Chicago to host World Match Racing Tour

Published on August 9th, 2017

The fifth championship level stop on the 2017 World Match Racing Tour will take place September 26 to October 1 alongside Navy Pier in Chicago, IL.

After organizing successful Tour events in 2012, 2013 and 2014, Chicago hosted the Louis Vuitton Americas Cup World Series in 2016, providing Midwest sports fans with the excitement of high-performance catamaran racing. With a turnkey infrastructure in place and an epic skyline backdrop, the show returns as elite match racers take their M32 catamarans to this spectator friendly venue.

“This past America’s Cup gave the sailing world a glimpse of just how exciting sailboat racing can be,” said Tod Reynolds, the Executive Director of the Chicago Match Race Center. “The M32 Catamarans being used on the WMRT are the perfect platform for this technology to trickle down into the sailing world.”

Prior to the World Match Racing Tour event, the Chicago Match Race Center will also be hosting owner-drivers as they compete in the M32 North American Championship on September 22-24.

“The Chicago Match Race Center, and it’s founder Don Wilson, are strong supporters of the competitive M32 class catamaran we use on the Tour,” said World Match Racing Tour CEO Robert Magnusson. “The people of Chicago embraced the Tour back in the monohull era, and their support of the America’s Cup World Series shows that they also embrace modern catamaran racing. With Chicago Match Race Center also hosting the 2017 M32 North American Championship and the 2018 M32 World Championship, there is clearly appetite in Chicago for this high-performance type of racing.”

The racecourse for the WMRT Chicago Match Cup will be located just off the end of Navy Pier with the city landmark offering unrivalled viewing opportunities for spectators. In addition to the WMRT Tour Card holders, qualifiers from Coconut Grove Cup and Croatia Match Cup will be invited to the event as well as Wild Card positions which will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Event Format
Day One and Two – Fleet race qualifying in Groups. Each Group sails 6-8 races.
Day Three – Bottom two from each Group compete in a sail-off to decide who moves on to the Super 16 knockout. Top three from each Group join the sail-off winners in a 16 team, first to three-point, knockout. 1v16, 2v15, 3v14 etc.
Day Four – Sponsor day and remaining races from the Super 16 Knockout.
Day five – Quarter-Finals and start of Semi-Finals (knockout format).
Day six – Finish Semi-Finals and complete Final/Petit-Final (knockout format).

2017 World Championship Level Events:
WMRT Match Cup Australia, March 20-25
WMRT Congressional Cup, March 29-April 2
WMRT Match Cup Sweden, July 3-8
WMRT Match Cup Russia, August 1-6
WMRT Match Cup Chicago, September 26-October 1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS
WMRT Match Cup China, November 3-10 (Venue TBA)

Background: In 2013, Swedish company Aston Harald AB acquired the design and production rights to the one-design M32 catamarans. In July 2015, Aston Harald AB acquired the World Match Racing Tour, which then began the use of the M32 during the 2016 Tour. Launched in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour is the leading professional match racing series sanctioned by World Sailing.

Source: WMRT

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