Friday, January 23, 2009

World Match Racing Tour adds Marseille International Match Race as 1st event of 2009

[World Match Racing Tour] 2009 Tour schedule now up to ten events spanning ten countries and over US$1.2 million in total prize money

The World Match Racing Tour is pleased to announce that Marseille International Match Race (MIMR) has been added as the tenth stop on the 2009 Tour season schedule. The event, organized by the Yachting Club de Point Rouge (YCPR) and supported by the City of Marseille, will be held over 10 – 15 March and is the first event of this year’s Tour.

“We’re very pleased to have this event in Marseille,” said Tour Director Craig Mitchell. “The event has a long history of excellence at ISAF Grade 1 level, and has always attracted strong interest as the first high-graded event in the European season. This is a perfect match for it to be on the Tour.”

Jean Pierre Champion, President of the French Sailing Federation said "Hosting an event of the Tour has been a long term goal of the FFVoile. The creation of a French National Championship Tour started 20 years ago. The championship went to all French regions in order to develop Match Racing. The system has produced sailors such as Sébastien Col and Mathieu Richard along with Americas Cup competitors Bertrand Pace and Philippe Presti. I am really happy to see this event going to Marseille who have invested a lot in Match Racing facilities, as the organization of one ACT of the last Americas Cup has proved. It is also a good boost for the members of the French Match Racing Team after their two runners up places in the last two years. It is always important to compete in an event of the Tour in your own country, even more when the goal is to win the World Championship. Last but not least I'm very happy for the Yachting Club de la Pointe Rouge and the wonderful MIMR event which has been one of the reference ISAF Grade 1 events for the past few years."

12 Teams will race in eight equally-matched J/80 class yachts, and the total prize money purse is 50,000 Euros. MIMR’s qualifier event is the Y’s Cup and will draw on two teams from the 10-team format, held over 7-8 February in Marseille at YCPR.

The new Tour Card policy will guarantee invitations for 8 of the top teams from the 2008 season, with one being Sébastien Col of the French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge. While Col finished second in the 2008 season championship to two-time reigning World Champion Ian Williams and his Bahrain Team Pindar, he may find this event particularly favorable for his 2009 championship hopes as YCPR is his home club.



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