Sunday, April 18, 2010

Match Race Germany - What's in store

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] Stage 2 of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), the exquisite field of skippers for the 13th Match Race Germany, one of the longest running events on the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) has been confirmed. Headed by reigning ISAF Match Racing World Champion 2009 Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing and Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, 2nd in the 2009 WMRT standings, a total of 12 teams representing 8 different countries set their course heading to Langenargen on beautiful Lake Constance.

The German Grand Prix, traditionally takes place during Pentecoat. The international line-up is fighting for not only valuable World Match Racing Tour ranking points but also for prizes in excess of US$60.000, and of course, not to forget a lot of prestige. All this will be live on the Internet for the first time for sailing fans around the world to follow.

The sailing festival, held directly in front of Langenargen´s coast line has attracted the best Match Racers in the world for 13 years, bringing them to the state of Baden Württemberg in Southern Germany. “We are very happy and proud to once again be able to present a high calibre world class fleet to our approximately 40,000 fans and visitors again”, says organiser Eberhard Magg. “Match Race Germany is, and will stay a magnet for sailing heroes and upcoming stars on an international level. This wouldn´t be possible without the great support and encouragement by our sponsors, who help make this truly different sporting event such a success.”

With a record of 15 wins at World Match Racing Tour Events, Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing, is one of the favourites. The grey eminence of all match racers, who celebrated his 50th birthday in January, has won 3 World Champion titles and is still the king of this discipline of sailing. Gilmour won Match Race Germany 3 times in a row from 2004-2006, and following an early exit in Marseille, will be looking forward to competing on German waters again.

There are several favourites this year including, helmsman Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team who won Stage 1 of the ISAF World Match Racing Tour on home waters recently. The Frenchman travels to Langenargen as World Match Racing Tour leader, and comments, “I love the racing on Lake Constance, especially when it is sunny. The conditions in Langenargen are often very hard and difficult to sail, but I love it!”

With a special task, and a World Ranking position of 334 to his credit, Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team makes his appearance again on Lake Constance after a long break. The furious Dane has been away from the Match Racing circuit but is starting his comeback. In 2003 he was triumphant and won Match Race Germany, just a year later he was the youngest helmsman to win the World Match Racing Tour. With 5 Grand Prix wins he is ranked on the all time leader board behind Gilmour (with 15 wins), Russell Coutts (NZL) with 6 wins, and Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge (with 6 wins). Holmberg will also make a comeback at the German Match Race Classic on the Tour, and could leave sailing superstar Coutts behind him provided he leaves Langenargen with a win!

Match Race regulars, Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Italia, and Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team, both 43 years old will have to weather the storm of the up and coming generation of versatile sailors. In addition to Minoprio and Mirsky, Mads Ebler (DEN) Ebler Matchracing, who finished on the podium at the 2009 Match Race Europeans could also prove to be a favourite.

With America´s Cup experience Ian Ainslie (RSA) Team Proximo, who recently climbed successfully in the world rankings up to 11, will come to Langenargen again. Last but not least double World Match Racing Champion from 2007 and 2008 Ian Williams, who still has an outstanding score to settle, will also compete. The smart lawyer and World Number 4 has attended every single edition of Match Race Germany since he started competing on the World Match Racing Tour. Ian says that, “this is one of the few regattas we never managed to win. This is what makes us extremely motivated to change that situation in 2010.”

In contrast to the above vast match racing experience of international professional sailors, the only German and partly female crew with skipper Kathrin Kadelbach (GER) EWE Sailing Team, only expects to have an outsider chance in Langenargen. But helmswoman Kadelbach and her tactician Ulrike Schümann (GER), both from Berlin, have been on an extensive one year match racing programme on their road to the Olympic Games in Weymouth, England.

Kadelbach and her team will try to achieve as much as possible, racing the challenging Bavaria 35 Match yachts. Schümann, who just announced the end of her Olympic career after finishing fourth in Beijing, will move into the tactician seat. Shuchmann and Kadelbach have previously raced Yngling and Eliott yachts together. Schümann is realistic about their chances and will have 3 male crew members at Match Race Germany. “With light winds, women have no disadvantages, and for the strong winds we will have 3 strong men in our crew who will have to work a little harder”. The 36 year-old sailor from the famous Club VSaW Berlin states, “for us, each single win, in such a high calibre fleet would be a giant success and triumph.”

The official training day starts on the 19 May. At the same time, the purpose-built event village will open its doors to become the heart of the Match Racing festival on Lake Constance. Yet again, there will be a family-friendly programme including children-themed action, sponsors presentations and interactive opportunities around the sailing and daily live music. On top of this, there will be test sailing offered by the Yacht Club Langenargen for kids and teenagers sailing directly from the promenade. A vast variety of regional and international food and drinks will also be available and there will be no entry charge to the event village.

Live broadcast content with Alcatel Lucent

On the technology side of things Match Race Germany is once again a trendsetter. With the help and support of fourth generation state-of-the-art mobile broadcasting technology, Long Term Evolution technology (LTE), the extreme effort of communication partner Alcatel-Lucent, and the TV production of the World Match Racing Tour, all races will be streamed live on the Internet, as well as shown on screens at the event area.

This streamed coverage will be professionally commentated by Nils Kaben, a sailing expert from one of Germany´s biggest television stations.

Erich Zielinski, Head of the Department of End-to-End 4G/LTE Solutions at Alcatel Lucent Germany AG says, “This premiere underlines the technical ability and capability of the next mobile generation. By now we already know live content from sporting events like the Formula 1 or the Tour de France, but only through very expensive and complicated means of communication technique. Through LTE for the first time, a publicly-accessible and soon, vastly spread infrastructure, will be applied in order to make TV coverage and access easier.” The material generated will also be readily available to TV stations.

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