Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sébastien Col's season kick offs at Marseille International Match Race

[Source: K-Challenge] Back from the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in Auckland, New Zealand, where Sebastien Col led K-Challenge's team against the best America's Cup skippers to launch the 2009 season, he will race again with most of them this year on the World Match Racing Tour. Sebastien will have the goal to reach what he missed last year for a few points only: the Match Racing World Champion title.

So this season looks very promising in terms of sailing show and duels, as most of these “top skippers” will already start the tour at the Marseille International Match Race in order to put all the chances on their side, and to get points, as the MIMR becomes this year the first official event of “sailing's ATP tour”, which is the World Match Racing Tour.

The competition will take place from 9 to 14 March on Marseille's fabulous race course, and will be organized with the support of YCPR (Yachting Club de la Pointe Rouge), which is Sebastien Col's yacht club.

Six teams are already qualified thanks to the new World Tour cards for all the World Tour's events:

1. Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar – 2 x defending ISAF Match Racing World Champion.
2. Sébastien Col (FRA) French Team/K-Challenge – America’s Cup helmsman and ISAF ranked number one match racer
3. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Team/Team French Spirit
4. Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Shosholoza
5. Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/Black Match Racing
6. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team

Other top teams are also planning to compete in this year's World Match Racing Tour, such as Ben Ainslie (Team Origin) or Magnus Holmberg (Victory Challenge).

Sebastien Col's team in Marseille will be formed of Christophe Andre, Gilles Favennec and Pascal Rambeau.

Sebastien Col : "I'm very happy for my club, YCPR, and all the club members who helped this event to grow year by year with the support of the French Sailing Federation. It is a great asset for us to have a World Match Racing Tour's event here. We start this season leading the world ranking, and we will prepare the event with a training with the French team in Marseille with our sparring partners. I look forward to sailing again with Pascal Rambeau, as we did a very good test together last year: we won a grade 1 event in Berlin. Everybody in our team was happy to sail with Pascal. With Christophe Andre and Gilles Favennec, we have a very good team. It is up to us to be good and to work properly!"

Sebastien Col and his crew will take part this year to the ten events in the World Match Racing Tour's programme, and they will also sail the Congressional Cup (Long Beach, California, 23-28 March).

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