World Match Racing Tour season's earnings
The world's top tennis and golf players can earn millions of dollars in prize money. For example, the 2010 US Open featured the richest purse in tennis history. This year's US Open purse topped US$ 22.6 million, an increase of US$ 1 million over last year's record purse. Across the Atlantic, the Wimbledon tennis championship awarded this year a record GBP 13.7 million and for the first time ever the prize for the singles champion reached GBP 1 million.
In sailing, the only professional circuit that awards prize money is the World Match Racing Tour. This year it consists of nine events and will award over US$ 1.5 million in prize money. In addition, there is a US$ 250,000 overall prize pool for the top nine teams with a US$50,000 bonus for the outright winner.
The WMRT made public the breakdown of the prize money for the 2010 and 2009 season (tables below). The figures are in US dollars and are approximate since the prizes are mostly given in the local currency of each event.
Adam Minoprio, the reigning ISAF World Match Racing Champion, made a cool 220,000 dollars in 2009, although I suppose this amount has to be split among his team. Second placed Torvar Mirsky earned exactly half of what his kiwi opponent did while third placed Ben Ainslie pocketed close to 175,000 dollars.
This clearly shows that you can very well end up second overall at the end of the season if you finish second or third in each event but you can earn much more if you win a number of events, even if you don't take part in the entire circuit. Ainslie took part in only 4 of the 2009 events, scoring two wins, a third place and an all-important second in the season's grand finale in the Monsoon Cup. On the other hand, Mirsky took part in all events, won only one and had a string of bad results like an 8th and even a 10th.
This year, the same pattern holds true and Mathieu Richard and Ben Ainslie top the earning charts, thanks to 3 and 2 victories, respectively.
World Match Racing Tour earnings in 2010 (as of October 18th)
|1||Mathieu Richard||FRA||French Match Racing Team||105||US$ 145,112|
|2||Adam Minoprio||NZL||ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing||90||US$ 86,305|
|3||Ben Ainslie||GBR||TEAMORIGIN||88||US$ 104,744|
|4||Torvar Mirsky||AUS||Mirsky Racing Team||76||US$ 73,117|
|5||Ian Williams||GBR||Team GAC Pindar||72||US$ 94,048|
|6||Jesper Radich||DEN||Gaastra Racing Team||60||US$ 42,000|
|7||Francesco Bruni||ITA||Team Azzurra||53||US$ 54,172|
|8||Peter Gilmour||AUS||YANMAR Racing||51||US$ 51,000|
World Match Racing Tour earnings in 2009
|1||Adam Minoprio||NZL||ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing||138||US$ 219,050|
|2||Torvar Mirsky||AUS||Mirsky Racing Team||97||US$ 111,800|
|3||Ben Ainslie||GBR||TEAMORIGIN||95||US$ 173,250|
|4||Peter Gilmour||AUS||YANMAR Racing||93||US$ 127,400|
|5||Mathieu Richard||FRA||French Match Racing Team||89||US$ 118,800|
|6||Ian Williams||GBR||Team Pindar||83||US$ 118,150|
|7||Sebastien Col||FRA||All4One||59||US$ 96,200|
|8||Damien Iehl||FRA||French Match Racing Team||48||US$ 59,700|
|9||Paolo Cian||ITA||Team Shosholoza||31||US$ 72,600|
|10||Philippe Presti||FRA||French Spirit||26||US$ 33,400|