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Claire LEROY (FRA)

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It has been a busy 12 months for this talented young match racing skipper and her Ideactor Team but Claire LEROY has shone throughout. LEROY has been the # 1 skipper on the ISAF Women's World Match Race Rankings since May 2005 and she kicked off the nomination period in September 2006 representing France and winning the ISAF Nations Cup at the Grand Final in Ireland. Since then she has finished on the podium at all of the women's events she has entered and also taken on the open fleet at three events, the first of which she won.

The nominationperiod concluded on a high for LEROY when, on her home waters in St Quay Portrieux, France she claimed the gold medal at the Grade W ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship. LEROY finished the Round Robin stage without losing a single flight, marched through the quarter-finals before making a well earned come back in the semi-finals to advance to the final. Fresh from claiming her first World title, LEROY went to the the European Championships in Spain and once again topped the podium.

Skippered by Claire LEROY, Team Ideactor are: Morgane GAUTIER, Ingrid CERRATO, Ophélie THÉRON, Dorothéé MARTIN and Elodie BERTRAND.

1 - ISAF Nations Cup, Crosshaven, IRL - ISAF Grade 1 - Sep 2006
3 - European Championship MR 555, Lauria, ITA - ISAF Grade 2 - Sep 2006
3 - Rolex Osprey Cup, St Petersburg, USA - ISAF Grade 1 - Oct 2006
1 - JP Morgan Asset Management Winter Challenge 5, Staines, GBR - ISAF Grade 3 - Jan 2007 (open)
2 - JP Morgan Asset Management Women's Winter Challenge, Staines, GBR - ISAF Grade 2 - Feb 2007
10 - JP Morgan Asset Management Winter Challenge Final, Staines, GBR - ISAF Grade 2 - Mar 2007 (open)
1 - Spring Cup in St Quay, St Quay Portrieux, FRA - ISAF Grade 3 - Apr 2007
1 - IX International Women's Match Race Criterium, Calpe, ESP - ISAF Grade 1 - Apr 2007
2 - Boat US Santa Maria Cup, Annapolis, USA - ISAF Grade 1 - Jun 2007
14 - GKSS Match Cup, Marstrand, SWE - ISAF Grade W - Jul 2007 (open)
3 - Portugal Women's Cup, Troia, POR - ISAF Grade 1 - Jul 2007
1 - ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship, St Quay, France - ISAF Grade W - Aug 2007
1 - Women's Match Race European Championships, Punta Lagoa, ESP - ISAF Grade 2 - Aug 2007

ISAF World Match Race Rankings position at the end of the nomination period (22 August 2007) - # 1

Name Claire LEROY
Place of birth Nantes, FRA
Date of birth 9 March 1980
Profession Consultant - Marketing/Operations Management
What inspired you to take up sailing? In my family, we have been sailors for many generations. For my father, my grandfather and my great grandfather sailing has always been a passion. Our family comes from the northern coast of Brittany and we've always had sailboats and sailors in our family. I discovered the pleasure of sailing before I could even walk. Our family vacations and our family reunions all revolved around sailing. I spent many days with my cousins learning to sail and to play with the elements that have always been the backdrop of my life…the wind and the ocean. Competitive sailing came much later, around the age of 10.
What was the first boat you sailed and how old were you? It was called l'Equipe or 'the team' in English aged 10
How did you buy your first boat and what was it? My parents bought it. It was a double-handed dinghy
Name your first sailing club The Sailing School of Port Blanc in Brittany, France
What was the first event you competed in and when? Grand Prix de l'Armistice, Maubuisson, France in 1990.
What was the first event you won and when? Grand Prix de l'Armistice, Maubuisson, France in 1990
What are your personal highlights of your career to date? This year was truly exceptional: We won the Nations Cup, the World Match Racing Championship in my home town, the European Championship and the first ISAF Grade 1 International match of the year in Calpé. We have been number one in match racing for more than 2 years!!! It's a dream come true.
What are your future sailing goals? To see Match Racing officially integrated in the Olympics games in 2012, and to participate and win with my team!!! To participate in a women's or mixed America's Cup Project…is anyone interested?
What does sailing mean to you? Pleasure, Competition, Teamwork, a wonderful way to improve my English!!!
Who has had the greatest impact on your sailing career and why? Many people have had a positive impact on my sailing career, my family from the beginning, and my coaches, Laurent BEGEON, Marc BOUET since 1999. There have been many other people who have helped us to improve our level.
Who is your sailing hero? Peter BLAKE: For me, he was a truly great leader, a charismatic skipper, who respected his team members and through a combination of enthusiasm and rigor brought together the combined talents of his team to win. He was a great sailor and more important, a great manager that was always accessible for his team. He was for me the model of sports management...he won by making all of his team members and partners winners.
What other sports do you enjoy? Volley-ball, fishing, squash
What does being nominated for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards mean to you? It is a tremendous honour for me and my team to be nominated for the 2007 awards and to be recognized as being amongst the elite of our sport. It is the work of a team that has been honoured by this nomination. By "team", I mean not only our crew, but our coaches, our sponsors, our training partners, the sailing federation and our yacht club. On a personal level, it is the result of 4 long years of hard work as well as the excellent results that I have had this year. For me, it represents a starting point for even bigger challenges.
If you were voted as the winner, what would this mean to you? It would reward the complicity and enjoyment that our team has shared since we began sailing together. It would also recompense our project's partners. For me, it would be an immense distinction that proves that one must always follow one's dreams and work to unite all of the forces necessary to achieve one's objectives.
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