

The ISAF World Sailing Rankings rate skippers based on their performances over the past two years. Skippers score points by competing in ISAF Graded events.

end

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