World Match Racing Tour announces 2009 schedule
The World Match Racing Tour has announced its schedule of events for 2009, the total prize purse for the 2009 Tour season now stands at over $1.5 million, the largest in the sport.
The overall winner of the Tour will be crowned 2009 ISAF Match Racing World Champion.
2009 TOUR SCHEDULE
|May 27 - 31, 2009||Match Race Germany||Langenargen, Germany|
|June 2 - 7, 2009||Korea Match Cup||Gyeonggi, Korea|
|June 16 - 21, 2009||Portugal Match Cup||Troia, Portugal|
|June 29 - July 5, 2009||Match Cup Sweden||Marstrand, Sweden|
|September 1 - 6, 2009||St Moritz Match Race||St Moritz, Switzerland|
|September 9 - 13, 2009||Danish Open||Denmark|
|September 22 - 27, 2009||Brasil Sailing Cup||Brazil|
|October 5 - 11, 2009||King Edward VII Gold Cup||Hamilton, Bermuda|
|December 1 - 6, 2009||Monsoon Cup||K.Teregganu, Malaysia|
100 points will be awarded to the top 8 positions at each World Tour stage with 25 points to the stage winner. Teams will count their best five events plus the final stage, the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia worth 150 points. In 2008 three teams had the opportunity to win the World Championship going into the final event creating an exciting finish. The competition was intense for those looking to secure one of the 8 World Tour cards for this season.
The World Championship will again receive worldwide television coverage with 10 shows broadcast to over 15 international networks reaching over 600 million homes in 90 countries. The Monsoon Cup in Malaysia and Korea Match Cup are also expecting to broadcast LIVE following the success of 2008 where the events generated over eight hours of live coverage on Eurosport and ESPN. In addition, broadband viewers will be able to follow highlights of the World Championship via the website (www.worldmatchracingtour.com) and at www.Sail.tv
“2009 will be a very exciting series for the World Championship”, commented Tour Director, Craig Mitchell “We are truly the only global sailing series at this level of competition. At the end of the year the World Champion will have had to master 7 different types of yacht in 9 different venues against the best skippers in the world”
Returning to defend his 2008 title is current Match Racing World Champion Ian Williams and his Bahrain Team Pindar. However, competition will be stiff from a world class line up including America’s Cup talent Sébastien Col French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, Ben Ainslie from Team Origin, Paolo Cian from Team Shosholoza, Magnus Holmberg from Victory Challenge and Mathieu Richard from French Match Racing Team/French Spirit. Also in the running will be young guns and future Cup skippers Adam Minoprio and Torvar Mirsky. But it’s not enough to deter Williams winning drive, ”We look forward to defending our title and the increased competition from the Cup teams that will utilise the World Tour as they wait for the fate of the 33rd America’s Cup to be decided”.
While many of the teams and skippers await the outcome of the America’s Cup decisions, the World Match Racing Tour provides an ideal platform to hone their skills as Mitchell points out;
“Despite the current uncertainty with the America’s Cup, we are seeing strong participation for next years Tour from hopeful 33rd America’s Cup teams. This highlights the strength and credibility of the Tour and the training ground it provides for skippers and their crews. The Tour also offers a great economical platform for the teams and excellent sponsor exposure in new markets. It’s still the place where Cup dreams are made”
The list of past World Champions reads like a who’s who of America’s Cup stars and veterans which include the talents of Russell Coutts, Peter Gilmour, Chris Dickson and Ed Baird, making the World Tour crown a must credential in any successful modern America’s Cup campaign.
In addition to the nine events that make up the World Championship, the tour will also be announcing the schedule for 18 tour qualifying events and the final 8 World Tour Cards in the coming weeks. Each Tour stage will have two qualifying events from which the winning teams will earn an entry into the main Tour event.
Labels: World Match Racing Tour