Wednesday, February 17, 2010

World Match Racing Tour Announces 2010 Tour Card Holders

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) today announced the names of the nine Tour Card Holders for the 2010 season.

After developing the invite policy introduced in 2009, the WMRT has allocated the Tour Cards for 2010 to:

Adam Minoprio (NZL) BlackMatch – ISAF Match Racing World Champion (2009)
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team – Finished 2nd in 2009
Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin – Finished 3rd in 2009
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Team Azzura
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team
Bertrand Pace (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team
Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar

"Last year, we had a great season. This year, we have received a tremendous response from the teams and believe that the 2010 series will be an even bigger and more significant series for the WMRT, the skippers and teams, as well as for everyone following the action on-site at the events or through the media," said Tour Director Craig Mitchell.

The Tour Invite Policy, first introduced in 2009, will guarantee the Tour Card holders invites to six of the first nine events but they can compete in more events if they are able to secure wild card invites from the individual event promoters.

For teams that did not receive a Tour Card, there are still opportunities to race on the WMRT through event wild cards or through the events that make up the Tour Qualifying Series that feed into the World Tour events.

"We see the level of professionalism amongst the skippers and teams going up each year and 2010 will be no exception. We are looking forward to another great series of events and crowning a worthy champion. It is going to be fiercely competitive from the first race in France, in April, all the way through to the last race in Malaysia, in December," Mitchell enthused.

Francesco Bruni from Team Azzura of Italy said, "I am extremely happy to be part of such an important and prestigious circuit. I am also very proud to have the opportunity to compete for the Match Race World Title wearing the Team Azzurra uniform!"

Mathieu Richard from the French Match Racing Team also shared the same excitement. "I am very glad to have a Tour card, and I am looking forward to taking part to a fantastic 2010 championship! The 2010 field is very exciting, with an interesting mixed of three generations of skippers – young guns like Adam Minoprio (NZL), and Torvar Mirsky (AUS), veterans with Peter Gilmour (AUS) and Bertrand Pace (FRA), and skippers of my generation."

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