More Money and Multihulls coming to World Match Racing Tour
Published on July 3rd, 2015
Marstrand, Sweden (July 3, 2015) The ISAF sanctioned World Match Racing Tour today announced the biggest ever prize purse in the history of the sport, a staggering US $1 million cash bonus to be awarded to the ISAF Match Racing World Champion from 2016. The announcement follows last week’s news of Swedish Company Aston Harald AB acquiring the World Tour.
The World Match Racing Tour is the longest running global professional sailing series, now in it’s 16th consecutive season with 19 global events including seven World Championship events.
A press conference was held by the World Match Racing Tour and Aston Harald AB on the island of Marstrand, venue of this week’s Stena Match Cup Sweden event as part of the World Tour. The new owner of the World Match Racing Tour and CEO of Aston Harald AB, Håkan Svensson commented:
“We are committed to creating a strong and financially rewarding career path for professional sailors on the World Match Racing Tour. The US $1 million bonus will hopefully encourage skippers and teams to compete on the Tour at the highest level of racing.”
A further announcement made at today’s press conference was that the final event of the World Match Racing Tour will return to the island of Marstrand, Sweden from 2016. The current 2015 Tour season will finish at the Monsoon Cup, Malaysia at the end of January 2016, after which there will be a short season created for the 2016 World Championship to conclude in Sweden in late June/ early July.
“The World Match Racing Tour has previously finished at Marstrand until 2004 when the final was moved to Malaysia,” added James Pleasance, WMRT Executive Director. “However the Stena Match Cup Sweden has always been a flagship event of the World Tour and therefore it is fitting to move the Finals back to Marstrand again.”
In addition to the Championship final moving to Marstrand in 2016, it was also announced the 2016 Stena Match Cup Sweden will be sailed in M32 multihulls, replacing the highly popular but now aging DS37. This is the first World Match Racing Tour event to be announced to be sailed in M32 multihulls since Aston Harald’s acquisition of the Tour.
Further details about the 2016 World Match Racing season will be announced over the next few months.
About Aston Harald AB
Aston Harald AB is a private company located on the island of Hönö outside Gothenburg, Sweden. The company owns and manages the M32 Series, a racing circuit for the M32 catamaran with events currently in the USA and Europe.
Aston Harald Composite AB, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aston Harald AB owns and manufacturers the M32, a 9.68m carbon fibre racing catamaran designed by Göran Marström and Kåre Ljung. The company has its production facilities also located on the island of Hönö.
About the World Match Racing Tour
The World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the world’s longest running professional sailing series featuring over 20 events annually across the globe. WMRT is also sanctioned and recognised by ISAF (International Sailing Federation) and has been awarded with an ISAF “Special Event” status.
The World Match Racing Tour awards over US$1.3 million in prize money with points awarded at each event culminating in the crowning of the ISAF Match Racing World Champion. Former champions and event winners include some of sailing’s most famous names such as Russell Coutts, James Spithill, Sir Ben Ainslie, Terry Hutchinson, Peter Gilmour, Ed Baird, Magnus Holmberg, Ken Read, Ian Williams and Taylor Canfield.
Events take place in iconic stadium style venues, which attract thousands of spectators to watch the racing close to shore. Identical racing yachts are supplied to teams at each event requiring the skippers to adapt to the conditions and style of yacht at each event.
The World Match Racing Tour works closely with its media partner, IMG Media, the world’s largest distributor of sports and entertainment programming, to distribute live and highlights coverage of events to over 183 countries across 55 broadcasters worldwide.